Lon Nol


Lon Nol

biographical name

(born Nov. 13, 1913, Prey Vêng, Camb.—died Nov. 17, 1985, Fullerton, Calif., U.S.) Cambodian military and political leader. A magistrate in the French colonial service, he became successively head of the national police (1951), army chief of staff (1955), and commander in chief (1960). He was twice premier (1966–67, 1969–70) under Norodom Sihanouk. In 1970 he was the chief architect of the U.S.-supported coup that deposed Sihanouk. He abandoned Sihanouk's policy of neutrality in the Vietnam War and threw Cambodia's support behind the U.S. and South Vietnam. In 1972 he assumed total power in Cambodia; he fled to the U.S. in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge takeover was imminent.

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