Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong) was born of Chinese peasant stock in the twilight years of China’s imperial reign, which had lasted for more than 2 000 years. He lived to become paramount ruler over a quarter of the global population, and to establish the world’s largest Communist regime. His successes as revolutionary leader were, however, not matched by a comparable ability to develop and administer his new nation. Nathan1 states that no other leader in modern history held so much power over so many people for so long, and in the end inflicted such a catastrophe on his country, as Mao did. It is estimated that he was responsible for the death of more than 70 million Chinese in peacetime.2 This study concentrates on Mao Tse-tung as a person, and his habits and health problems.