(b. Kharkov, 1905; d. Moscow, 1 June 1997)
Ukrainian; Member of the Politburo 1978–85, chairman of the Council of Ministers 1980–5 Tikhonov was the son of a middle-class engineer and followed his father's profession, entering the Dnepropetrovsk Mining Institute in 1926 and graduating in 1930. He worked first as an engineer at the Lenin Plant of Dnepropetrovsk and was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1939. In the 1930s he became acquainted with his patron, Leonid Brezhnev. During the Second World War he worked in industry east of the Urals. He joined the Communist Party in 1945. He returned to the Dnepropetrovsk region in 1947, serving as the manager of a tube plant in Nikopol. After 1950 Tikhonov followed a career in the governmental, not the party structure of the USSR. He joined the Ministry of Ferrous Metallurgy, becoming its Deputy Minister in 1955. In 1960 he returned to Moscow, serving consecutively until 1965 as vice-chairman of the State Scientific and Economic Council and vice-chairman of the State Planning Committee. In 1965 he was made a deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers, rising to first deputy chairman after 1976. In 1978 he was elected candidate member of the Politburo and full member the next year. When Kosygin retired in 1980, the 75-year-old Tikhonov became chairman of the Council of Ministers—the head of the government. Gorbachev removed him from this post in September 1985, replacing him with Ryzhkov.