Lenin was born with the name Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov in 1870 in Simbirsk, Russia. He was exposed to revolutionary ideas early, and he became involved in Marxist circles while still a teenager. His older brother, a democratic revolutionary, was executed after a failed assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander III.
In the late 1890's, Lenin was exiled from Russia to Europe. He was living in Switzerland when the February Revolution ousted the Tsar. Germany allowed Lenin to travel through their country back to Russia because Lenin promised he would pull Russia out of the war.
When he arrived in Russia, he immediately criticized the Bolsheviks for compromising with the provisional government. Lenin wanted a complete revolution, removing all remnants of the Tsar from government and installing the soviets as the absolute authority.
Lenin believed that a strong country needed a strong industrial base. To build Russia into the beacon of communism, he called upon engineers and scientists to advance Russia's industry.
However, before he could complete his changes, he suffered several strokes and died in 1924.