Hu Yaobang (1915—1989) was a reformist leader of the Chinese Communist Party. A participant in the Long March (during which he was captured by a nationalist warlord), he later became a protégé of Deng Xiaoping.
Deng appointed Hu party chief in 1980. He rehabilitated many victims of the Cultural Revolution, and relaxed Chinese rule in Tibet; however, following student unrest in 1986, Hu was forced by hardline pressure within the CCP leadership to resign in early 1987. He died of a heart attack of 15 April 1989; impromptu public meetings to mourn his death were the catalyst for the growth of the Democracy Movement, culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre later that year.