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For those who simply don't know, Lei Feng is not only the Party's figure head of heroic selflessness, but also a cult icon with his image now found on mugs, bags and even roadside ads. Still, he remains an historical figure shrouded in mystery. Lei Feng was a native of nearby northern town Wangcheng.

Born 18th December 1940 (died 15th August 1962), Mr Feng  was a soldier of the People's Liberation Army of China. After his death, Lei was characterised as a modest person who was devoted to the Communist Party, Chairman Mao Zedong, and the people of China. In 1963, he became the subject of a nationwide posthumous propaganda campaign, "Follow the examples of Comrade Lei Feng" (向雷锋同志学习). Lei was portrayed as a model citizen, and the masses were encouraged to emulate his selflessness, modesty, and devotion to Mao.

After Mao's death, Lei Feng remained a cultural icon representing earnestness and service; his name entered daily speech and his imagery appeared on t-shirts and memorabilia.

Below are photos of Lei Feng through his years until he was killed by a telegraph pole struck by a truck that he was helping to reverse at the young age of just 22.

Lei Feng on a motorcycle parked in front of the Tiananmen photo 

As a kid

Fushun West hospital for the sick and wounded (delivering mooncakes) 

Comrade Wang Yantang given a lunch box

Lei Feng next to the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge

Lei wearing a T shirt with "exercise" inscribed on it

Picking up 200Yuan from the bank

Lei Feng's workout

Lei Feng with the flag of the young pioneers (Communist Youth Party)

During High School graduation

Lei Feng before being drafted into the army

Lei Feng

Lei Feng holding a basket in Tiananmen Square


Lei Feng's first girlfriend

Lei Feng at work

Lei Feng reading Mao's anthology


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