Elena Ceausescu, (maiden name Elena Petrescu) was born into a peasant family in Petresti on 17 January 1919 ( in reality, most likely in 1916, since it is alleged that she had her date of birth changed).
Elena Ceasescu ended her studies at the end of fourth grade and went to Bucharest where she worked firstly as an assistant in a laboratory then as an employee in a textile factory. She joined the Romanian Communist Party in 1937.
In 1939, Elena met Nicolae Ceausescu whom she married in 1946. They had three children.
Elena Ceausescu subsequently held positions of little importance up until her husband became Secretary General of the Romanian Communist Party.
In 1965, she was appointed Director of the National Institute for Chemical Research in Bucharest.
Starting in July 1972, Elena Ceausescu was given a number of positions of responsibility within the communist party. In particular, she was elected to be a full member of the Central Committee of the party.
In July 1973, she became a member of the Politburo and given responsibility for the Commission administering high ranking state and party personnel. This made her the second most powerful person in the country after her husband.
In November 1974, Elena Ceausescu became a member of the Political Executive Committee, which incorporated the Permanent Bureau, the highest organ of the party, in January 1977.
In March 1980, Elena Ceasescu was named First Deputy Prime Minister of Romania.
Elena Ceausescu is considered to have been responsible for the elimination of birth control measures, which led to a serious demographic crisis in the country during the 70’s and 80’s. She is also alleged to have been behind the policies attributed to her husband, which led to the destruction of churches and to food rationing in the 80’s. She was also a member of the State Health Commission, which denied the existence of the AIDS virus in Romania.
On 22 December 1989, she was arrested together with her husband following their fall from power, which was sparked by the riots in Timisora a few days earlier.