Nguyen Ton Hoan, former South Vietnam deputy premier, 84
Nguyen Ton Hoan, a Vietnamese leader who
opposed communism and French rule, and briefly
served as deputy premier of South Vietnam, died
Saturday in Mountain View. He was 84.
Mr. Nguyen founded the Dai Viet, or Greater
Vietnam Party in 1939 and worked to establish a
democratic Vietnam. He served under head of state
Bao Dai, who was appointed by the French in
1949, before he left and eventually settled in Paris.
He returned to Saigon in 1964 to serve as prime
minister after pro Dai Viet officers overthrew Maj.
Gen. Duong Van Minh. But when Mr. Nguyen
arrived, Maj. Gen. Nguyen Khanh had assumed the
role of premier with the backing of the United
States. Instead, Mr. Nguyen became the first
deputy premier overseeing pacification efforts in the
But Mr. Nguyen, who had attempted to establish
land reform, free elections and anti-corruption
programs, quickly butted heads with the new
government. He resigned eight months later and left
A year later, Mr. Nguyen disagreed with President
Charles De Gaulle over France's Vietnam policies
and moved to the United States.
He went on to lecture at military complexes, open a
Vietnamese restaurant and continued to push for a
Born in Tay Ninh in South Vietnam in 1917, Mr.
Nguyen studied medicine at the University of Hanoi.
He is credited with introducing table tennis to
Vietnam while serving as minister of youth and
sports under Bao Dai.
Mr. Nguyen is survived by wife, two sons and two
By Ryan Kim - The San Francisco Chronicles - September 27, 2001.