Stalin, Joseph, Mother of

Ketevan Georgievna Geladze was born February 5, 1860, in Gambareuli, Georgia. To her family and friends, Ketevan was affectionately known as Keke. Keke's parents were poor Georgian Orthodox Christians and serfs of local princes; they were freed from serfdom in the 1860s by Tsar Alexander II. Keke's father, Glakho Geladze, passed away at a young age, and Keke was raised by her mother's family. Despite the impoverished conditions of Keke's mother's family, they were able to ensure that she could read and write. On May 17, 1872, at age 17, Keke married Vissarion “Beso” Djugashvili, a 22-year-old cobbler, in the Georgian town of Gori.

In keeping with their upbringing, the couple were both deeply religious and attended the local church regularly. The early years of the ...

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