Josef Stalin’s Daughter, Lana Peters, aka Svetlana Alliluyeva, Dead at 85

on November 28 2011 5:07 PM

Lana Peters, only daughter and last surviving child of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, died last week of colon cancer at the age of 85.

Richland County Coroner Mary Turner told The Associated Press that Peters, who was known internationally by her previous name, Svetlana Alliluyeva, died on Nov. 22 in Wisconsin where she lived on and off after becoming a U.S. citizen.

Peters was born Svetlana Stalina. However, she changed her last name to Alliluyeva before she became known as Lana Peters.

Her popularity grew in the United States after she defected from the Soviet Union in 1967.

According to The AP, Peters' defection to the West during the cold war embarrassed the ruling communists. Her defection was motivated in part by the ill treatment of her late husband, Brijesh Singh, by Soviet authorities, according to The AP.

She left behind two children and returned to the Soviet Union in the 1980s, before making her way to the U.S. a year later.

On her journey to the U.S., Peters took a memoir she had written in 1963 about her life in Russia and Twenty Letters to a Friend was published within months of her arrival. It became a best-seller.

The New York Times reported that in 2010 interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Peters said her father probably loved her.

He broke my life, she said. I want to explain to you. He broke my life.

Wherever I go, she said, here, or Switzerland, or India, or wherever. Australia. Some island. I will always be a political prisoner of my father's name.

Peters married architect William Wesley Peters and they shared a daughter, Olga. They divorced in 1973, according to NPR.

Olga Peters has changed her name to Chrese Evans.

More News from IBT MEDIA