By: David Cote
Hu Jintao was born on Dec. 21, 1942, in Taizhou, Jiangsu, China. His father owned a tea trading business in his hometown, and the family grew up relatively poor. When Hu was seven, his mother died and he was subsequently raised by his aunt. In high school, Hu excelled in singing and dancing, as well as succeeding in classes and demonstrating a photographic memory. After high school in 1961, he entered Tsinghua University in Beijing and joined the Communist Party. During his tenure as a student, Hu became chairman of the Tsinghua Student Union, and graduated with a degree in hydraulic engineering in 1965. While at the university, Hu met Liu Yongqing, who later became his wife. They now have two children, Hu Haifeng and Hu Haiqing. Upon graduation, Hu elected to serve in Gansu and helped with the large construction project of the Liujiaxia Hydroelectric Station.