Bao Dai (1913 - 1997), born Nguyen Vinh Thuy, was the reigning emperor of Vietnam from 1926 to 1945.
Japanese forces swept away French colonial rule in Indochina in March 1945. The conquerors reinstated Emperor Bao Dai in Vietnam, but kept him powerless, thereby creating the illusion of an independent Vietnamese state. In August, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh revolted against Bao Dai, forcing the puppet ruler to surrender leadership to the resistance. The Viet Minh offered Boa Dai a role in the new government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, but instead the ex-emperor fled to Hong Kong.