Lana Peters, Stalin's daughter, dead at 85


Undated and unlocated picture of Joseph Stalin holding in his arms his daughter Svetlana.

Joseph Stalin's only daughter and last surviving child, Lana Peters, died last week at the age of 85.

Peters died of colon cancer in Richland County, Wis., the county's corporation counsel announced Monday, as reported by The New York Times.

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It stated that Peters had three names in her lifetime: her name at birth, Svetlana Stalina; with her mother's last name, Svetlana Alliluyeva; and after an American marriage, Lana Peters.

Her three successive names were signposts on a twisted, bewildering road that took her from Stalin’s Kremlin, where she was the “little princess,” to the West in a celebrated defection, then back to the Soviet Union in a puzzling homecoming, and finally to decades of obscurity, wandering and poverty.

Peters was a celebrity in the Soviet Union as a child, but she then defected to the West during the Cold War.

She used her past and fame as Stalin's daughter when she wrote two autobiographies, both best sellers.

"I have come here to seek the self-expression that has been denied me for so long in Russia," she said when she arrived in the United States at age 41, the Associated Press reported.