First Lady of US-backed South Vietnam regime dies in Rome

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Tran Le Xuan, wife of Ngo Dinh Nhu younger brother and chief political advisor of Ngo Dinh Diem, the US-backed president of South Vietnam in the 1960s, died on April 24 at the age of 87 at a hospital in Rome.

Xuan, born in 1924 to a wealthy family in Hanoi, was considered the First Lady of South Vietnam between 1955 and 1963, because Diem was a lifelong bachelor and the Nhu family lived in the Independence Palace in Saigon.

Xuan was in the US when Diem and Nhu were assassinated in November 1963. She never returned to Vietnam and spent the last years of her life in Rome.

She has two sons and two daughters. Her daughter, Ngo Dinh Le Thuy, died in a traffic accident in 1968.

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