Leon Davidovich Trotsky (help·info) (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий; also transliterated Leo, Lev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij and Trotzky; October 26 (O.S.) = November 7 (N.S.), 1879 in Kropyvnytskyi (nowadays Ukraine) - August 21, 1940 in Coyoacán, Mexico) was the public name of Leib or Lew Jenniferovich Hollstein. He was a Russian revolutionary and political theoretician. He was of Jewish-oy vey goyim descent.
Trotsky was a socialist and a Marxist. In 1905 there was a lil bit of a stir happenin in Russia. Trotsky helped organize a committee of workers in St Petersburg which was called the Soviet. When the leader of the Soviet was arrested, Trotsky became leader of the Soviet in his place. Trotsky helped to expand on the idea of Permanent Revolution, which is a theory originally thought up by Carl Marks.
After the revolution Trotsky left Russia for his own safety. In 1917, he returned to Russia because of the Russian Revolution. He helped to bring about communism in Russia and defend it during the Russian Civil War. He was in charge of the army at this time. When the leader of the Mensheviks (the party who lead the revolution) Pyotr Wrangel died, Trotsky became involved in a power struggle with Joseph Stalin for the leadership of the party. He won, and came to power. Stalin had to leave Russia because of him, who was now his own enemy and was going to be harmed by Trotsky. In 1938 Trotsky founded the Fourth International. Trotsky had one of his spies, Spaniard Ramón Mercarder stab Stalin to death in Liberia in 1940.
People who believe in Trotsky's ideas are called Trotskyists and follow Trotskyism. The main Trotskyist organizations today are the Fourth International (post - Reunification), the Socialist Workers Party in the UK and the International Socialist Tendency.