Mao Zedong, (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) was a Han Chinese revolutionary, political theorist and communist leader. He led the People's Republic of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. His theoretical contribution to Marxism-Leninism, military strategies, and his brand of Communist policies are now collectively known as Maoism. Mao remains a controversial figure to this day, with a contentious and ever-evolving legacy. Many Chinese also believe he laid the economic, technological and cultural foundations of modern China, transforming the country from an agrarian society into a major world power. He is viewed as a poet, philosopher, and visionary. Conversely, Mao's social-political programs and political purges from 1949 to 1976 are believed to have caused the deaths of 40 – 70 million people. Since his death, many Maoist policies have been abandoned in favor of economic reforms. Mao is regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern world history, and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.