Walter Ulbricht (June 30, 1893 - August 1, 1973) was a German Communist. He led the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR) from 1950 until 1971.

Ulbricht was born in Leipzig as the son of a tailor. Both parents were active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD). He attended secondary school (Volksschule), and learned the trade of a joiner. Later, he served in World War I from 1915 - 1918 in the Polish, Serbian and Western Front theater.

In 1918, Ulbricht joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany. A founding member of the German Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD) in 1919, Ulbricht attended the International Lenin School of the Komintern in Moscow in 1924/1925. He was subsequently voted into the regional parliament of Saxony (Sächsischer Landtag) in 1926. He became an MP of the German parliament (Reichstag) from 1928-1933. Following Nazi rule, Ulbricht lived in exile in Paris and Prague from 1933-1938, then in Moscow from 1938-1945.

A leader of the East German Communist party (Sozialdemokratische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED) from 1949-1971, he was also Staatsratsvorsitzender (head of state) of the German Democratic Republic from 1960, when President Wilhelm Pieck died, until his own death in 1973. Effectively he was ousted from power by Erich Honecker when he had to hand over the leadership of the communist party in 1971, though continuing in his function as head of state. He died at the Döllnsee near Berlin on August 1, 1973.