Wu Renbao (吴仁宝) was secretary of the Party committee of China's richest village - Huaxi Village of Jiangyin City in Jiangsu Province. He died of cancer on Mar. 18, 2013, at age of 85. Famed as China's most eminent farmer, Wu worked hard over the past five decades to lead his villagers in striving for common wealth.
Wu was born on November 1928 into a famer's family in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province. He began his career in February of 1954 and became a Party member in October of that same year. Since 1957, he served as secretary of the Party committee of the village.
As China's longest serving village Party chief, Wu bucked a trend and insisted on collective farming in the early 1980s when farmland was parceled out to individual rural households nationwide. He showed great foresight again in the early 1990s by keeping rural factories collectively owned in order to improve their production efficiency.
The efforts of Wu and the villagers turned once poverty-stricken Huaxi into a well-off village featuring villas, cars and a high per capita income. The annual sales revenue of the village exceeded 52.45 billion yuan (US$8.44 billion) in 2012, with the per capita income reaching about 88,000 yuan.
For his brilliant achievements, Wu received the title of "National Model Worker" in 1989 and again in 1995. He won the title of "Excellent Party Member of Wuxi City" in 2006. A feature film named after the former village Party chief, telling his stories of developing Huaxi into the richest village in China, premiered in cinemas nationwide in October of 2012.