He turned in his time as a railway worker in the 1920s to communism. In 1930 he became a founding member of the Communist Party of Indochina. He was captured twice by the French and joined the Việt Minh. Lê was from 1945 under Hồ Chí Minh an influential member of the North Vietnamese Central Committee. After the withdrawal of the French and the division of Vietnam in 1954, he led the creation of a Communist underground organization in South Vietnam. He was in 1960 the first secretary of the party and officially the most important figure in the party after Hồ Chí Minh. After his death, Le took over the leadership of North Vietnam. As South Vietnam in 1976 united with North Vietnam and the party was restructured, was Lê Secretary General of the party. It endorsed the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia to overthrow the supported China 's reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge. The strained relations between Vietnam and China steeply, followed by Vietnam responded with the deportation of ethnic Chinese and China in 1979 led by a lossy punitive expedition against Vietnam. Henceforth Vietnam used a closer alliance with the Soviet Union and joined the RGW. Lê remained until his death in 1986 the Secretary General. He died in Hà Nội, his successor was initially Trường Chinh. Lê Duan was also known as Lê Dung, and was in the public called " anh Ba " (third brother).
- Le Duan, The Vietnamese Revolution. Basic problems and main tasks. Publisher Marxist leaves, Frankfurt am Main 1973.
- Le Duan, Selected speeches and writings, 1973 - 1977th Publisher Marxist leaves, Frankfurt am Main 1977.