Janos Kadar was a Hungarian communist leader and the General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, presiding over the country from 1956 until his retirement in 1988. His thirty-two year term as General Secretary covered most of the period the People's Republic of Hungary existed. Kádár's regime continued until Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary. Due to Kádár's age and his declining health, he retired as Secretary-General of the party in 1988, and a younger generation consisting mostly of reformers took over. Despite being a communist leader his rule was far more humane than other communist countries for example allowing considerably large private plots for farmers of collective farms.