Stepan Shaumyan, the son of an Armenian merchant, was born in 1878. While studying at Riga Polytechnic he joined the Social Democratic Party.
Shaumyan returned to the Caucasus where he became a teacher and the leader of the Bolshevik in Tiflis. In 1907 he moved to Baku where he helped to build up and lead the workers' movement.
In March, 1918, there was a Muslim uprising in Baku. Shaumyan and 25 other Baku commissars fled but were arrested by British troops in Krasnovodsk.
Stepan Shaumyan was executed on 20th September, 1918.