Born Oct. 13, 1887, in Vel’ká Bytča, Hungary (now Bytča, Czechoslovakia); died Apr. 18, 1947, in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Slovak nationalist political and clerical figure.
Tiso was a Catholic priest and a professor of theology. A Slovak fascist ideologue, he became the leader of the Slovak Populist Party in August 1938. In 1938 and 1939 he was head of the autonomous government of Slovakia, formed by Slovak separatists after the signing of the Munich Pact of 1938. From 1939 to 1945 he served as president of the “independent state” of Slovakia, which had been placed under the “protection” of Germany. As such, he helped steer Slovakia into the war against the USSR on the side of fascist Germany; he also was responsible for reprisals against those who fought in the national liberation movement in Slovakia. In 1947, Tiso was executed in accordance with a sentence imposed by the People’s Court of Czechoslovakia.