Josip Broz Tito
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Tito, Josip Broz
Born May 25,1892, in Kumrovec, Croatia; died May 4,1980, in Ljubljana. Figure in the Yugoslav and international labor movement; statesman and political leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Marshal (1943); National Hero of Yugoslavia (1944 and 1972); Hero of Socialist Labor (1950).
Tito, the son of peasants, joined the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slovenia in 1910, becoming active in the labor and trade union movement. In the fall of 1913 he was inducted into the Austro-Hungarian Army, and in the early months of World War I, after being arrested for spreading antiwar propaganda, he was sent to the front. Wounded in the spring of 1915, he was captured and taken to Russia. In 1917, Tito was arrested in Petrograd for taking part in the July demonstration against the Provisional Government and sent to the Urals. There, after joining the Red Guards in Omsk in October 1917, he participated with the Bolsheviks in revolutionary activities among the peasants.
After returning to his country in September 1920, Tito joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) and engaged in clandestine party activities. In February 1928 he was elected secretary of the Zagreb committee of the CPY, but in August of that year he was arrested and sentenced to five years at hard labor. Released from prison in 1934, he resumed his work for the party, now as a member of the CPY’s regional committee in Croatia, and in December was elected to the party’s Central Committee and Politburo. In 1935, Tito went to Moscow as a member of the CPY delegation to the Seventh Congress of the Comintern and stayed there to work for the Comintern until 1936, when he returned clandestinely to Yugoslavia. In December 1937 he was appointed general secretary of the CPY’s Central Committee, a position to which he was formally elected at the Fifth Congress of the CPY in October 1940.
During the National Liberation War in Yugoslavia (1941–45), Tito served as supreme commander of the National Liberation Army and partisan forces of Yugoslavia. On Nov. 30, 1943, he became chairman of the National Committee for the Liberation of Yugoslavia. In March 1945 he was appointed chairman of the Council of Ministers, minister of defense, and supreme commander of the armed forces of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, and in August of that year he was elected chairman of the Popular Front. (The Front changed its name in 1953 to the Socialist Alliance of the Working People of Yugoslavia, and Tito remained chairman until 1954.) In November 1945, Tito became chief of state of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia; from 1953 to 1963 he also acted as chairman of the Federal Executive Council, which constituted the republic’s executive. In 1952 the Sixth Congress of the CPY adopted a resolution renaming the party the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) and elected Tito its general secretary; Tito became chairman in 1966. In 1974 the Tenth Congress elected him president of the LCY for an indefinite term.
From 1953, Tito served as president of the country. He was proclaimed president for life by the Federal Assembly in May 1974. As president he headed the Presidium of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (a power delegated to him in 1971), as well as the collective Presidency, and he was the commander in chief of the nation’s armed forces. Tito was awarded numerous Yugoslav orders. His Soviet orders included the Order of Lenin (1972), the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of Victory (1945), and the Order of Suvorov First Class (1944). He was awarded several orders by other countries.