Profession: President of Croatia
Why Famous: Franjo Tuđman was a pivotal figure in Croatia's road to independence. In the 1960s, then a historian, he was part of the Croatian Spring, a movement to demand more rights for Croatians within Josip Broz Tito's Yugoslavia and was imprisoned for it in 1972.
In 1989 Tuđman founded the Croatian Democratic Union and became President of the Presidency of SR Croatia within Yugoslavia. After a referendum Croatia declared itself independent in 1991 and Tuđman led Croatia through its War of Independence, which only ended with Operation Storm in 1995. He was a signatory to the Dayton Agreement in 1995 ending the Bosnian war.
After the war Tuđman was twice re-elected President and served until his death.
- 1990-10-01 Serbs in Croatia proclaim autonomy
- 1991-06-25 Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia
- 1991-10-08 The Croatian Parliament cuts all remaining ties with Yugoslavia
- 1991-11-18 The Croatian city of Vukovar surrenders to Yugoslav People's Army and allied Serb paramilitary forces after an 87-day siege
- 1994-03-29 Serbs & Croats sign a cease-fire to end the war in Croatia
- 1995-05-01 Croatian forces launch Operation Flash during the Croatian War of Independence.
- 1995-08-04 Operation Storm begins in Croatia, the Croatian army attacks territory under the Republic of Serbian Krajina in the largest land battle since WWII
- 1995-08-05 The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, is captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm. The date is celebrated as the day of victory (Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day) in Croatia.
- 1995-12-14 The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by leaders of various governments ending the conflict in the former Yugoslavia including Slobodan Milošević, Alija Izetbegović, Franjo Tuđman and Bill Clinton