Profession: President of Yugoslavia and Revolutionary
Why Famous: Josip Broz - or Tito as he named himself - was the communist dictator of Yugoslavia from 1963 until his death in 1980. He spearheaded the conversion of Yugoslavia to communism, influenced by the Russian model, yet came to be the only communist leader in Europe to later successfully maintain some independence from Soviet Russia.
Tito served in the Austro-Hungarian army during WWI, was captured and spent time in a Russian POW camp where he was exposed to Bolshevik ideas. Returning home he joined the communist party, becoming its leader in 1937.
During WWII he laid the foundations for a communist state, forced the king into exile and raising a military force to fight the Axis powers. With Allied support Tito led his Partisan forces against the Germans, famously forcing them back from Yugoslav borders.
When the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was created in 1945 Tito became Prime Minister. In 1953 he became the first president of Yugoslavia and in 1963 president for life. From 1953 Tito successfully steered his nation on his own path, especially after the death of Joseph Stalin. He refused to join the East European Communist bloc and pursuing his own policies including nonalignment, alliances with countries not aligned in the East West conflict.
- 1927-10-28 Josip Broz (Tito) begins 7 months jail sentence in Croatia
- 1928-10-06 Josip Broz (Tito) sentenced to 5 years in jail
- 1934-03-12 Josip Broz (Tito) freed from jail
- 1941-09-19 1st meeting of partisan leaders Tito & Draza Mihailovic in Yugoslavia
- 1941-10-26 Second meeting of partisans Tito & Draza Mihailovic in Yugoslavia
- 1941-11-01 Chetniks attacks Tito's partizans in Uzice Yugoslavia
- 1941-12-22 Tito establishes 1st Proletarian Brigade in Yugoslavia
- 1942-01-21 Tito's partisans occupy Foca
- 1942-03-01 Tito establishes 2nd Proletarit Brigade in Bosnia
- 1942-03-05 Josip Tito establishes 3rd Proletarian Brigade in Bosnia
- 1942-11-27 Tito appoints Anti-fascist Liberation board in Yugoslavia
- 1943-01-20 Operation Weiss: German, Italian, Bulgarian & Croatian troops attempt to retake land liberated by Tito's partisans
- 1943-11-29 Partisan Tito forms temporary government in Jajce, Bosnia
- 1944-05-07 German assault on Tito's hideout in Drvar Bosnia
- 1944-05-25 Partisan leader Tito escapes Germans surrounding Bosnia
- 1944-08-12 Winston Churchill and Tito meet in Naples
- 1944-10-27 Tito reaches free Belgrade
- 1945-03-07 Yugoslavia government of Josep Broz Tito forms
- 1946-04-18 US recognizes Tito's Yugoslavia government
- 1948-03-18 Soviet consultants leave Yugoslavia in first sign of Tito-Stalin split
- 1953-01-13 Marshal Josip Tito chosen president of Yugoslavia
- 1953-01-14 Yugoslavia elects its 1st president (Marshal Tito)
- 1956-06-02 Yugoslav president Tito visits Moscow
- 1968-06-09 Yugoslav president Tito promises reforms
- 1968-08-09 Yugoslav president Tito visits Prague
- 1972-06-05 Yugoslav president Josip Tito visits USSR
- 1980-05-07 Yugoslav President Josip Tito is buried