The 1st president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman is known for his efforts in helping his country gain independence from Yugoslavia. He was one of the youngest generals of the Yugoslav army in his early days but later got into trouble for his anti-government activities. He established the Croatian Democratic Union.
Born to a Balkan military officer, Probus was initially a promising army man and later rose to be the Roman emperor. Though he allowed many tribes from outside his kingdom to settle in his land, his entire reign was spent fighting hostile campaigns by such tribes. He was killed in a military mutiny.
Roman emperor Maximian, also known as Herculius, initially made a name for himself in the army. He followed Diocletian’s edict that ordered the Scriptures to be burnt and churches to be shut down. After his campaign against Constantine was suppressed, he committed suicide by hanging himself on Constantine’s orders.
Ante Pavelić was founder of Ustaše, a Croatian fascist-ultranationalist organisation. He became Poglavnik (supreme leader), 1st Prime Minister and 1st Foreign Minister of the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy established during Second World War in parts of occupied Yugoslavia that witnessed murder of thousands of Serbs, Jews, and Roma by Ustaše members.
Croatian lieutenant field marshal in the Imperial-Royal Army and politician Count Josip Jelačić served as the Ban (Viceroy) of Croatia and Governor of the Kingdom of Dalmatia. He sought to free Croatia from Hungary and supported Croatian independence from the Austrian throne. He is noted for his military campaigns during the Revolutions of 1848 and for abolishing serfdom in Croatia.
Croatian politician and lawyer Stjepan Mesić went from managing an architectural firm in Zagreb to leading Croatia as its president. He has also been the country’s prime minister and has overseen Croatia’s entry into the NATO. His awards and accolades include a knighthood by Britain.
Glycerius, Count of the Domestics, was proclaimed Roman Emperor of the West in March 473, following death of Olybrius, by the magister militum Gundobad who later went to rule the Burgundians. As Eastern Roman Emperor Leo I unrecognised Glycerius as legitimate Emperor, he nominated Julius Nepos who forced Glycerius to abdicate in June 474 and made him Bishop of Salona.
Croat-Yugoslav politician Ante Markovic, who served as Yugoslavia’s last prime minister, witnessed his country being disintegrated into Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia amid an economic collapse. He was also a businessman who built luxury apartments and hydropower plants. He had also served as the director of Rade Koncar.
Yugoslav Croat communist Stjepan Filipović became an icon of opposition to fascism when a picture of him with his arms raised just prior to his execution by the Germans in 1942 became public. He was a major figure of the 1941 Partisan uprising in Serbia and was posthumously named People's Hero of Yugoslavia.
Croatian politician Stjepan Radić, who founded the Croatian People's Peasant Party, is remembered for his pioneering work in uniting the peasant community of Croatia into a prominent political entity. He supported Croatian autonomy. He died of a fatal wound after being shot in the parliament by rival politician Puniša Račić.
A member of the Croatian fascist and nationalist group Ustaše, Dinko Šakić was a leader of the Independent State of Croatia, which was run by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. He also commanded the Jasenovac concentration camp during World War II. Convicted of war crimes, he spent his final years in the Lepoglava prison.
Croatian jurist and former president of Croatia Ivo Josipović is also a talented composer. The Social Democratic Party politician has also taught law at various institutes, apart from serving as a music teacher at the Zagreb Music Academy. He has lent his voice to a couple of animated films, too.
Former prime minister of Croatia and HDZ party member Ivo Sanader had also led his country as its Minister of Science and Technology earlier. In 2020, he was convicted of corruption and sent to 8 years in prison, while he had faced similar convictions in the past too.
A leader of rebel Serbs in Croatia, Goran Hadzic was later tagged as a war criminal. He led Serbian separatists in Croatia in the early to mid-1990s and was also responsible for the killings of several non-Serbs. He later served as the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
Miroslav Škoro initially soared to fame as a leading Croatian pop singer and tamburica player. He has also been a TV host and owns his own music label. He later joined politics and formed the Homeland Movement party. The former deputy speaker of the Croatian parliament is now a member of the Zagreb Assembly.
Croatian military-general and politician Slavko Kvaternik was a founding member of the Croatian fascist-ultranationalist organisation called Ustaša. He proclaimed formation of the Independent State of Croatia in a radio broadcast and served as 1st Minister of Armed Forces of this puppet state of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy that was established during Second World War in parts of occupied Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavian politician Vladko Maček was a prominent leader of the agrarian Croatian Peasant Party and previously worked as a lawyer. He played a major role in the formation of the Banate of Croatia. He had also served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.
Stojan Vranković, better known as Stojko Vranković, is a former Croatian basketball player who currently heads the Croatian Basketball Federation as its president. Apart from winning 2 Olympic silver medals, one each for Yugoslavia and Croatia, he also became a star player for the Greek club Panathinaikos.
Croatian politician Ivica Račan served as Prime Minister of Croatia from 2000 to 2003. During such tenure the Constitution of Croatia was amended granting more power to the parliament and prime minister and reducing power of president. Račan earlier served as Leader of the Opposition, President of the Social Democratic Party and President of the League of Communists of Croatia.
Former prime minister of Croatia, Jadranka Kosor began her career as a journalist and later stepped into politics with the center-right political party Croatian Democratic Union. She has also been the Croatian Minister of Family, Veterans' Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity and has won honors such as the Grand Order of Queen Jelena.
Former Croatian army general Janko Bobetko is remembered as a co-founder of the 1st Sisak Partisan Detachment, which was Yugoslavia’s 1st Partisan anti-fascist military unit during World War II. He served as the Lieutenant General of the JNA and the Croatian Army’s Chief of the General Staff.
Croatian politician and Independent People's Party member Josip Juraj Strossmayer was also a Catholic bishop and a professor. He was part of the pan-South-Slavist Illyrian Movement and also played a key role in the formation of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts and various cultural societies.
Mile Budak is counted among the main ideologists of the Croatian fascist-ultranationalist organisation called Ustaša that under leadership of Ante Pavelić ruled the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy established during Second World War in parts of occupied Yugoslavia. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Roma and Jews were killed by the Ustaše members.
Born in the small Croatian town of Krapina, Ljudevit Gaj grew up to be a leading linguist and one of the pillars of the Illyrian movement. He launched the first Croatian newspaper, The Croatian, Slavonian, and Dalmatian Daystar, and also developed Gaj's Latin alphabet. He was also a National Assembly leader.
Retired Brigadier General of the Croatian Army Rahim Ademi left the Yugoslav People's Army and eventually joined the Ministry of the Interior and the Croatian Army forces during the Croatian War of Independence. He took part in several battles during this time including in Operation Storm. He received Order of Duke Domagoj medal that is awarded for valour in combat.
Croatian politician Savka Dabčević-Kučar, who once served as the president of the Croatian People's Party, is remembered as one of the most influential female Croatian politicians. She led the League of Communists of Croatia as its Secretary and was the first European woman to lead a political entity as its head of government.
General-lieutenant of the Ustaše, Dido Kvaternik also headed the Croatian security service, which was under the Nazis during World War II. The son of Croatian military general Slavko Kvaternik, he established a reign of terror and later fled to Argentina, where he eventually died in a car crash.
Leading Croatian historian Milan Šufflay is remembered as the founder of the interdisciplinary branch known as Albanology. He also penned On the Pacific, which is regarded as Croatia’s first science-fiction novel. A nationalist politician, too, he was assassinated by members of Young Yugoslavia in Zagreb, causing massive protests.
A member of the fascist organization Ustaše, Croatian Ljubo Miloš went from being a municipal clerk to the head of the Croatian secret service. He also commanded the Jasenovac and Lepoglava concentration camps. Accused of war crimes, he initially fled to Austria but was later convicted and hanged to death.
Croatian general Zvonimir Červenko had been the Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Army. He had also been a lecturer at Zagreb’s Military Technical Academy. He played a major role in the Croatian War of Independence and soared to fame especially after the battle known as Operation Storm.
Desiderius Hampel joined Austro- Hungarian Army in 1914 and became Oberleutnant in May 1917 during First World War. He served Royal Hungarian Army (1937-41), Croatian Home Guard (NDH) (1941-42) and Waffen SS (1942-45) as well. He became a SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS and commanded the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) during Second World War.
Yugoslav and Croatian lawyer and politician Ante Trumbić was a prominent Yugoslav nationalist leader during First World War. He led Yugoslav Committee and played an instrumental role in creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that was formed in 1918 following collapse of Austria-Hungary at the end of the war. He served as Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia and Mayor of Split.
Austro-Hungarian naval chief who led during World War I, Anton Haus later served as the Navy's Grand Admiral. He also penned the iconic academic text Oceanography and Maritime Meteorology when he worked as a teacher at the Naval Academy. He also supported unrestricted submarine warfare, a technique followed by the Germans.
One of the most influential poets of the Croatian Illyrian movement, Petar Preradovic was a leading figure of romanticism in Croatia. A military officer, too, he participated in the Wars of Italian Unification and was also posted in Austria. His final years were marked with bad health and gambling.
Croatian politician Jakob Graf zu Eltz belonged to a German noble family and also held the title of the Knight of Malta. While he initially studied law, he later managed his family’s Eltville wine estate and taught viticulture at Mainz University. He also became a Croatian MP as an independent candidate.
Nobel Prize-nominated Croatian economist Branko Horvat had a long career at the Institute of Economic Sciences and also penned The Political Economy of Socialism. He advocated a socialist system, now known as market socialism, or the Illyrian model, in which firms were owned by their workers and compete in a free market.
Noted Croatian politician and journalist Frano Supilo was a founding member of the Yugoslav Committee that lobbied for independence from Austria-Hungary. He took part in several debates as a member of the committee. He later resigned from the committee, however, endorsed the Declaration of Corfu that created the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He served as a Member of the Croatian Parliament.
Croatian politician and a Member of the European Parliament Karlo Ressler is also a qualified criminal lawyer who has worked at Zagreb University's Faculty of Law. A Croatian Democratic Union member, he has previously also served as a legal advisor to Croatian prime minister Andrej Plenković.
Croatian nobleman and soldier Bernardin Frankopan was a member of the House of Frankopan. He was one of the few survivors of the Battle of Krbava Field against the Ottomans. He also established the town of Ogulin and also published the famous register Urbarium of Modruš.
Croatian scientist Radovan Fuchs, who is the country’s Minister of Science and Education, has had an illustrious academic career, too. Equipped with a PhD from Sweden’s Uppsala University, he specialized in areas such as biomedicine, toxicology, and pharmacology. He has represented both the Democratic Centre and the Croatian Democratic Union.