Josip Broz Tito Biography

(Yugoslav Communist Revolutionary and the chief Architect of the 'Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia')

Birthday: May 25, 1892 (Gemini)

Born In: Kumrovec, Croatia

Josip Broz Tito was a popular statesman, who served as a Yugoslav Partisan, which was Europe’s most effective anti-Nazi resistance movement. Despite being an outright authoritarian and dictator, he was loved by all for his successful economic and diplomatic policies. He was popularly called the architect of ‘second Yugoslavia’, a socialist federation which initiated from World War II until 1991. During his term, he took on various prominent roles, starting with being a Secretary-General and later president of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia from 1939-80, Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Partisans from 1941-45 and the Yugoslav People’s Army from 1945-80. He served as a Premier from 1945-53, Marshal from 1943-80, and President of Yugoslavia from 1953 until his death in 1980. What made him different from other communist leaders was the fact that he defied the norms set by the Soviet and instead preferred to lead Yugoslavia on road to socialism. During the latter half of his life, he became an arch supporter of non-aligned movement and its first Secretary General in 1961. To know in details about his life, scroll further.

Quick Facts

Died At Age: 87


Spouse/Ex-: Herta Haas (m. 1940–1943), Jovanka Broz (m. 1952–1980), Pelagija Broz (m. 1919–1939)

father: Franjo Broz

mother: Marija Javeršek

siblings: Martin

children: Mišo Broz

Born Country: Croatia/hrvatska

Revolutionaries Political Leaders

political ideology: League of Communists of Yugoslavia (SKJ)

Died on: May 4, 1980

place of death: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ancestry: Slovenian Croatian

Ideology: Communists

  • 1

    = What role did Josip Broz Tito play in World War II?

    Josip Broz Tito was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans, a resistance movement against the Axis powers during World War II.

  • 2

    = How did Josip Broz Tito rise to power in Yugoslavia?

    Josip Broz Tito rose to power in Yugoslavia by leading the Partisan resistance movement during World War II and later establishing himself as the leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

  • 3

    = What was Josip Broz Tito's relationship with the Soviet Union?

    Josip Broz Tito had a turbulent relationship with the Soviet Union, as he pursued a policy of non-alignment and independence from Soviet influence.

  • 4

    = What was the significance of Josip Broz Tito's leadership in Yugoslavia?

    Josip Broz Tito's leadership in Yugoslavia was significant for maintaining the country's unity and independence, as well as for promoting the concept of "Brotherhood and Unity" among different ethnic groups.

  • 5

    = How did Josip Broz Tito's death impact Yugoslavia?

    Josip Broz Tito's death in 1980 marked the beginning of a period of political and economic instability in Yugoslavia, eventually leading to the breakup of the country in the 1990s.

Childhood & Early Life
Josip Broz was the seventh child of the couple Franjo and Marija Broz. While his father was a Croatian, his mother belonged to Slovene.
Young Broz enrolled at a primary school in Kumrovec in 1900 and completed his early education in 1905. Two years henceforth, he moved to Sisak to train himself as a machinist’s apprentice.
Upon completing his training, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slavonia. In the following years, he worked as a metallurgy worker for various organizations in Kamnik, Cenkov, Munich, Mannheim and Austria.
In 1913, he was inducted in the Austro-Hungarian army. After completing a non-commissioned training, he was appointed as a sergeant in the war against Serbia in 1914.
His heroic antics earned him the status of Sergeant Major in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1915, he was transferred to the Russian front, where he fought ceaselessly before being wounded and captured by the Russian army.
After being medically treated, he was sent to the prisoner-of-war camps. However, his tenure at the prison did not last long and soon attained freedom in 1917 when revolting workers broke into the prison.
He actively participated in the Bolshevik propaganda and July Days demonstrations in Petrograd. Though arrested yet again, he soon freed himself and escaped to Omsk, Siberia, where he joined the Red Guard unit following the October Revolution.
In 1920, he moved to his native place, Croatia, which had become part of the newly established Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.
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Returning to Yugoslavia, he joined the Communist Party, which won the 1920 elections gaining 59 seats. However, a state ban against communist activities led him to relocate to Veliko Trojstvo where he found work as a machinist.
In the years to come, he took up various jobs finally being appointed secretary of Metal Workers' Union of Croatia in Zagreb. Meanwhile, he continued to function as communist party member, reviving his links and working underground.
In 1928, he finally took up the position of Zagreb Branch Secretary of CPY. Assuming the post, he carried out various anti-government activities in the form of street demonstrations and the like.
His activities against the authorities did not last long and he was arrested and imprisoned for five years. However, all through the trial he portrayed a courageous demeanour which won him respect of party members.
It was in the jail that he met Moša Pijade, who became his ideological mentor. Also, during this time, he took up the title of Tito. Upon his release, he moved to Vienna, and became a member of the CPY Politburo.
For a year from 1935 to 1936, he worked under the orders of CPY Secretary General Milan Gorkić in Soviet Union. Under his guidance, CPY became increasingly powerful and functional developing new ties with militants.
The death of Gorkic in 1937 led to his appointment as the CPY Secretary General. He formally assumed the role in 1939 and organized an underground minicongress in 1940. Attended by 7000 members, the congress discussed the leftist strategy that needed to be employed.
During the German invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, CPY was the only organized and functional political group. Making most of the opportunity, he urged the people to unite fight against occupation.
He established a military committee within CPY and was appointed Commander in Chief. Under the national liberation struggle, he concealed the ultimate aim for seizure of power by CPY.
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Establishing communist dominated liberation committees, his Partisans became a threat not just for the invaders but for the royal government-in-exile and its domestic exponents, the Serbian Chetniks of Dragoljub Mihailovic.
Being the only leader of the Yugoslavia resistance, the Allies recognized him and the Partisans at the Tehran Conference. A treaty was signed which led to the merger of his government with King Peter II’s government-of-exile.
Following the Treaty of Vis, King Peter urged the Yugoslavia nationals to come under Tito’s leadership failing which they would be called traitors. Tito was then recognized as the provisional Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, in addition to being Commander-In-Chief of Yugoslav forces.
In October 1944, the Soviet army aided by Tito’s Partisans liberated Serbia thereby sealing the fate of Yugoslav dynasty. By 1945, the Communist party emerged as the main controller of the Yugoslavia.
Gaining massive popular support, he earned the title of being the ‘liberator of Yugoslavia’. He attained overwhelming electoral victory thus becoming the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The country was renamed Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia.
His crucial role-play at liberating Yugoslavia led him to believe that the country could follow its own interest in contrast to other Bloc states that had to recognize Soviet as their guiding force.
Consolidating his powers, he formed a new constitution in November 1945 for the country. He conducted trials of all imprisoned collaborationists and opposition figures. He then aimed to develop relations with Albania and Greece, which Stalin disapproved.
The excess of imitation irked Stalin so much so that he strived to eliminate Tito from Yugoslavia leadership but without much success. The rift between the two led to Yugoslavia being cut off from the Soviet Union and the eastern European nations, and instead getting close to the Western nations.
Following the death of Stalin, he was conferred with two choices, either to continue his dictatorship and westward inclination or give up the same and reconcile with new Soviet leadership. However, his unique foreign and internal policies led him to sought ties with leaders of developing countries.
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He made Yugoslavia one of the founding members of the Non Aligned Movement and established strong ties with the Third World countries. He was made NAM’s first Secretary General. The first meeting took place in Belgrade in 1961.
In 1963, he officially changed the name of the country to Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He brought about various reforms in the country, giving people freedom of speech and religious expression.
In 1967, he abolished the need of visa thereby opening its border to foreign visitors. He also actively took part in promoting peaceful resolution in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In 1971, he was re-elected as the President of Yugoslavia. Following his appointment, he brought about several constitutional amendments that decentralized the country by providing autonomy to the republics.
While the republics had control over education, healthcare, and housing sector, the federals were in charge of the foreign affairs, defense, internal security, monetary affairs, free trade within Yugoslavia and development loans to poorer regions.
In 1974, a new constitution was passed which made him the President for life. He, however, reduced his role in the daily functioning of the country but continued to travel abroad.
Awards & Achievements
For his outstanding contribution, he was conferred with numerous awards including 98 international decorations and 21 national decorations. The most notable award includes French Legion of Honour and National Order of Merit, the British Order of the Bath, the Soviet Order of Lenin, the Japanese Order of the Chrysanthemum, the German Federal Cross of Merit, and the Order of Merit of Italy.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married thrice in his life, first to Pelagija Broz, then Herta Haas and lastly to Jovanka Broz. In his life, he fathered four children Zlatica Broz, Hinko Broz, Žarko Leon Broz and Aleksandar Broz.
In 1979, he became increasingly ill. He was admitted to the Medical Centre in Ljubljana on several occasions between 1979 and 1980. He finally succumbed death on May 4, 1980.
His funeral was widely attended by statesman and politicians across the globe. He was buried in a mausoleum in Belgrade
Facts About Josip Broz Tito

Josip Broz Tito was known for his love of animals, particularly his pet dogs. He had a special bond with his canine companions and often took them on walks around his estate.

Tito was a skilled amateur painter and enjoyed expressing his creativity through art. He painted landscapes, portraits, and abstract pieces in his spare time.

Tito had a passion for gardening and spent time cultivating various plants and flowers in his personal garden. He found solace and relaxation in tending to his greenery.

Tito was a polyglot and was fluent in several languages, including Serbo-Croatian, Russian, French, and German. His linguistic abilities helped him communicate effectively on the international stage during his diplomatic endeavors.

See the events in life of Josip Broz Tito in Chronological Order

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