Czechoslovak Communist president Antonín Novotný was born on 10 December 1904 in Prague to a working class family.
He became a charter member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia when it was founded in 1921. He became a professional Communist Party functionary in 1929.
During the Second World War when the Communist Party was illegal, Novotný became one of the leaders of the underground Communist movement in Prague. He was later arrested by Gestapo and deported to a concentration camp in Austria.
After the War he returned to Czechoslovakia and in 1946 he was elected a member of the governing Central Committee of the Communist Party.
In 1953, after the party’s leader Klement Gottwald’s death Novotný became the new leader of the Party and after the death of the country’s president Antonín Zápotocký in 1957, he was named the new President of Czechoslovakia.
During his rule he replaced the constitution from 1948 with the new fully communist constitution. Because of the popular pressure he was also forced to adopt some reforms during the 1960s.
In January 1968, he was forced to resign from the Party’s leadership and he was replaced by a reformer Alexander Dubček. Later that year in March, he was also deprived from presidency.
His political influence was later very weak. He died on 28 January 1975.