JOSIP BROZ TITO
The first president of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito was born on 7 May 1892 in a small Croatian town Kumrovec.
After being drafted into military service, Tito became the youngest Sergeant Major in the Austro-Hungarian Army of that time. During the First World War he was seriously injured and captured by the Imperial Russians. He was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains. In 1917, he took part in the October Revolution, and later joined a Red Guard unit in Omsk. When he returned back home, he returned to the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia and joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
Tito was the main creator of the second Yugoslavia, a socialist federation which remained from 1943 until 1991.
In spite of being one of the creators of Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), he soon became the first Cominform member to oppose the Soviet hegemony and the only one to manage to leave Cominform. He began with his own socialist program and in 1951 he introduced a self-management system that distinguished Yugoslavia from other socialist countries. His actions aiming the model of market socialism led to an economic expansion in the 1950s and 1960s and to a decline during the 1970s. His aim was the suppression of nationalist sentiment and the unity of the six Yugoslav nations. However, after Tito died in 1980, the relations between the Yugoslav republics got worse and in 1991 the country fell apart and went into a series of wars. The disorders continued the whole decade and impacted most of the former Yugoslav republics. Tito remains a very controversial character in the Balkans.