The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Croatia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Croatian Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 54 of which were born in Croatia. This makes Croatia the birth place of the 46th most number of Politicians behind Saudi Arabia and Estonia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Croatian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Croatian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Croatian Politicians.

Photo of Josip Broz Tito

1. Josip Broz Tito (1892 - 1980)

With an HPI of 87.76, Josip Broz Tito is the most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 96 different languages on wikipedia.

Josip Broz (Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic: Јосип Броз, pronounced [jǒsip brôːz]; 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito (; Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic: Тито, pronounced [tîto]), was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various positions from 1943 until his death in 1980. During World War II, he was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in German-occupied Europe. He also served as the president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 14 January 1953 until his death on 4 May 1980. Broz was born to a Croat father and Slovene mother in the village of Kumrovec, Austria-Hungary (now in Croatia). Drafted into military service, he distinguished himself, becoming the youngest sergeant major in the Austro-Hungarian Army of that time. After being seriously wounded and captured by the Russians during World War I, he was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains. He participated in some events of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the subsequent Civil War. Upon his return to the Balkans in 1918, Broz entered the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia, where he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). He later was elected as general secretary, later president, of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1939–1980). During World War II, after the Nazi invasion of the area, he led the Yugoslav guerrilla movement, the Partisans (1941–1945). By the end of the war, the Partisans — with the backing of the invading Soviet Union — took power over Yugoslavia. After the war, he was the chief architect of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), serving as both prime minister (1944–1963), president (later President for life) (1953–1980), and marshal of Yugoslavia, the highest rank of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). Despite being one of the founders of Cominform, he became the first Cominform member to defy Soviet hegemony in 1948. He was the only leader in Joseph Stalin's time to leave Cominform and begin with his country's own socialist program, which contained elements of market socialism. Economists active in the former Yugoslavia, including Czech-born Jaroslav Vanek and Yugoslav-born Branko Horvat, promoted a model of market socialism that was dubbed the Illyrian model. Firms were socially owned by their employees and structured on workers' self-management; they competed in open and free markets. Tito managed to keep ethnic tensions under control by delegating as much power as possible to each republic. The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution defined SFR Yugoslavia as a "federal republic of equal nations and nationalities, freely united on the principle of brotherhood and unity in achieving specific and common interest." Each republic was also given the right to self-determination and secession if done through legal channels. Lastly, Tito gave Kosovo and Vojvodina, the two constituent provinces of Serbia, substantially increased autonomy, including de facto veto power in the Serbian parliament. Tito built a very powerful cult of personality around himself, which was maintained by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia after his death. Twelve years after his death, as communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia dissolved and descended into a series of interethnic wars. Although some historians criticize his presidency as authoritarian, others see Tito as a benevolent dictator. He was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad. Viewed as a unifying symbol, his internal policies maintained the peaceful coexistence of the nations of the Yugoslav federation. He gained further international attention as the chief leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, alongside Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. With a highly favourable reputation abroad in both Cold War blocs, he received some 98 foreign decorations, including the Legion of Honour and the Order of the Bath.

Photo of Diocletian

2. Diocletian (244 - 311)

With an HPI of 87.19, Diocletian is the 2nd most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 79 different languages.

Diocletian (; Latin: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, Greek: Διοκλητιανός; c. 242/245 – 311/312), nicknamed Iovius, was Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in the Roman Province of Dalmatia, and originally named Diocles, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military early in his career, eventually becoming a cavalry commander for the army of Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor by the troops. The title was also claimed by Carus's surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. Diocletian's reign stabilized the empire and ended the Crisis of the Third Century. He appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286. Diocletian reigned in the Eastern Empire, and Maximian reigned in the Western Empire. Diocletian delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as junior co-emperors (each with the title Caesar), under himself and Maximian respectively. Under the Tetrarchy, or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. Diocletian secured the empire's borders and purged it of all threats to his power. He defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, and usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298. Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned successfully against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. In 299, he sacked their capital, Ctesiphon. Diocletian led the subsequent negotiations and achieved a lasting and favourable peace. Diocletian separated and enlarged the empire's civil and military services and reorganized the empire's provincial divisions, establishing the largest and most bureaucratic government in the history of the empire. He established new administrative centres in Nicomedia, Mediolanum, Sirmium, and Trevorum, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome. Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies and architecture. Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, and construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform. From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, and levied at generally higher rates. Not all of Diocletian's plans were successful: the Edict on Maximum Prices (301), his attempt to curb inflation via price controls, was counterproductive and quickly ignored. Although effective while he ruled, Diocletian's tetrarchic system collapsed after his abdication under the competing dynastic claims of Maxentius and Constantine, sons of Maximian and Constantius respectively. The Diocletianic Persecution (303–312), the empire's last, largest, and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity, failed to eliminate Christianity in the empire. After 324, Christianity became the empire's preferred religion under Constantine. Despite these failures and challenges, Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain essentially intact for another 150 years despite being near the brink of collapse in Diocletian's youth. Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on 1 May 305, becoming the first Roman emperor to abdicate the position voluntarily. He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast, tending to his vegetable gardens. His palace eventually became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia.

Photo of Valens

3. Valens (328 - 378)

With an HPI of 79.23, Valens is the 3rd most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Valens (Greek: Ουάλης, translit. Ouálēs; 328 – 9 August 378) was Roman emperor from 364 to 378. He was the younger brother of the emperor Valentinian I, who gave Valens the eastern half of the Roman Empire to rule. Before 364, Valens had a largely unremarkable military career. In 378, Valens was defeated and killed at the Battle of Adrianople against the invading Goths, which astonished contemporaries and marked the beginning of barbarian encroachment into Roman territory. As emperor Valens continually faced threats both internal and external. He defeated, after some dithering, the usurper Procopius in 366, and campaigned against the Goths across the Danube in 367 and 369. In the following years, Valens focused on the eastern frontier, where he faced the perennial threat of Persia, particularly in Armenia, as well as additional conflicts with the Saracens and Isaurians. Domestically, he inaugurated the Aqueduct of Valens in Constantinople, which was longer than all the aqueducts of Rome. In 376–77, the Gothic War broke out, following a mismanaged attempt to settle the Goths in the Balkans. Valens returned from the east to fight the Goths in person, but lack of coordination with his nephew, the western emperor Gratian (Valentinian I's son), as well as poor battle tactics, led to Valens and much of the eastern Roman army dying at a battle near Adrianople in 378. Although Valens is described as indecisive, impressionable, a mediocre general and overall "utterly undistinguished", he was also a conscientious and capable administrator, and a notable achievement of his was to significantly relieve the burden of taxation on the population. At the same time, his suspicious and fearful disposition, and excessive concern for personal safety, resulted in numerous treason trials and executions, which heavily stained his reputation. In religious matters, Valens favored a compromise between Nicene Christianity and the various non-trinitarian Christian sects, and interfered little in the affairs of the pagans.

Photo of Valentinian I

4. Valentinian I (321 - 375)

With an HPI of 78.43, Valentinian I is the 4th most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 67 different languages.

Valentinian I (Latin: Flavius Valentinianus; 321 – 17 November 375), sometimes called Valentinian the Great, was Roman emperor from 364 to 375. Upon becoming emperor, he made his brother Valens his co-emperor, giving him rule of the eastern provinces. Valentinian retained the west. During his reign, Valentinian fought successfully against the Alamanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians. Most notable was his victory over the Alamanni in 367 at the Battle of Solicinium. His general Count Theodosius defeated a revolt in Africa and the Great Conspiracy, a coordinated assault on Roman Britain by Picts, Scots, and Saxons. Valentinian was also the last emperor to conduct campaigns across both the Rhine and Danube rivers. Valentinian rebuilt and improved the fortifications along the frontiers, even building fortresses in enemy territory. He founded the Valentinianic dynasty, with his sons Gratian and Valentinian II succeeding him in the western half of the empire.

Photo of Franjo Tuđman

5. Franjo Tuđman (1922 - 1999)

With an HPI of 78.39, Franjo Tuđman is the 5th most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Franjo Tuđman (Croatian pronunciation: [frǎːɲo tûdʑman] (listen); 14 May 1922 – 10 December 1999), also written as Franjo Tudjman, was a Croatian politician and historian. Following the country's independence from Yugoslavia, he became the first President of Croatia and served as president from 1990 until his death in 1999. He was the 9th and last President of the Presidency of SR Croatia from May to July 1990. Tuđman was born in Veliko Trgovišće. In his youth, he fought during World War II as a member of the Yugoslav Partisans. After the war, he took a post in the Ministry of Defence, later attaining the rank of major general of the Yugoslav Army in 1960. After his military career, he dedicated himself to the study of geopolitics. In 1963, he became a professor at the Zagreb Faculty of Political Sciences. He received a doctorate in history in 1965 and worked as a historian until coming into conflict with the regime. Tuđman participated in the Croatian Spring movement that called for reforms in the country and was imprisoned for his activities in 1972. He lived relatively anonymously in the following years until the end of communism, whereupon he began his political career by founding the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in 1989. HDZ won the first Croatian parliamentary elections in 1990 and Tuđman became the President of the Presidency of SR Croatia. As president, Tuđman introduced a new constitution and pressed for the creation of an independent Croatia. On 19 May 1991, an independence referendum was held, which was approved by 93 percent of voters. Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991. Areas with a Serb majority revolted, backed by the Yugoslav Army, and Tuđman led Croatia during its War of Independence. A ceasefire was signed in 1992, but the war had spread into Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Croats fought in an alliance with Bosniaks. Their cooperation fell apart in late 1992 and Tuđman's government sided with Herzeg-Bosnia during the Croat–Bosniak War with the goal to reunite the Croatian people, a move that brought criticism from the international community. In March 1994, he signed the Washington Agreement with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegović that re-allied Croats and Bosniaks. In August 1995, he authorized a major offensive known as Operation Storm which effectively ended the war in Croatia. In the same year, he was one of the signatories of the Dayton Agreement that put an end to the Bosnian War. He was re-elected president in 1992 and 1997 and remained in power until his death in 1999. While supporters point out his role in achieving Croatian independence, critics have described his presidency as authoritarian. Surveys after Tuđman's death have generally shown a high favorability rating among the Croatian public.

Photo of János Kádár

6. János Kádár (1912 - 1989)

With an HPI of 75.44, János Kádár is the 6th most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 52 different languages.

János József Kádár (; Hungarian: [ˈjaːnoʃ ˈkaːdaːr]; 26 May 1912 – 6 July 1989), born János József Czermanik, was a Hungarian communist leader and the General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, a position he would serve in for 32 years. Declining health led to his retirement in 1988, and he would die a year later in 1989.Kádár was born in Fiume in poverty to a single mother. After living in the countryside for some years, Kádár and his mother moved to Budapest. He joined the Party of Communists in Hungary's youth organisation, KIMSZ and went on to become a prominent figure in the pre-1939 Communist Party, eventually becoming First Secretary. As leader, he would dissolve the party and reorganize it as the Peace Party however, the new party would fail to win much popular support. After World War II, with Soviet support, the Communist Party would take power in Hungary. Kádár rose through the Party ranks, serving as Interior Minister from 1948 to 1950. In 1951 he was imprisoned by the government of Mátyás Rákosi, but was released in 1954 by reformist Prime Minister Imre Nagy. On 25 October 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution, Kádár replaced Ernő Gerő as General Secretary of the Party, taking part in Nagy's revolutionary government. However, a week later he would break with Nagy over his decision to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact. After the Soviet intervention, Kádár was selected to lead the country. He presided over a period of repression, ordering the execution of many revolutionaries (including Nagy and his close associates) and the imprisonment of many others. He would gradually moderate, releasing the remaining prisoners of this period in 1963. As leader of Hungary Kádár attempted to liberalize the Hungarian economy with a greater focus on consumer goods, in what would become known as Goulash Communism. As a result of the relatively high standard of living, fewer human rights abuses, and more relaxed travel restrictions than those present in other Eastern Bloc countries, Hungary was generally considered the most livable country in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Kádár was succeeded by Károly Grósz as General Secretary on 22 May 1988. Grósz would only serve a year in this post due to the fall of communism in Europe in 1989. While at the head of Hungary, Kádár pushed for an improvement in standards of living. Kádár increased international trade with non-communist countries, in particular those of Western Europe. Kádár's policies differed from those of other communist leaders such as Nicolae Ceaușescu, Enver Hoxha and Wojciech Jaruzelski, all of whom favored more orthodox interpretations of Marxism-Leninism. Kádár's reformist policies would in turn be viewed with distrust by the conservative leadership of Leonid Brezhnev in the Soviet Union. Kádár's legacy remains disputed, however nostalgia for the Kádár era remains widespread in Hungary. A 2020 poll carried out by policy solutions found that 54 percent of people believe that most had a better life under Kádár, as opposed to 31 percent who disagree with that assertion.

Photo of Crispus

7. Crispus (305 - 326)

With an HPI of 72.39, Crispus is the 7th most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Flavius Julius Crispus (; c. 300 – 326) was the eldest son of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great and his junior emperor (caesar) from March 317 until his execution by his father in 326. The grandson of the augustus Constantius I, Crispus was the elder half-brother of the future augustus Constantine II and became co-caesar with him and with his cousin Licinius II at Serdica, part of the settlement ending the Cibalensean War between Constantine and his father's rival Licinius I. Crispus ruled from Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Roman Gaul between 318 and 323 and defeated the navy of Licinius I at the Battle of the Hellespont in 324, which with the land Battle of Chrysopolis won by Constantine forced the resignation of Licinius and his son, leaving Constantine the sole augustus and the Constantinian dynasty in control of the entire empire. It is unclear what was legal status of the relationship Crispus's mother Minervina had with Constantine; Crispus may have been an illegitimate son. Crispus's tutor in rhetoric was the Late Latin historian of Early Christianity, Lactantius. Crispus may be the young prince depicted on the Gemma Constantiniana, a great cameo depicting Constantine and his wife Fausta, though the depiction may instead be of Fausta's own son, the future augustus Constantius II. While at Augusta Treverorum, Crispus's praetorian prefect for the prefecture of Gaul was the great Junius Annius Bassus. After his elevation to imperial rank, at which point he was also entitled princeps iuventutis ("Prince of Youth"), the Latin rhetorician Nazarius composed a panegyric preserved in the Panegyrici Latini, which honoured Crispus's military victories over the Franks in c. 319. Crispus was three times Roman consul, for the years 318, 321, and 324. Within two years of the defeat and surrender of Licinius, Constantine had not only put his brother-in-law and former co-augustus to death, but also executed his nephew Licinius II, the son of his sister Flavia Julia Constantia. According to the Latin histories of Ammianus Marcellinus and Aurelius Victor, after a trial whose real circumstances are mysterious, Constantine executed Crispus at Pola (Pula) in 326. Fausta, whose son Constantius II became caesar in November 324, was also put to death, and the Late Greek historian Zosimus and the Byzantine Greek writer Joannes Zonaras wrote that Constantine had accused Crispus of incest with his stepmother. After his death, Crispus was subjected to damnatio memoriae.

Photo of Joanna II of Naples

8. Joanna II of Naples (1373 - 1435)

With an HPI of 71.66, Joanna II of Naples is the 8th most famous Croatian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Joanna II (25 June 1371 – 2 February 1435) was reigning Queen of Naples from 1414 to her death, upon which the Capetian House of Anjou became extinct. As a mere formality, she used the title of Queen of Jerusalem, Sicily, and Hungary.

Photo of Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

9. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (1968 - )

With an HPI of 71.41, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is the 9th most famous Croatian Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 88 different languages.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (pronounced [ɡrǎbar kitǎːroʋitɕ] (listen); born 29 April 1968) is a Croatian politician and diplomat who served as President of Croatia from 2015 to 2020. She was the first woman to be elected to the office since the first multi-party elections in 1990 and independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. At 46 years of age, she also became the youngest person to assume the presidency.Before her election as President of Croatia, Grabar-Kitarović held a number of governmental and diplomatic posts. She was minister of European Affairs from 2003 to 2005, the first female minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2005 to 2008, Croatian ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011 and assistant secretary general for public diplomacy at NATO under Secretaries General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Jens Stoltenberg from 2011 to 2014.She is a recipient of the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Award and a number of national and international awards, decorations, honorary doctorates and honorary citizenships.Grabar-Kitarović was a member of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union party from 1993 to 2015 and was also one of three Croatian members of the Trilateral Commission, but she was required to resign both positions upon taking office as president in 2015, as Croatian presidents are not permitted to hold other political positions or party membership while in office. As president, she launched the Three Seas Initiative in 2015, together with Polish President Andrzej Duda. In 2017, Forbes magazine listed Grabar-Kitarović as the world's 39th most powerful woman.In 2020 she was elected Croatia's representative in the International Olympic Committee.

Photo of Ivan Ribar

10. Ivan Ribar (1881 - 1968)

With an HPI of 70.66, Ivan Ribar is the 10th most famous Croatian Politician.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Ivan Ribar (Croatian pronunciation: [ǐvan rîbaːr]; 21 January 1881 – 2 February 1968) was a Croatian politician who served in several governments of various forms in Yugoslavia. Ideologically a Pan-Slavist and communist, he was a prominent member of the Yugoslav Partisans, who resisted the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia.

Pantheon has 54 people classified as politicians born between 300 BC and 1970. Of these 54, 17 (31.48%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Zoran Milanović, and Ivo Josipović. The most famous deceased politicians include Josip Broz Tito, Diocletian, and Valens. As of October 2020, 2 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski and Dubravka Šuica.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2020)

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