Tito becomes president for life

Tito becomes president for life

Josip Broz, a.k.a. Marshal Tito, is declared president for life of Yugoslavia on April 7, 1963. Broz fought for the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War and was an effective communist organizer in Yugoslavia in the 1920s. Imprisoned in 1928, he was released in 1934 and rose rapidly in the ranks of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. During this time he took the name Tito, which was a pseudonym he used in underground party work. In 1941, Axis forces invaded and occupied Yugoslavia, and Tito and his communist partisans emerged as the leaders of the anti-Nazi resistance. Although the Yugoslav republics were granted autonomy over some of their affairs, Tito held the ultimate power and ruled dictatorially, suppressing opposition to his rule. His refusal to answer to the Soviet Union while carrying out his own moderate style of communism eventually won respect from both Moscow and Washington. His leadership spanned four decades before his death in 1980 at the age of 87.