Adopted name of Josip Broz (1892-1980) Yugoslav communist politician, in effective control of Yugoslavia from 1943. In World War II he organized the National Liberation Army to carry on guerrilla warfare against the German invasion 1941, and was created marshal 1943. As prime minister 1945–53 and president from 1953, he followed a foreign policy of “positive neutralism”.
Born in Croatia, Tito served in the Austrian army during World War I, was captured by the Russians, and fought in the Red Army during the civil wars. Returning to Yugoslavia 1923, he became prominent as a communist and during World War II as partisan leader against the Nazis. In 1943 he established a provisional government and gained Allied recognition (previously given to the Chetniks) 1944, and with Soviet help proclaimed the federal republic 1945. As prime minister, he settled the Yugoslav minorities question on a federal basis, and in 1953 took the newly created post of president (for life from 1974). In 1948 he was criticized by the USSR and other communist countries for his successful system of decentralized profit-sharing workers' councils, and became a leader of the nonaligned movement.