Franjo Tudjman, (born May 14, 1922, Veliko Trgovisce, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes [now Croatia]--died December 10, 1999, Zagreb, Croatia), Croat politician who led the country to independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and who was president until his death.
In 1989 Tudjman founded the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which won Croatia's first free parliamentary elections in 1990. Named president, he pressed for the creation of a homogenous Croat state. When Serb areas of Eastern and Western Slavonia and the Krajina revolted, they were occupied by the Yugoslav army. Beginning in 1995, Tudjman reasserted control over these areas and established virtual control over portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina with majority Croat populations. Although he signed the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement on Bosnia, his authoritarian style, along with his refusal to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, led to the international isolation of Croatia.
Having joined the Partisans in 1941, Tudjman launched a military career in the Yugoslav army, rose quickly in rank, and in 1960 became one of its youngest generals.
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