This article lists the heads of state of Yugoslavia from the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) in 1918 until the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a hereditary monarchy ruled by the House of Karađorđević from 1918 up until World War II. After the war, SFR Yugoslavia was headed first by Ivan Ribar, the President of the Presidency of the National Assembly (the parliamentary speaker), and then by President Josip Broz Tito from 1953 up until his death in 1980.[1] Afterwards, the Presidency of Yugoslavia assumed the role of a collective head of state,[2] with the title of President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia rotating among the representatives of the republics and autonomous provinces that composed the Presidency. However, until 1990 the position of President of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia was usually the most powerful position, most often coinciding with the President of the Presidency. With the introduction of multi-party system in 1990, individual republics elected their own heads of state, but the country's head of state continued to rotate among appointed representatives of republics and autonomous provinces until the country dissolved two years later.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Main article: Kingdom of Yugoslavia

King of Yugoslavia
Краљ Југославије
Kralj Jugoslavije
Longest to reign

16 August 1921 – 9 October 1934
StyleHis Majesty
First monarchPeter I
Last monarchPeter II
Formation1 December 1918
Abolition29 November 1945
ResidenceRoyal Compound, Belgrade
Pretender(s)Line of succession

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was created by the unification of the Kingdom of Serbia (the Kingdom of Montenegro had united with Serbia five days previously, while the regions of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Vardar Macedonia were parts of Serbia prior to the unification) and the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (itself formed from territories of the former Austria-Hungary) on 1 December 1918.

Until 6 January 1929, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was a parliamentary monarchy. On that day, King Alexander abolished the Vidovdan Constitution (adopted in 1921), prorogued the National Assembly and introduced a personal dictatorship (so-called 6 January Dictatorship).[3] He officially renamed the country Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929 and, although granted the 1931 Constitution, continued to rule as a de facto absolute monarch until his assassination on 9 October 1934, during a state visit to France. After his assassination, parliamentary monarchy was put back in place.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was defeated and occupied on 17 April 1941 after the German invasion. The monarchy was formally abolished and a republic proclaimed on 29 November 1945.

All monarchs were members of the Karađorđević dynasty. Peter I, previously King of Serbia (since the May Coup in 1903 against the Obrenović dynasty), was proclaimed King by representatives of South Slav states. The royal family continued through his son (Alexander I) and his grandson (Peter II).


  Denotes an acting head of state
Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Succession right Note
Peter I
1 December 1918

16 August 1921
(2 years, 259 days)
Peter I of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 29 June 1844
Son of Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia and Persida Nenadović
Princess Zorka of Montenegro
30 July 1883
5 children
16 August 1921
aged 77
Previously King of Serbia (June 15, 1903 – December 1, 1918),
proclaimed King by representatives of South Slav states
Held the title "King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes". Prince Alexander served as regent in his final years.
16 August 1921

9 October 1934
(13 years, 55 days)
Alexander I of Yugoslavia 16 December 1888
Son of Peter I and Princess Zorka of Montenegro
Maria of Yugoslavia
8 June 1922
3 children
9 October 1934
aged 45
Son of the preceding Changed title to "King of Yugoslavia" in 1929.
Assassinated in Marseilles.
9 October 1934

27 March 1941
(6 years, 170 days)
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia 27 April 1893
Saint Petersburg
Son of Prince Arsen of Yugoslavia and Aurora Pavlovna Demidova
Olga of Greece and Denmark
22 October 1923
3 children
14 September 1976
aged 83
Cousin of the preceding Served as regent for Peter II, together with Radenko Stanković and Ivo Perović.
Peter II
9 October 1934

29 November 1945
(11 years, 52 days)
Peter II of Yugoslavia 6 September 1923
Son of Alexander and Maria of Yugoslavia
Alexandra of Greece and Denmark
20 March 1944
1 child
3 November 1970
aged 47
Son of the preceding Reigned under the regency until the coup d'état on 27 March 1941; exiled on 17 April 1941 and deposed on 29 November 1945.

SFR Yugoslavia

Main article: Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

President of Yugoslavia
Председник Југославије
Predsednik Jugoslavije
Longest serving
Josip Broz Tito

14 January 1953 – 4 May 1980
ResidenceWhite Palace, Belgrade
PrecursorKing of Yugoslavia
Formation29 December 1945
First holderIvan Ribar
Final holderStjepan Mesić
Abolished5 December 1991
Superseded byPresident of Croatia
President of Serbia and Montenegro
Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
President of North Macedonia
President of Slovenia

After the German invasion and fragmentation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, partisans formed the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) in 1942. On 29 November 1943 an AVNOJ conference proclaimed the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, while negotiations with the royal government in exile continued. After the liberation of Belgrade on 20 October 1944, the Communist-led government on 29 November 1945 declared King Peter II deposed and proclaimed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.

From 1945 to 1953, the President of the Presidency of the National Assembly was the office of the Yugoslav head of state. The post was held by Ivan Ribar.

From 1953 to 1963, Josip Broz Tito simultaneously held the offices of the President of the Republic (head of state) and the President of the Federal Executive Council (head of government). The 1963 Constitution renamed the state as Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and divided the office of the President of the Republic from that of President of the Federal Council, even if the President of the Republic retained the power to preside over the Government when it met, on the French model.[4]

The 1974 Constitution provided for a collective federal presidency, consisting of representatives of the six republics, the two autonomous provinces within Serbia and (until 1988) the President of the League of Communists, with a chairman in rotation. Notwithstanding, this constitutional provision was suspended because Tito was elected by parliament as President for Life,[5] who thus chaired the collective presidency on a permanent basis. After his death in 1980, one member was annually elected President of the Presidency and performed many of the personal duties expected of a president, though the collective presidency as a whole remained head of state.


  Communist Party / League of Communists
  Liberal Democracy of Slovenia
  Socialist Party of Serbia
  Croatian Democratic Union
  Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro
  Denotes an acting head of state
No. Portrait Name
Representing Term of office Political party Note
Took office Left office Time in office
President of the Presidency of the National Assembly
Ivan Ribar
Ivan Ribar
N/A29 December 194514 January 19537 years, 16 daysSKJCommunist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ) reformed and renamed League of Communists of Yugoslavia (SKJ) in 1952.
Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
N/A14 January 19534 May 1980 †27 years, 111 daysSKJDeclared president for life in 1974.
Presidents of the Presidency
Lazar Koliševski
Lazar Koliševski
Macedonia4 May 198015 May 198011 daysSKJ.
Cvijetin Mijatović
Cvijetin Mijatović
Bosnia and
15 May 1980[6]15 May 19811 yearSKJ.
Sergej Kraigher
Sergej Kraigher
Slovenia15 May 198115 May 19821 yearSKJ.
Petar Stambolić
Petar Stambolić
Serbia15 May 198215 May 19831 yearSKJ.
Mika Špiljak
Mika Špiljak
Croatia15 May 198315 May 19841 yearSKJ.
Veselin Đuranović
Veselin Đuranović
Montenegro15 May 198415 May 19851 yearSKJ.
Radovan Vlajković
Radovan Vlajković
SAP Vojvodina15 May 198515 May 19861 yearSKJ.
Sinan Hasani
Sinan Hasani
SAP Kosovo15 May 198615 May 19871 yearSKJ.
Lazar Mojsov
Lazar Mojsov
Macedonia15 May 198715 May 19881 yearSKJ.
Raif Dizdarević
Raif Dizdarević
(born 1926)
Bosnia and
15 May 198815 May 19891 yearSKJ.
Janez Drnovšek
Janez Drnovšek
Slovenia15 May 198915 May 19901 yearSKJ
Joined Liberal Democracy of Slovenia in February 1990.
Borisav Jović
Borisav Jović
Serbia15 May 199015 May 19911 yearSPSSKJ dissolved in February 1990.
In Serbia the party was succeeded by the SPS.
Sejdo Bajramović
Sejdo Bajramović
AP Kosovo16 May 199130 June 199145 daysSPSActing president.
Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan Mesić
(born 1934)
Croatia30 June 19915 December 1991158 daysHDZLast president of Yugoslavia.
Branko Kostić
Branko Kostić
Montenegro5 December 199115 June 1992193 daysDPSActing president.
Installed by Serbia and Montenegro.


Branko KostićStjepan MesićSejdo BajramovićBorisav JovićJanez DrnovšekRaif DizdarevićLazar MojsovSinan HasaniRadovan VlajkovićVeselin ĐuranovićMika ŠpiljakPetar StambolićSergej KraigherCvijetin MijatovićLazar KoliševskiJosip Broz TitoIvan RibarPeter II of YugoslaviaAlexander I of YugoslaviaPeter I of Serbia

See also


  1. ^ Michael Dobbs (5 May 1980). "President Tito Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  2. ^ Michael Dobbs (5 May 1980). "Collective Presidency Follows 35 Years of Rule by One Man". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  3. ^ Edwin Leland James (7 January 1929). "KING OF YUGOSLAVIA ASSUMES ALL POWER". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  4. ^ Constitution of 1963
  5. ^ Malcolm Browne (17 May 1974). "Tito Is Named President for Life Under New Government Setup". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  6. ^ Michael Dobbs (16 May 1980). "New President Takes Up Post In Yugoslavia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2021.