Jovanka Broz, Tito’s Widow, Is Dead at 88

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tags: Yugoslavia, Jovanka Broz, Joseph Tito

She was a peasant girl who became a decorated heroine in Yugoslavia’s brutal fight against the occupying Nazis, and in 1952 married her Communist nation’s most powerful man, Josip Broz Tito.

Tito was then in the eighth year of his more than four decades as Yugoslavia’s supreme leader. By persuasion and coercion, he held together a fragmented nation that broke into seven countries after his death in May 1980. His wife, Jovanka, 88, who died on Oct. 20 in Belgrade, was a symbol of the “brotherhood and unity” he trumpeted: she was an ethnic Serb; he, a Croat.

Tito’s deft political touch extended to foreign policy as he charted an independent course between the Communist East and the non-Communist West. His glamorous spouse became known as “the nonaligned movement’s first lady,” exuding elegance while entertaining more than 100 heads of state — from Fidel Castro to the queen of England — during 28 years of marriage....

Read entire article at New York Times