Mikita was born Stanislav Gvoth in Sokolce, Czechoslovakia (now in the Slovak Republic), but he was taken to Ontario, Canada to live by his childless aunt and uncle, who adopted him and a niece in 1948. This was a move reluctantly supported by his birth parents, who wanted their son to escape the new communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
He soon became an ice hockey player and turned professional with the Chicago Blackhawks while still in his teens. He won the Art Ross Trophy (for top scorer in the National Hockey League) in 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968; both the Hart Trophy (most valuable player) and the Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) in 1967 and 1968, was voted onto the NHL All-Star Team six times and elected to the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
He retired in 1980 and lives near Chicago. For a number of years he has been actively participating in a summer ice hockey school for hearing-impaired youngsters. He also part-owns a plastics business, with former team-mate Glen Skov.
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