Marshall Tito (a pseudonym originally taken to protect his identity as a Communist) was born to a large (the seventh of 15 children) mixed Slovenian-Croatian peasant family in Kumrovec, Croatia. Because of his parents' poverty he was sent to live nearby with his grandfather from 1895 to 1900, when he began to work on the family farm and started school. His schooling soon ended, when he was sent to live with an uncle at the age of 12. This arrangement did not last long, but it was the end of his formal education.
At 13 he went to the town of Sisak and became an apprentice locksmith. He was captured by the Russians during World War I. He joined the Communist Party and was imprisoned several times for union and political agitation.
In 1940 he became leader of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, head of the Yugoslavian government in 1943, and president for life in 1963.
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