Tito

Tito

[tee-toh]
Schipa, Tito, 1888-1965, Italian operatic tenor. He made his debut in 1910 in Vercelli. After many appearances in Europe, he came to the United States in 1919, joining the Chicago Opera Company. He sang with the Metropolitan Opera Company from 1932 to 1935. Possessing a beautiful voice and impeccable artistry, he sang the leading lyric tenor roles in all the principal operas of the French and German repertory and appeared in the major opera houses of Spain, Italy, and South America.
Puente, Tito (Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr.), 1923-2000, American musician, b. New York City. One of the premier composers and players of Latin music, he was a bandleader, pianist, and virtuoso percussionist. He began playing in the 1930s and performed in various bands while studying at the Juilliard School of Music (1945-47). In 1947 he formed his own group, the Piccadilly Boys, which shortly afterward became the Tito Puente Orchestra. During the 1950s, Puente became renowned for his Big Band renditions, in person and on recordings, of such Latin dance-craze styles as the mambo and cha-cha; in the 1960s he also turned to pachenga music. Puente played in and led many other bands. Also beginning in the 1960s he collaborated with several jazz musicians and thereafter customarily worked in either a Latin or jazz style, or a combination of the two, becoming an important figure in salsa music. During his long career, Puente won five Grammys and recorded 118 albums.
Tito, Josip Broz, 1892-1980, Yugoslav Communist leader, marshal of Yugoslavia. He was originally Josip Broz.

Rise to Power

The son of a blacksmith in a Croatian village, Tito fought in Russia with the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I and was captured by the Russians. He served with distinction in the Red Army during the Russian civil war of 1918 to 1920. Several years later Broz returned to Croatia and, while a metalworker, became a prominent union organizer. He was (1929-34) imprisoned as a political agitator. In 1937 the Comintern assigned to him the reorganization of the Yugoslav Communist party, and in 1941 he emerged as a leader of Yugoslav partisan resistance forces after the defeat and occupation of Yugoslavia by the Axis Powers. It was then that he adopted the name Tito.

Although the core of his partisan army was Communist, Tito's rapidly growing forces included many non-Communists. Despite the opposition of the Yugoslav government in exile, which supported the Serbian resistance leader DraŽa Mihajlović, Tito's army and its successes soon eclipsed those of Mihajlović and his chetniks. Among the causes of his success were his swift guerrilla tactics, his own magnetic personality, and the appeal of his political program—a federated Yugoslavia—to the non-Serbian elements of the population. Although they cooperated at first, Tito and Mihajlović soon clashed.

By 1943, Tito headed a large army and controlled a sizable part of Yugoslavia, centered in Bosnia. Tito was supported from the first by the USSR, but in 1944 he also received the full support of Britain and the United States. In Nov., 1944, after the liberation of Belgrade, he negotiated a merger of the royal Yugoslav government and his own council of national liberation, and in Mar., 1945, he became head of the new federal Yugoslav government.

Already the virtual dictator of Yugoslavia, he won a major electoral victory in Nov., 1945, at the head of the Communist-dominated National Liberation Front, whose candidates were the only ones permitted to run in the election. With the opposition abstaining, Tito won almost 80% of the vote. King Peter II was deposed, and a republic was proclaimed (see Yugoslavia).

Tito's Dictatorship

As premier and minister of defense from 1945, Marshal Tito ruled Yugoslavia dictatorially. He suppressed internal opposition by such measures as the execution of Mihajlović and the jailing (1946) of Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb, and he nationalized Yugoslav industry and undertook a planned economy. He did not attempt to collectivize the land of the Yugoslav small farmers, but he forced them, under threat of severe penalties, to furnish large portions of their produce to the state.

Although Yugoslavia was closely associated with the USSR and was a leading member of the Cominform, Tito often pursued independent policies and did not hesitate to curtail the activities of Soviet agents. In 1948 the Cominform accused Tito of having deviated from the correct Communist line. Tito denied the charges and refused to submit to the Cominform, from which Yugoslavia was then expelled.

Having already transformed Yugoslavia into an armed camp, built up a highly efficient secret police, and purged dissident elements in the Communist party, Tito succeeded in maintaining his position despite the hostility of the USSR and his neighbors. Although he accepted loans from the Western powers, he initially did not alter his internal program. In later years, however, he relaxed many of the regime's strict controls, particularly those affecting the small farmers. As a result, Yugoslavia became the most liberal Communist country of Europe.

On close terms with President Nasser of Egypt and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Tito unsuccessfully tried to develop common policies among nonaligned nations. Relations with the USSR were alternately friendly and hostile. In 1968, together with the Romanian party chief, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Tito led the opposition to the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia.

Tito was repeatedly reelected president from his first term in 1953, and in 1963 his term was made unlimited. In an effort to provide for succession to the leadership after his death, Tito established (1971) a 22-member collective presidency composed of the presidents of the 6 republican and 2 autonomous provincial assemblies and 14 members chosen from the republican and provincial assemblies for 5-year terms. In July, 1971, Tito was elected chairman of the new presidency.

During the 1970s the economy began to weaken under the weight of foreign debt, high inflation, and inefficient industry. Also, he was under increasing pressure from nationalist forces within Yugoslavia, especially Croatian secessionists who threatened to break up the federation. Following their repression, Tito tightened control of intellectual life. After his death in 1980, the ethnic tensions resurfaced, helping to bring about the eventual violent breakup of the federation in the early 1990s.

Bibliography

See the official biography by V. Dedijer (1953, repr. 1972); the biography by I. Ormcanin (1984); studies by W. R. Roberts (1973, repr. 1987) and N. Beloff (1986).

orig. Josip Broz

(born May 7, 1892, Kumrovec, near Zagreb, Croatia, Austria-Hungary—died May 4, 1980, Ljubljana, Yugos.) Yugoslav politician, premier (1945–53), and president (1953–80). Born to a peasant family, he fought in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I and was captured by the Russians in 1915. While in Russia, he took part in the July Days demonstrations (1917) and joined the Bolsheviks. In 1920 he returned to Croatia, where he became a local leader of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. He rose in the party hierarchy, interrupted by a prison term (1928–34), to become its secretary-general in 1939. In World War II, Tito (a pseudonym he adopted about 1935) proved an effective leader of Yugoslav Partisans. As marshal from 1943, he strengthened communist control of Yugoslavia. As premier and president, he developed an independent form of socialist rule in defiance of the Soviet Union, pursued a policy of nonalignment, built ties with other nonaligned states, and improved relations with the Western powers. Within Yugoslavia, he established a system of “symmetrical federalism” (1974) that created equality among the six republics and Serbia's autonomous provinces (including Kosovo), while maintaining tight control to prevent separatist movements. After his death, resentment of Serbian domination led gradually to a dissolution of the federal system.

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orig. Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr.

Tito Puente, 1998.

(born April 20, 1923, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died May 31, 2000, New York City) U.S. bandleader, percussionist, and composer. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Puente served in the Navy during World War II and later studied at Juilliard. In the late 1940s he formed his own band and rose to prominence with the salsa, mambo, merengue, and cha-cha-cha fads of the 1950s. Always experimenting, he became a pioneer of Latin-jazz fusion. His compositions include “Pare Cochero” and “Oye Como Va.” He performed with many artists, especially Celia Cruz, and he recorded more than 100 albums. He also performed in several films, including Radio Days (1987) and The Mambo Kings (1992).

Learn more about Puente, Tito with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr.

Tito Puente, 1998.

(born April 20, 1923, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died May 31, 2000, New York City) U.S. bandleader, percussionist, and composer. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Puente served in the Navy during World War II and later studied at Juilliard. In the late 1940s he formed his own band and rose to prominence with the salsa, mambo, merengue, and cha-cha-cha fads of the 1950s. Always experimenting, he became a pioneer of Latin-jazz fusion. His compositions include “Pare Cochero” and “Oye Como Va.” He performed with many artists, especially Celia Cruz, and he recorded more than 100 albums. He also performed in several films, including Radio Days (1987) and The Mambo Kings (1992).

Learn more about Puente, Tito with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Josip Broz

(born May 7, 1892, Kumrovec, near Zagreb, Croatia, Austria-Hungary—died May 4, 1980, Ljubljana, Yugos.) Yugoslav politician, premier (1945–53), and president (1953–80). Born to a peasant family, he fought in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I and was captured by the Russians in 1915. While in Russia, he took part in the July Days demonstrations (1917) and joined the Bolsheviks. In 1920 he returned to Croatia, where he became a local leader of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. He rose in the party hierarchy, interrupted by a prison term (1928–34), to become its secretary-general in 1939. In World War II, Tito (a pseudonym he adopted about 1935) proved an effective leader of Yugoslav Partisans. As marshal from 1943, he strengthened communist control of Yugoslavia. As premier and president, he developed an independent form of socialist rule in defiance of the Soviet Union, pursued a policy of nonalignment, built ties with other nonaligned states, and improved relations with the Western powers. Within Yugoslavia, he established a system of “symmetrical federalism” (1974) that created equality among the six republics and Serbia's autonomous provinces (including Kosovo), while maintaining tight control to prevent separatist movements. After his death, resentment of Serbian domination led gradually to a dissolution of the federal system.

Learn more about Tito, Josip Broz with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Tito's Handmade Vodka is a vodka produced in Austin, Texas, created by Bert Butler “Tito” Beveridge. Bert received the nickname name "Tito" or "Bertitio" from his latino caretakers in childhood. Distilled six times, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is made from yellow corn, instead of the more common wheat or potatoes, resulting in a mildly sweet aftertaste.

Commercial production began in 1997 when Beveridge formed Fifth Generation Inc., becoming the first legal distillery in Texas and producing just 1,000 cases that year. In 2007, he will have sold over 160,000 cases and maintains all production at the south east Austin distillery, where he is currently expanding from one potstill to ten and from one bottling line to four. Despite a lack of commercial advertising, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has gained market share thanks to some prestigious awards, affordable pricing, and word of mouth advertising. Currently, it is distributed coast-to-coast across North America and Canada. Sales and distribution boomed in 2001 after Tito’s Handmade Vodka unanimously won the Double Gold Medal for vodka at the World Spirit's Competition in San Francisco, beating out 71 other high-priced vodkas. Also that year, it received a four-star ranking from Spirit Journaland has just won four stars again in the latest edition. (2007)

Despite the growing distribution, Tito’s Vodka employs fewer than 15 people and is still handmade in small batches. Tito's has also received multiple Growth Brand Awards by the Beverage Information Group, a beverage alcohol research firm.

References

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