, 1941, Yugoslav and Serbian political leader, president of Serbia (198997) and of Yugoslavia (19972000), b. Požarevac, Serbia. He joined the Communist party in 1959, beginning his political career in the 1960s as an economic adviser to the mayor of Belgrade and holding various posts in the party and state enterprises. He became the leader of the Belgrade Communist party in 1984 and Serbian party leader in 1986.Initially opposed to liberalization, he was elected president of Serbia in 1989 and proceeded to transform its Communist party into the nationalistic Socialist party. Milošević called for the inclusion of Serb areas in other republics in a
as the price for Yugoslavia's dissolution. He supported Serb forces in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina after the two became independent and was widely blamed for the Serbs' military aggression and brutal
policies, but he ultimately abandoned the Serbs, signing (1995) a peace accord.Barred from a third term as Serbia's president, he became president of all Yugoslavia in 1997. In 1999, his government's refusal to restore autonomy to Kosovo led to NATO air attacks (Mar.June) on Yugoslavia as Serbian forces deported hundreds of thousands of Albanian Kosovars; Serbia was forced to withdraw from Kosovo. As a result of Serbian actions, Milošević was charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.In 2000 the Yugoslav constitution was amended to permit the president to hold office for two terms; direct presidential elections also were instituted. The changes were designed to permit Milošević to remain in power, but when elections were held he was defeated by Vojislav Koštunica. Milošević only conceded after being forced to by strikes and demonstrations and international pressure, and remained head of the Socialist party of Serbia. In 2001 he was arrested on charges of abuse of power and corruption and later turned over to the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague, which tried him (2002) on charges of war crimes in Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia.See biography by D. Doder and L. Branson (1999).