Historian, author, and politician Ivo Banac died last Tuesday in Zagreb, members of his family said. The cause was a serious illness, unspecified by the family.
Born in Dubrovnik in 1947, Banac moved to the United States with his mother at age 12 to join his father who had emigrated the year he was born. He recieved a BA from Fordham University and went on to earn an MA and a PhD from Standford Univeristy.
Banac was Emeritus Professor at the Department of History at Yale University. He was also a history professor at Zagreb University's Faculty of Philosophy and served as the president of the Croatian Helsinki Committee on Human Rights.
Throughout his life, Banac served as an academic bridge between the United States and Croatia. He became active in Croatian politics after Croatia declared independence. In 2003, he was elected president of the Liberal Party, which he left two years later. He also served as environment minister in the government of Prime Minsiter Ivica Račan and as a member of the Croatian Parliament.
"Professor Ivo Banac was a person of exceptional intellectual breadth and has left a strong makr on the social, political and cultural life of the Republic of Croatia since it became an independent democratic state," said Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek in a statement issued following his death.
“We will remember him as a top intellectual and expert who left his mark on the social and political life of Croatia with numerous works and valuable and impressive analisies of history, science and politics,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenković wrote in a message of condolence.
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