Dobrica Ćosić (Serbian Cyrillic: Добрица Ћосић) (born 29 December 1921 in Velika Drenova, Trstenik, in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, today in Serbia) is a Serbian writer, as well as a political and Serb nationalist theorist. He was the first president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1993. Admirers often refer to him as the "Father of the Nation", due to his influence on modern Serbian politics and national revival movement in the late 1980s; opponents often use that term in an ironic manner.
Ćosić was born in 1921 in the village of Velika Drenova, in central Serbia, and before the Second World War was able to attend vocational agriculture school in Aleksandrovac. He joined the communist youth organization in Negotin in 1939. When the Second World War reached Yugoslavia in 1941, he joined the communist partisans. After the liberation of Belgrade in October 1944, he remained active in communist leadership positions, including work in the Serbian republican Agitation and Propaganda commission and then as a people's representative from his home region. In the early 1950s, he visited the Goli otok concentration camp, where the Josip Broz Tito regime imprisoned thousands of its political opponents within the Communist Party. Ćosić has always maintained that he did so in order to better understand the Stalinist mind. In 1961, he joined Marshal Tito on a 72-day tour by presidential yacht (the Galeb) to visit eight African non-aligned countries. The trip aboard the Galeb highlighted the close, affirmative relationship that Ćosić had with the Tito regime until the early 1960s.
Until the early 1960s, Ćosić was devoted to Tito and Tito's vision of a harmonious Yugoslavia. Between 1961 and 1962, Ćosić got involved in a lengthy polemic with the Slovenian intellectual Dušan Pirjevec regarding the relationship between autonomy, nationalism and centralism in Yugoslavia. Pirjevec voiced the opinions of the Communist Party of Slovenia which supported a more de-centralized development of Yugoslavia with respect for local autonomies, while Ćosić argued for a stronger role of the Federal authorities, warning against the rise of peripheral nationalisms. The polemic, which was the first public and open confrontation of different visions within the Yugoslav Communist Party after World War II, ended with Tito's support of Ćosić's arguments. Nevertheless, actual political measures undertaken after 1962 actually followed the positions voiced by Pirjevec and the Slovenian Communist leadership.