former Slovenian president
Died: February 23, 2008 (Slovenia)
Best Known as: former Slovenian president
Janez Drnovsek was a former Slovenian president who helped lead Slovenia to their independence from Yugoslavia, and later led them to European Union and NATO membership. He worked to keep violence to a minimum when Slovenia gained independence in 1991. When the Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic sent tanks to Slovenian borders, Drnovsek pushed for negotiations, which resulted in a peaceful withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army. He was Prime Minister of Slovenia for 10 years, and then was elected President in 2002. Drnovsek did not run for a second term as president in 2007. During his career he focused on the fight for the poor and the weak more than daily politics. In the last few years of his life, Drnovsek moved out of Ljubljana to a remote village where he lived a holistic lifestyle.