Petar Gračanin

Petar Gračanin (Serbian Cyrillic: Петар Грачанин; 22 June 1923 – 27 June 2004) was a Yugoslav and Serbian politician and general in the Yugoslav People's Army.

Petar Gračanin
Petar Gračanin.png
12th Secretary of the Interior of SFR Yugoslavia
Assumed office
16 May 1989 – 14 July 1992
Preceded byDobroslav Ćulafić
Succeeded byOffice abolished
13th President of Serbia
As President of the Presidency of SR Serbia
Assumed office
14 December 1987 – 20 March 1989
Preceded byIvan Stambolić
Succeeded by
Personal details
Born(1923-06-22)June 22, 1923
Jagodina, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
(now Serbia)
Died27 June 2004(2004-06-27) (aged 81)
Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro
(now Serbia)
AwardsOrder of National Hero of Yugoslavia
Military service
Allegiance SFR Yugoslavia
 FR Yugoslavia
Branch/serviceYugoslav People's Army
Yugoslav Land Forces Ground Forces
Yugoslav Army emblem Yugoslav Army
Yugoslav Ground Forces (1999)
Years of service1941–1985
RankColonel General, JNA
General of the Army, JA
Battles/warsWorld War II


Petar Gračanin was born June 22, 1923, at Jagodina, then part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. After completing primary school, he went to work as a butcher.

In July 1941 he joined the Yugoslav Partisans. After the formation of the 2nd Proletarian Brigade, in March 1942, at first he was a member and later the commander of a battalion. He was initiated as a SKOJ member in the League of Communists of Yugoslavia in 1942.

He was promoted to his first military rank in 1943. In April 1944 he was wounded and transferred to Italy. In 1945, he became Chief of Staff in OZNA for Morava administrative center. A year later in 1946 he became commander of a tank brigade, Chief of Staff, deputy commander of an armored division and Chief of Staff of School center armored-mechanic units. He graduated at the Higher Military Academy.

At the Federal Secretariat of the People's Defense, he was Chief of the Section, and Chief of Staff of the section for Personal authority. In the 7th Army he was Chief of Staff and deputy commander. He was also Chief of Staff of the Command-headquarters academy (1974–78), and later he was assigned as commander of the 1st Army. He was chosen as a member of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (CK SKJ) in 1978 and 1982.

He was promoted to the rank of major general in 1970, lieutenant general in 1974, and colonel general in 1978. He was Chief of the General Staff of Yugoslav People's Army from 5 May 1982 to 1 September 1985.

His active military service ended on 31 December 1985. After that he was in high state positions such as: President of Presidency of SR Serbia (1987–89) and then Federal Secretary of the Interior (1989–92).

During the Ten-Day War Gračanin was situated in a JNA air base near Ljubljana. After the JNA forces were ordered by the General Staff to withdraw from Slovenia, Gračanin flew back to Belgrade.[1]

Slobodan Milošević promoted him to the rank of reserve general of the army of the FRY in 1999.

He died in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, on June 27, 2004, aged 81, and was buried in the Alley of Distinguished Citizens at Belgrade's New Cemetery.


  1. ^ Branka Magaš, Ivo Žanić, Noel Malcolm; The war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1991-1995. Taylor & Francis, 2001. (p. 26)
Military offices
Preceded by
Branko Mamula
Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's Army
5 May 1982 – 1 September 1985
Succeeded by
Zorko Čanadi
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivan Stambolić
President of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Serbia
14 December 1987 – 20 March 1989
Succeeded by
Slobodan Milošević
as President of Serbia
post transformed