List of presidents of Czechoslovakia

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President of Czechoslovakia
Czech: Prezident Československa
Slovak: Prezident Česko-Slovenska
Flag of the President of Czechoslovakia (1918-1939, 1945-1960).svg
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk 1925.PNG
Longest serving
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

14 November 1918 – 14 December 1935
StyleHis Excellency
ResidencePrague Castle
Bratislava Castle
(1969–92)
AppointerFederal Assembly
Formation14 November 1918
First holderTomáš Garrigue Masaryk
Final holderVáclav Havel
Abolished20 July 1992
SuccessionCzech Republic President of the Czech Republic
Slovakia President of Slovakia

The President of Czechoslovakia (Czech: Prezident Československa, Slovak: Prezident Česko-Slovenska) was the head of state of Czechoslovakia, from the creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 until the dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic on 1 January 1993.

In periods when the presidency was vacant, most presidential duties were assumed by the Prime Minister. However, the Czechoslovak Constitutions never defined anything like a post of acting president.

The second section lists the leaders of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) from 1948 to 1989. The post was titled as Chairman from 1948 to 1953, First Secretary from 1953 to 1971, and General Secretary from 1971 to 1989. After the 1948 coup d'état, the KSČ's leader was the country's de facto chief executive. However, three party leaders (Klement Gottwald, Antonín Novotný and Gustáv Husák) also served as president at some point in their tenures.

The last living former President of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, died in 2011.

As of 2020, there is one living former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia: Karel Urbánek.

Presidents of Czechoslovakia (1918–1992)[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Ethnicity Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
(1918–1938)
1 Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk 1925.PNG Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
(1850–1937)
Czech 1918
1920
1927
1934
14 November 1918 14 December 1935 17 years, 30 days Independent
2 Edvard Beneš.jpg Edvard Beneš
(1884–1948)
Czech 1935 18 December 1935 5 October 1938 2 years, 291 days ČSNS
(1938–1939)
3 Emil Hácha 5.jpg Emil Hácha
(1872–1945)
Czech 1938 30 November 1938 15 March 1939 105 days Independent
(1939–1945)
Greater arms of Bohemia and Moravia (1939-1945).svg Emil Hácha became State President of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, a de jure autonomous region incorporated into Nazi Germany.[1][2]
Lesser coat of arms of Czechoslovakia.svg Edvard Beneš proclaimed himself President within the Czechoslovak government-in-exile, which was the internationally recognized government of Czechoslovakia during World War II.
Coat of Arms of the First Slovak Republic.svg Jozef Tiso became President of the quasi-independent, pro-Nazi and clero-fascist Slovak Republic.
Karptska Ukraina COA.svg Avgustyn Voloshyn became President of the Carpatho-Ukraine few days before occupation by the Kingdom of Hungary.
(1945–1948)
4 Edvard Beneš.jpg Edvard Beneš
(1884–1948)
Czech 1946 4 April 1945 7 June 1948 3 years, 64 days ČSNS
(1948–1989)
Official names: Czechoslovak Republic (1948–1960), Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1960–1989)
5 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R90009, Budapest, II. Weltfestspiele, Festumzug, tschechische Delegation (cropped KG).jpg Klement Gottwald
(1896–1953)
Czech 1948 14 June 1948 14 March 1953 4 years, 273 days KSČ
6 Antonín Zápotocký.JPG Antonín Zápotocký
(1884–1957)
Czech 1953 21 March 1953 13 November 1957 4 years, 237 days KSČ
7 Antonín Novotný 1968.jpg Antonín Novotný
(1904–1975)
Czech 1957
1964
19 November 1957 22 March 1968 10 years, 124 days KSČ
8 Ludvík Svoboda (Author - Stanislav Tereba).JPG Ludvík Svoboda
(1895–1979)
Czech 1968
1973
30 March 1968 28 October 1975 7 years, 212 days KSČ
9 Gustáv Husák - oříznuto.JPG Gustáv Husák
(1913–1991)
Slovak 1975
1980
1985
29 October 1975 10 December 1989 14 years, 42 days KSČ
(1989–1992)
Official names: Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1989–1990), Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (1990–1992)
10 Vaclav Havel cropped.jpg Václav Havel
(1936–2011)
Czech 1989
1990
1992
(failed)
29 December 1989 20 July 1992 2 years, 204 days OF

General Secretaries of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (1948–1989)[edit]

Except for the final office-holder, the leader of the KSČ was de facto the most powerful person in the country during this period.

Title: Chairman (1948–1953) and First Secretary (1953–1971).

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Ethnicity Term of office
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R90009, Budapest, II. Weltfestspiele, Festumzug, tschechische Delegation (cropped KG).jpg Klement Gottwald
(1896–1953)
Czech February 1948 14 March 1953 5 years, 41 days
2 Antonín Novotný 1968.jpg Antonín Novotný
(1904–1975)
Czech 14 March 1953 5 January 1968 14 years, 297 days
3 Dubcek.jpg Alexander Dubček
(1921–1992)
Slovak 5 January 1968 17 April 1969 1 year, 102 days
4 Gustáv Husák - oříznuto.JPG Gustáv Husák
(1913–1991)
Slovak 17 April 1969 17 December 1987 18 years, 244 days
5 M Jakeš Praha 2014.JPG Miloš Jakeš
(1922–2020)
Czech 17 December 1987 24 November 1989 1 year, 342 days
6 No image.png Karel Urbánek
(born 1941)
Czech 24 November 1989 20 December 1989 26 days

Timeline[edit]

Václav HavelGustáv HusákLudvík SvobodaAntonín NovotnýAntonín ZápotockýKlement GottwaldEdvard BenešEmil HáchaEdvard BenešTomáš Garrigue Masaryk

Presidential Standards[edit]

See also[edit]

Lesser coat of arms of Czechoslovakia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Czechoslovakia
Administrative divisions

References[edit]