Edvard Kardelj - Sperans (January 27, 1910 - February 10, 1979) was a Slovene prewar communist, politician, statesman and publicist.
Kardelj was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (at that time Austria-Hungary).
He was considered one of the main ideologists of Josip Broz Tito's communist regime in former Yugoslavia. He had major influence on the Yugoslav military intelligence service, the KOS. He advocated the hiring of convicts into the service, who were used to assassinate many Yugoslav political exiles. In exchange for their services, convicts were given safe haven in the country, protected even from Interpol. Many of these people were alleged to have robbed banks, and carried on other criminal activities all over Western Europe. The notorious Arkan (Željko Ražnjatović) is said to have begun as Kardelj's protege.
He also led Yugoslav delegations in the late 1940s to negotiate with Stalin and deal with his demands that Yugoslavia acknowledge the Soviet Union's supremacy.
One of his most influental and contradictive work was a book Razvoj slovenskega narodnega vprašanja (The Development of Slovene national question) (1939).
Kardelj died in Ljubljana (at that time Yugoslavia), and he was mourned by many Slovenes to an extent comparable to the mourning that followed the death of Tito one year later.
Kardelj was a member of Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) and was officially honored as a national hero.
The coastal town of Ploče in southern Croatia had been renamed to Kardeljevo in Kardelj's honour in 1950-1954 and 1980-1990.