Janos Kadar was a Hungarian communist leader and the General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, presiding over the country from 1956 until his retirement in 1988. His 32-year term as General Secretary covered most of the period the People’s Republic of Hungary existed.
Due to Kadar’s age, declining health and declining political mastery, he retired as General Secretary of the party in 1988 and a younger generation consisting mostly of reformers took over. Kadar was born in Fiume to a poor family. He never met his father, who left his mother when he was young. After living in the countryside for some years, Kadar and his mother moved to Budapest.