Last May 01, 2019, public broadcaster RTVS named the famous Slovaks who made it to the all time list of the Top 10 “Greatest Slovaks.” They earned the votes of those who viewed the TV-based poll aired from February 24 to May 01, 2019.
The poll broadcast included the weekly showing of documentaries and panel discussions covering the life and times of the 10 greatest Slovaks nominated by 24,000 viewers. The ten were chosen from among the list of 100 people named for their significance in the history of Slovakia Republic. .
Final List of “Top Ten Greatest Slovaks”
1. Milan Rastislav Štefánik – A Slovak astronomer who served on scientific expeditions to the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. Also, an army general who was later drawn to the Czechoslovak liberation movement. He helped found the new nation of Czechoslovakia in 1918–19, to which he became Minister of War in the provisional Czechoslovak government. Born on July 21, 1880, in Košariská, he died May 4, 1919 in an airplane crash.
2. Ľudovít Štúr – A Slovak politician, linguist, poet, philosopher, teacher, journalist, well-known for codifying and standardizing the Slovak language, leading to the development of the modern Slovak literary language.
3. Peter Sagan – A Slovak famous for being a professional road bicycle racer, who has won several competitions, including the Junior Mountain Bike World Championship in 2008, before he shifted to road racing. Currently, he rides for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTeam Bora–Hansgrohe.
4. Andrej Hlinka – A Slovak Catholic priest, politician and patriot recognized by some as the “Father of the Nation” for his role in the interwar period. Father Hlinka led the Slovak autonomist opposition movements against the Czechoslovak government between the years 1920 and 1930.
5. St. Cyril and Methodius – A pair of Christian missionaries, who were siblings in real life, coming from the Byzantine Empire. Together, they devised the first alphabet used to match the Slavic language, for purposes of writing Slavonic manuscripts, including the first Slavic Civil Code collaborated on by the brothers.
6. Juraj Jánošík – Known in Slovakia as a highwayman, whose deeds are similar to the medieval English folk hero Robin Hood. Jánošík is a real person and outlaw, but whose feats and characterizations were formed mainly by the writers and activists of the 19th century, to reinforce recognition of Jánošík’s image as a symbol of resistance to oppression.
7. Alexander Dubček – A Communist politician best known for his involvement in triggering communist liberalization that culminated in the “Prague Spring of 1968.” He was chairman of the Federal Assembly, and subsequently, the leader of the Social Democrats of Slovakia. It was under his leadership that the Slovaks began to develop inclinations toward political liberalization.
8. Gustáv Husák – He served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia between 1969 and 1987. In 1983, he was conferred the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union. As a Slovak politician, Husák became the president of Czechoslovakia, while his rule was referred to as “Normalization” period after the Prague Spring of 1968.
9. Marika Gombitová – The only female to make it to the all time list of Top Ten Great Slovaks, Ms. Gombitová is a Slovak singer, songwriter and musician who has won numerous awards and received a number of honorific titles. She is regarded as one of the most successful solo artists in Slovakia’s history of contemporary music,
10. Anton Srholec – A Slovac Roman Catholic priest of the Salesian Order, widely known in Slovakia for being a charity worker who headed the Resota Center that sheltered homeless people in Bratislava.