Lazar Kolishevski was born in Sveti Nikole, on 12th of February 1914. Before the War he was a metalworker. He finished military and craftworks school in the Military and Technological Institute in Kragujevac. As a student and worker he participated in the work of the progressive youth and workers movement. He was one of the leaders of the progressive youth. Because of the political activities he was arrested and expelled.
Kolishevski was Secretary of the Party Committee of the Military and Technological Institute in Kragujevac and Organizational Secretary of the Local Committee of CPY. As a Delegate he participated at the Fifth Conference of CPY in 1940 in Zagreb. Because of his political activities he was dismissed from the Military and Technological Institute. After the decision of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for Serbia, at the beginning of 1941, he started to work in Smederevska Palanka on formation of the Party organization.
After the capitulation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, by the decision from the Central Committee (CC) of CPY, he returned to Macedonia and worked as an envoy of the Central Committee of CPY for Macedonia on consistent implementation of the policy of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia for armed uprising. He confronted the then Secretary of the Regional Committee of CPY for Macedonia, Metodija Shatorov - Sharlo, who, without the knowledge of the Central Committee of CPY, and supported by the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Labour Party, wilfully attached the Macedonian Party Organization to the Bulgarian.
By the end of August 1941, by an intervention to the Communist International by the CC of CPY and by Tito himself, the Macedonian party organization was attached back to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and Kolishevski was elected as Secretary of the Regional Committee of CPY for Macedonia and leader of the Regional Military Headquarters.
In early November 1941 he was arrested by the Bulgarian police. Because of his revolutionary activities he was sentenced to death. Later the capital punishment was altered to life imprisonment. He was in the Bulgarian prison of Pleven until the capitulation of the Fascist Bulgaria on 9 September 1944, when he returned to Macedonia.
With the formation of CC of CPM, in March 1943, he was elected its Secretary and held the position until July 1963. Kolishevski was a Delegate at the Second Meeting of ASNOM and was a member of AVNOJ, as well as Delegate at the First Meeting of ASNOM and member of ASNOM. At the Second Meeting of ASNOM he was elected its President.
Since 1944, he was continuously elected as Member of Parliament in the People’s Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia and the Federal National Assembly.
In March 1945 he was unanimously elected as the first President of the first People’s Government of the Democratic Federative Macedonia, and since 19 December 1953 he was President of the National Assembly of the People’s Republic of Macedonia. He was re-elected on 15 April 1958, and carried out this duty until 26 June 1962.
From 1963 to 1967 he was President of the Federal Council of SSNRJ. From 1967 to 1972 he was member of the Council of the Federation, and from 1972 to 1984 he was member of the Presidency of SFRY. After the death of Josip Broz Tito, for a brief period of time he was President of the Presidency of SFR Yugoslavia.
He received the highest ranking Yugoslav medal - the Yugoslav Big Star, as well as Medal of Honour for the people 1st rank; Brotherhood and Unity 1st rank; medal for Courage, Partisan Memorial 1941, and was declared National Hero. He died on 6 July 2000.