Acad. Ivan Katardžiev was born on 6th of January 1926 in the village of Ploski near Sandanski in the Pirin part of Macedonia. He comes from a family of refugees from Aegean Macedonia, who were expelled by the Greek authorities after the First World War. He finished primary school in his native village, and secondary in St.Vrach present day Sandanski. In autumn of 1946 with a group of twenty students in accordance with the policy of preparing personnel for the anticipated cultural autonomy of the Pirin part of Macedonia he was sent to study in Skopje where he enrolled at the Department of History on the Faculty of Philosophy.
In the academic year of 1948/49 the Deanery of the Faculty of Philosophy sent him to continue with his studies of history at the University of Zagreb and at the same time to attend the course in Old Slavonic Philology at Institute of JAZU at prof. Vladimir Mosin.
Tumultuous events after the Resolution of the Informbureau in 1948, the developments in the Pirin part of Macedonia and the surge among Pirin Macedonians students (about 150) of the university, influenced him to return from Zagreb to Skopje. In the year of 1949/50, as a student, he was editor in chief of the newspaper “Pirin voice”.
He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in the spring of 1951 and in the academic year of 1951/52 he worked as a history teacher in high school “Josip Broz Tito” in Skopje.
On 1st of September 1953 he was admitted as an assistant at the Institute for National History in Skopje. He earned his doctorate in June 1959 on the topic “Region of Serres (1780-1879). Economic, political and cultural review“. At the Institute of National History he worked from 1953 to May 1967 and was elected in the respective positions from assistant to the scientific adviser.
In the school year of 1961/62 as a scholar of the French government he stayed in Paris where he listened to lectures at the Sorbonne and worked in the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. From 1967 until his retirement in 1987 he was: a member of the Executive Council of SRM (1967/69), Member of the Assembly of Peoples of the Parliament of Yugoslavia (1969-1974), director of the National and University Library “St. Kliment Ohridski “- Skopje (1973/78), Advisor in the Executive Council of SRM (1978/1987), Chairman of the House of Emigration of Macedonia (1987/92), a member of the Presidency of the Conference of SSRNM. In the 80s of the last century he was the president of the state editorial board and member of federal editorial board of the newspaper “Borba” and for many years was a columnist at same newspaper.
Since 1949 he has been working on themes from the history of the Macedonian people and topics in the wider Balkan interest. Acad. Katardžiev is present in journalism thus he collaborated in many newspapers in the former Yugoslavia.
Acad. Katardžiev has authored over 20 monographs, three of which are published in foreign languages (two in English and one in Croatian). His selected works entitled “Fight to win” in four volumes are published by “Misla” (1983). He published 9 books and participated as an associate in the publishing of 4 Proceedings of collective documents. Under his the editorship, comment and preface are published 6 books of memories and literature of which most renown is the Henry Brailsford’s book titled “Macedonia, its people and its future” published in London, and in Macedonian translation published by the Publishing House, Skopje in 2001. Under the publication of “Kultura” has been published his book “Macedonia hundred years after the Ilinden Uprising” (2003) and the three-volume edition entitled “Macedonia in the XX Century” (2006). As a publication of MANU he published the monograph “Macedonian emigration in Bulgaria: 1944-1950” (2008) and two-volume work for the Macedonian national and cultural activist Vasil Ivanovski in 2014.
Acad. Katardžiev is a member of the editorial board of the three-volume History of the Macedonian people published in 1967 and author of the text in the second book. He is a member of the editorial board and author of the short version of the history of the Macedonian people, published in 1976 on Macedonian and several foreign languages. Also he is a member of the editorial of the latest edition of History of the Macedonian people in 5 volumes and author of the fourth volume. Besides the above mentioned publications he has published over 200 scientific articles, papers, essays, serials, critics and reviews in printed and electronic media in the country.
For his activities in the field of historical science he has been granted with the following awards: “11th of October” (1968); “11th of October” for life achievement (1988); “13th of November” (1978); “Goce Delchev” for a collective work (1985), “Goce Delchev” for an independent work (1987). He received the following accolades: the Order of Labor with Golden Wreath, the Order of Labor with Red Flag and Medal of Merits with a gold star.
As a Full member of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts he was elected on 27th of May 2003.
Acad. Katardžiev passed away on 01.12.2018.