Ivan Mažuranić, known by the nickname "Ban Pučanin (citizen)" , was a Croatian writer, lawyer, politician and Croatian ban (similar title to count) from 1873 to 1880. He was born in 1814 in Novi Vinodolski in a wealthy civil-peasant family.
He began his philosophy studies in Zagreb and finished them in Hungary in 1835. In the same year he enrolled in the study of law at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Zagreb, which he completed in 1837. After college, he got a job as a high school teacher in Zagreb, and then as a lawyer in Karlovac. He began his political career in Vienna, where he held roles for Croatia as Deputy Prosecutor General, State Attorney, President of the Temporary Court Dicastery for Croatia and Slavonia, and President of the Croatian Court Office.
What followed is the most significant period in his political career as Croatian ban. Although his rule lasted only seven years, the reforms he introduced in that period, in the direction of modernizing Croatia, were unprecedented until 1920s. Some of the many reforms introduced are the Ban's responsibility to the Parliament, division of the judiciary and administration, freedom of the press, jury trials, liberalization of electoral proceedings, rationalization of criminal proceedings, improvement of public education and establishment of the University of Zagreb.
In addition to his enviable political career, he also built his career as a writer. He wrote his first literary works as a high school student, but his strong artistic potential came to the fore after Matica ilirska chose him to supplement Gundulić's Osman. The culmination of his literary career and the only classic of Croatian literary works is „The Death of Smail-aga Čengić“ , published in 1846 in the almanac Iskra. Written according to the actual event, it is divided into five chants - Agovanje, Noćnik, Četa, Harač and Kob. It is considered the most mature work of Croatian romanticism, and to this day it is one of the most translated Croatian literary works.