Josip Juraj Strossmayer (Croatian pronunciation: [jǒsip jûraj ʃtrǒsmajer]; German: Joseph Georg Strossmayer; 4 February 1815 – 8 May 1905) was a Croatian politician, Roman Catholic bishop and benefactor.
Strossmayer was born in Osijek to a Croatian family. His great-grandfather was an ethnic German immigrant from Styria who had married a Croatian woman. He finished a gymnasium in Osijek, graduated theology at the Catholic seminary in Đakovo, and earned a PhD in philosophy at a high seminary in Budapest, at the age of 20.
In 1838 he worked as a vicar in Petrovaradin, before moving to Vienna in 1840 to the Augustineum and the University of Vienna, where he received another doctorate in philosophy and Canon law in 1842. In 1847 he was made the Habsburg palace chaplain (a position he would hold until 1859), and named one of the rectors of the Augustineum.
On November 18, 1849, he was made the bishop of Bosnia and Syrmia with seat in Đakovo. The proclamation was made by emperor Franz Joseph and at the proposal of Croatian ban Josip Jelačić. Pope Pius IX confirmed the imperial decree on May 20, 1850. He was made a bishop on September 8, 1850, and officially instated in Đakovo on September 29 the same year. Upon installment as bishop, he declared his motto to be Everything for the faith and the homeland. Strossmayer inherited a wealthy diocese: it had 70,000 acres (280 km²) of mixed forests, pastures, arable land and vineyards, with developed cattle and horse breeding facilities, and it generated a yearly income of 150,000 to 300,000 forints.