Grigor Vitez was born in the village of Kosovac near Okučani on 15 February 1911. His fondness for literature grew during his high school days in Nova Gradiška, where he enjoyed reading works by Ivana Brlić Mažuranić, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Jules Verne. In those years, Vitez began to record folk poems from his area, and began to write his own verses toward the end of secondary school. His first poem Vedar dan (Happy Day) appeared in print while he attended a teachers’ school in Pakrac.
Vitez, who joined the Communist Party while working as a teacher, began to write fiction in 1933. That summer in Zagreb, he sent a short story for inclusion in an almanac of young progressive writers named Prodor (Breakthrough). Works of writers such as Grgur Karlovčan, Ivan Kovačić, Stevan Carević and Slobodan Trifunović were also supposed to be published in this same book. However, police managed to discover the printing house where the almanac was to be printed and destroyed already prepared typesets.
After World War Two, in which he had fought on the partisan’s side, Vitez worked at the Ministry of Education and as an editor at the Mladost publishing house. As a children’s poet he made his fame in mid-1940s, when his works were published in Radost (Joy) magazine. He published numerous collected poems, one of the most beautiful of which was Gdje priče rastu (Where Stories Grow) in 1965. Some of his best known books are Kad bi drveće hodalo (If Trees Could Walk), Sto vukova (One hundred wolves), Jednog jutra u gaju (One Morning in the Grove), Vesele zamke (Happy Traps), Naoružane ruže (Armed Roses), Povjerenje života (Trust of Life) and Kao lišće i trava (Like Leaves and Grass). His poems have been translated into almost all European languages. Apart from poems, he also wrote short stories and articles for newspapers and magazines, and translated from Russian, French and Slovenian. Grigor Vitez died in Zagreb on 23 of November 1966 and was buried in his birthplace.