Stefan Lazarević, also known as Stefan the Tall, was the ruler of Serbia as prince and despot. The son of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović, he was regarded as one of the finest knights and military leaders at that time. After the death of his father at Kosovo, he became ruler of Moravian Serbia and ruled with his mother Milica, until he reached adulthood in 1393. Stefan led troops in several battles as an Ottoman vassal, until asserting independence after receiving the title of despot from the Byzantines in 1402.
Becoming a Hungarian ally in 1403–04, he received large possessions, including the important Belgrade and Golubac Fortress. He also held the superior rank in the chivalric Order of the Dragon. During his reign there was a long conflict with his nephew Đurađ Branković, which ended in 1412. Stefan also inherited Zeta, and waged war against Venice. Since he was childless, he designated his nephew Đurađ as heir in 1426, a year before his death.
On the domestic front, he broke the resistance of the Serbian nobles, and used the periods of peace to strengthen Serbia politically, economically, culturally and militarily.