Jozef Banáš was born in Bratislava on September 27th, 1948.
Since 1972, he has been married to Mária Banášová, a famous Slovak ceramicist. He has two daughters, Mária Zinburgová (born in 1974) and Adela Banášová (born in 1980), a renowned TV and Radio talk show master and six-time winner of the prestigious Slovak OTO Prize awarded to most popular TV personalities.
Jozef Banáš studied foreign trade at the University of Economics and Business in Bratislava from 1967 till 1972. He started his professional carrier as a journalist, thereafter he took up employment at the foreign trade company Chirana Export Piešťany and subsequently entered the Czechoslovak diplomatic services. From 1983 till 1988, he worked as press attaché at the Embassy of ČSSR (Czechoslovak socialist republic) in GDR. From 1990 till 1992, he acted as Vice Ambassador of ČSFR (Czechoslovak federal republic) in Austria. In 1993, he passed a six-month-training at Raiffeisen Leasing in Vienna and on April 1st, 1994, he became the Managing Director of the Slovak and Austrian joint venture Tatra Leasing with headquarters in Bratislava. From 1994 till 2001, he acted as the PR Director at Slovak International Tabak, a subsidiary of Reemtsma Hamburg. In 2001, he actively participated in the establishment of the liberal political party ANO – Alliance of the New Citizen. During the Parliamentary elections in 2002, the party ANO was elected to the Slovak National Council. The party was member of the governing coalition under the leadership of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda.
Jozef Banáš was elected head of the Permanent delegation of the National Council of the Slovak Republic to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and head of the Permanent delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In November 2004, he was the first Slovak in NATO´s history to be elected one of the five Vice-Presidents of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Jozef Banáš did not run for Parliamentary elections in 2006 again, but has devoted himself solely to writing and literary activities since then.
Literary critics call Jozef Banáš a man who jumped on the train of Slovak literature at full speed and took a seat right in the locomotive. In 2007, he published his first bestseller Idiots in Politics (Idioti v politike). “I offered the book to a friend publisher, who was afraid to take the risk. So my wife and me established our own publishing company Kelion and put the book on market. Till the end of 2011, more than 30,000 copies were sold. My friend regrets now,” says Banáš. Since then he sold over 100.000 copies.
Jozef Banáš is member of the Union of Slovak writers and of the Slovak PEN Centre