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Biographies

A journey through the life of the greatest characters of the Argentine history: politics, letters, music, sports, arts, icons of national culture.

Juan Domingo Perón

Born in October 8, 1895 in Buenos Aires. He entered in the Military School when he was 16 years old and made an unequable progress in military rank. Served in Italy during the last years of the 1930 decade as a military observer, as witness of the success of the fascist and Nazis. Was very interested in politic history and philosophy and published several works about these topics.
In 1943 he joined a military complot which overthrow a civil government in Argentina. The military regime that assume during the next three years had a lot of influence of Peron, who prudently requested a minor job as Secretary of Work and Social Welfare. In 1945 he became Vice president and War Minister. Little by little he started gaining respect and notoriety, mainly by the support obtained from the non priviledged workers called “descamisados” and for his popularity and authority in the army.
At the beginning of October 1945, Peron was removed from his job by a civil and military uprising. But his beautiful and dynamic lover, Eva Duarte, and the companions of workers association gathered all the workers of all Great Buenos Aires, and with that pressure Peron was released from custody in October 17, 1945. That night , from the balcony of the Pink House (Government House), Peron spoke for 300,000 people and his words were rebroadcasted through the radio to all the country. He promised to lead the people towards victory in the presidential elections and build a strong and fair nation. Some days later he married Eva, or Evita, as she was popularly known, who helped him direct Argentina in the following years. Peron was elected President in February 1946 with the 56% of the votes.
Peron put Argentina in an industrialization course and economic intervention, thought to provide better social benefits for the working class. He also adopted a strong policy anti-United States and anti-British, preaching the virtues of the Third Position, between communism and capitalism. Basing his government in a doctrine called Justicialismo, showing favors for the working class, through increase in salaries and other benefits. He nationalized trains and finance great public constructions. 
Reelected in 1951, Peron modified some of his politics. But he was removed form office and sent to Paraguay in September 19, 1955, after an uprising form the navy and the army who justified themselves with the popular discontent because of inflation, corruption and oppression.
Peron finally settled down in Madrid. There, in 1961 married for third time (his first wife died from cancer, as Evita in 1952), his new wife was Maria Estela Martinez, an Argentine dancer. In Spain, Peron worked to make sure that he will remain as leader of millions of his followers “Peronistas”, whose memory of the regime will get better someday.
Nor the civil regimes or the military regimes that ruled Argentina after 1955, were able to solve the country´s problems.

The military regime of the General Alejandro Lanusse, who take over in March 1971, proclaimed that his intention was to restore the constitutional democracy in the ends of 1973 and allow the restoration of  the political parties, including Peron´s party. After an invitation from the Military Government. Peron lived in Argentina for a short time in November 1972. In the March elections of 1973, the peronist candidates won the elections and the majority of the legislature and in June, Peron was invited to come back to Argentina. In October, in a special election, he was elected President and for her insistence, his wife -who Argentines loved- became the vice president.
He died in July 1, 1974, leaving his wife as President.

Eva Perón

Eva Duarte of Perón "Evita" (1919-1952) born in Los Toldos, a city in the province of Buenos Aires. When she was 14 she moved to Buenos Aires: decided to become an actress. She performed in radio shows when she met Juan Domingo Peron in 1944. Her role mobilizing crowds was crucial for Peron´s appearance in October 17, 1945: five days later they got married. As leader of the “descamisados” working class, Evita encouraged the most radical factors of the regime and directed welfare and charity programs: she was devotedly loved by the working class and strongly heated bu the anti-peronists. Her visit to Europe after the war in 1949, (where he met Franco and Papa Pío XII) was maybe the highest point in her career. She died from cancer three years later. After her death she was almost sanctify, a province (La Pampa) and several cities were dedicated to her. Then on 1955 her dead body was embalmed and kept hidden by the militars in a cemetery in Milan, until 1973. Her grave is now in the Recoleta Cemetery, in Buenos Aires.

Carlos Gardel

There are different versions about the origin and the year in which he was born, those who study this issue disagree between each other, some say he was Uruguayan, other French, and also present doubts about who were his parents. In all his documents and between friends, Gardel said he was Uruguayan, this is who he appears in the enrolling book, where he declares being native of Tacuarembó and being born in December 11, 1887: in Argentina he established that date as the Tango National Day.
Carlos Gardel grew in a suburb of the city and in the Abasto he was called “The Frenchman”, his first studying years were in San Carlos School in the Balvanera neighborhood. At the beginning he chose creole songs to sing in public, for a few pennies and many times for nothing, in cafes and restaurants located in the surroundings of the Abasto Market.
In 1912 Gardel formed his own duet with Francisco Martino, a year later the couple became a quartet: Saúl Salinas and the uruguayan José Razzano join the group. But the quartet only lasted a few months, Saúl Salinas left frist and then Martino. 
In 1913 the duet Gardel-Razzano, and will remain that way until 1925, though Gardel recorded all the tangos. In September 1925 the duet was dissolved and Gardel almost abandon the creole songs and became tango singer. That is when he started travelling, in October 1925 he arrived to Spain, his records consolidated, his popularity grew and he strengthen as singer. Then we went to Paris, made a presentation in the theatre “Fémina”, participated in a charity festival, sang with Josephine Baker, who in that time was a star in Paris, acted three months in the Florida cabaret, made several records. As regards cinema, he had already worked for Francisco Deffilipis Novoa in two films: “Flor de durazno” and “La Loba”, in Buenos Aires.
He travels to France and in Joinville he shooted “Esperame” (Wait for me) in 1932 and “La casa es seria” (The house is serious) in 1933, and then Paramount joins him with Alfredo Le Pera who will become the author of all the scripts and letters of the songs sang by Gardel in the films. Some of the films shooted in the United States were “Melodia de Arrabal”, “El Tango en Broadway”, “El dia que me quieras” and “Tango Bar”. Gardel with his films started spreading his fame through Spanish America. Ina tour through Latin America, in June 24, 1935, in the airport of Medellin, Colombia, the plane that was taking him from Bogotá to Cali, crashed with another plane that was parked in the airfield of Olaya Herrea, producing a terrible fire. Gardel and his companions, le Pera and the guitarists Guillermo Barbieri and Domingo Riverol. And the rest of the passengers, seventeen people died due to the crash and fire. The only ones that survived with severe burns were the third guitarist José María Aguliar and other two passengers. The corp of Carlos Gardel is repatriated, and a large crows attends his funeral in the Luna Park and accompanies him through Corrientes Av. to the Chacarita Cemetery, were he was left temporarily, in the Artist Pantheon. After a year and a half, a mausoleum was built in honor to him, together wit a bronze statue that showed Gardel smiling, discovered by Francisco Canaro. The accident occurred in Medellin ended with the material life of Gardel, but the “dark-haired from the Abasto”("El Morocho del Abasto") takes revenge and lives as a legend, he immortalizes associating eternally his name with tango. Because Gardel was, is and will be the essence of tango.

Jorge Luis Borges

Born in Buenos Aires in August 24, 1899 and died in Geneva(Switzerland) in June 14, 1986. Bilingual since his childhood, learned English before Spanish as his grandmother was British. In 1914, he travelled with his family to Europe. They settled down in Geneva where Borges wrote some poems in French while he studied in high school (1914-1918). In 1921 they came back and the young Jorge Luis rediscovered his Buenos Aires, he started writing poems, published his first book, “Fervor of Buenos Aires” (1923). From 1924, he will publish some literary magazines and two more books, “Luna de enfrente” (Moon in front) and “Inquisisiones” (Inquisitions), once in 1925 he was considered one of the most outstanding in the modern and young avant-grade. Writes stories and poems about the Buenos Aires suburbs, about tango, fights between handsome men as in “Man of the Pink Corner”. He will also start to write about fantastic and magic stories, becoming one of the major writers of the twentieth century in the literary field. His play has rehearsals, poetry, scripts and stories such as: “The garden of the diverging paths” (1941), “Fictions” (1994), “The Aleph” (1949), “The death and the compass” (1951), “The Brodie Report” (1970), “The sand book” (1975).

Julio Cortázar

(Brussels, Belgium, August 6, 1914 – Paris, France, February 12, 1984) brilliant Argentine writer and intellectual. He was considered one of the most innovative and original authors of that time, a master in short stories, poetic prose and brief narration in general, comparable with Jorge Luis Borges, Anton Chejov or Edgar Allan Poe, and creator of important novels that inaugurated a new way of making literature in Latin America, breaking with the traditional patterns through narrations that do not follow a time line and where characters acquire an autonomy and a psychological depth never seen before. Some of his works are: “Bestiario”- stories (1951), “The awards” - novel (1960), “Stories of cronopios and famas” - miscellaneous (1962), “Letter to a lady in Paris” (1963), “Hopscotch” - novel (1963), “The South Motorway” (1964), “Every fire and the fire” - stories (1966). The royalties of several of his works were donated to help political prisoners of various countries, among them Argentina. In Buenos Aires, the small square located in the crossroads of Serrano and Honduras streets is named after him, as well as various schools.

Astor Piazolla

Accordion player, director, composer and arranger. Born in march11, 1924, in Mar del Plata. When he turned 9 his father gave him an accordion that he had bought for 18 dollars at a shop in the port and in that way Piazolla starting studying, though he liked jazz more. At 11 he composed his first tango, “Step by step to the 42” (La catinga) and at 12 he was already playing, in WMCE radio, Mozart, Bach, Rossini and other classics. He managed very well the accordion when he was 13,  acted in “El dia que me quieras” (The day you love me) as a newspaper seller. He also played in the orchestra that accompanied Gardel in that movie. In Buenos Aires, he went through several orchestras not very known, acted with Miguel Caló and then was accordion player of Anibal Troilo. In 1946 he started directing his own group: that was how Piazolla revolutionized tango, starting the avant-garde movement. He was an annoyed and upset musician, however he is one of the mots important musicians that our contry has given to the world. Some of his great successes: “Ballad for a crazy”, “Chinese Wall”, “Beat”, music of several movies, “Bye Nonio” (in honor to his dead father), “Buenos Aires Winter”, “Zero Hour in Buenos Aires”, “Revolutionary”, “Portrait of Alfredo Gobbi”, "Kicho", "Sideral", “What will come”, "Fracanapa", "Decarísimo", "Cramp", "Nonino", “Tango of the angel”, “Double bass”, “Crazy Milonga”, “Pigmalion”, “The same sorrow”, "Menefrega" (these last three with Homero Expósito), some vals such as “Bachin childish”. algunos valses como "Chiquilín de Bachín".

Antonio Berni

(Rosario, Santa Fé 1905 - Buenos Aires, 1981). Painter, illustrator and muralist, was one of the main representatives of social art.  Juanito Laguna is a character present in several of his works (you can see them in the National Museum of Fine Arts).

Benito Quinquela Martin

(Buenos Aires 1890 -1977). Painter, engraver and muralist. Painted a portrait as no other of La Boca neighborhood, the port and people. Some of his works can be seen in the Quinquela Martin Museum.

Osvaldo Pugliese

Pianist, director and composer. Born in the neighbor of Villa Crespo in December 2, 1905. His father (affectionate flautist) since very little he gave Osvaldo solfa lessons and before he was nine he learned to play the violin. Then he was sent to a conservatory in the neighborhood where he realized that his instrument was the piano. He started to compose his first tangos when he was 15 years old, that had simple structures, “Memory” was written in 1924. In August 1939 he presented with his definitive group in The National Cafe  in Corrientes street, an important stage in all the tango music. His style is followed by the school of Julio and Francisco De Caro but with a more intense rhythm, to dance. He composed “La Yumba” and recorded it in 1946, though he had already been playing it since some years.  After a brief illness, “The master” died in 1944 at the age of 89 years, in Buenos Aires City.
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