Birthday: October 8, 1895
Died At Age: 78
Sun Sign: Libra
Also Known As: Juan Peron, Juan Domingo Perón
Born in: Lobos
Famous as: President of Argentina
Died on: July 1, 1974
place of death: Olivos
Founder/Co-Founder: Justicialist Party
awards: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Who was Juan Perón?
Juan Domingo Peron was an Argentine lieutenant general who went on to become the President of Argentina. Peron was born into a middle class family and although he wasn’t good in academics he excelled in athletics; which was perhaps the reason why he wanted to join the Army. Peron served in the Army for many years during which he showed his talents as a teacher of military history at the academy but later on he became a member of the group of army officers who staged the coup of 1943 that overthrew the government of the day. Peron was a believer in social democracy and wanted to make sure that the blue collar workers in Argentina were given a fair deal by their employers. He worked in order to industrialise the country as quickly as possible and also paid off loans owed to foreign governments. Peron was overthrown by another faction in the army and he went into exile but he returned to Argentina to become the president again. Peron is an iconic personality in Argentine political history and is still revered by many people across the country.
Childhood & Early Life
Juan Domingo Peron was born to Mario Tomas Peron and Juana Sosa Toledo in Lobos, Argentina, on 8 October 1895. His family had their roots in Sardinia and his father owned his own sheep ranch in Patagonia in Argentina.
Juan Peron was sent off to Buenos Aires in 1904 to a boarding school for his education and during his years as a student he proved to be an excellent athlete and fence player. He was not that good in academics.
When Juan Peron was 16 years old he took admission in the National Military College in El Palomar, Buenos Aires and graduated from there two years later in 1913. Peron was appointed as a member of the infantry and was sent to Parana, Entre Rios.
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Juan Peron entered the army when he was only 18 years old but he quickly rose through the ranks and after a stint at the Superior War School he took up a position at the Army General Staff Headquarters in 1929. Two years later he was promoted to the post of Major and became a faculty at the Superior War School.
Peron served in the Argentine Embassy in Chile for two years starting from 1936 as the Military Attaché before going to Italy in order to learn the intricacies of mountain warfare. During his time in Italy, he studied the Fascist regime in Italy and the Nazi Regime in Germany. Peron became convinced that social democracy could be the most effective form of governance after that experience.
Following his return from Italy, in 1941, Peron became a Colonel. Two years later in 1943, as one of the member of the secretive United Officers Group, Juan Peron became an active participant in the coup that dismissed the existing elected government of the country then headed up by Ramon Castillo.
Following the coup, Juan Peron was appointed as the head of the Department of Labour. Peron was close to the then de-facto President General Edelmiro J. Farrell. In 1944, Peron was appointed Vice President and Secretary of War; he also retained his Labour portfolio.
In his capacity as head of the Department of Labour, Juan Peron brought in a lot of measures that were welcomed by blue collar workers. In addition to the introduction of social benefits, he took care of some industrial disputes as well. When Juan Peron was jailed and stripped of his position by another group of army officers in a coup in 1945; the labour unions revolted and he was released within a matter of days.
Juan Peron was elected as the President of Argentina on 4 June 1946 after a campaign that was marred by military subjugation of his liberal opponents. Peron was focussed on making Argentina an industrialised nation and also to provide greater economic security to the working class of the day. He nationalised the railways and also paid off a loan to the Bank of England that was worth $1 billion. However, his measures caused a strain on the Argentine treasury.
In 1951, Peron was re-elected as President but there was resentment within the Argentine Army, led by Eduardo Lonardi, regarding his vice like grip on the country and the way in which he stamped down on liberal opposition to his regime.
In 1955, Peron was ousted in a coup and he fled to Paraguay before settling in Spain.
Juan Peron stayed in Spain during his years of exile and it was not till 1972 that he was allowed to go to his country, albeit for a short while. However, the following year the Peronist Party won the election and was Peron was allowed to go back to Argentina permanently. The same year he was elected the president of Argentina.
Juan Peron served as the President of Argentina for roughly 11 years across two stints and during that time his biggest contribution was in industrialising the country and making sure that the economically weaker sections of the Argentine workforce were able to get a wage that they deserved.
Personal Life & Legacy
On 5 January 1929 Juan Peron got married to Aurelia Tizon but she died of uterine cancer nine years after their marriage. They had no children.
Juan Peron married actress Eva Peron, better known as ‘Evita’, on 22 October 1945. Eva Peron died seven years later in 1952. They had no children.
During his exile in Spain, Peron came into contact with singer and dancer Maria Estela Martinez, better known as Isabel and they got married in 1961. When Peron assumed presidency in 1973, Isabel became the Vice President of Argentina.
Juan Peron died at the age of 78 on 1 July 1974 after suffering from multiple heart attacks.
After his death, Isabel became the President of Argentina and was in power for nearly two years, till she was ousted in a coup on 24 March 1976.