Juan Perón (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: More than any other figure, Perón dominated the history of twentieth century Argentina. He participated in coups that toppled the government in 1930 and 1943. With support from the armed forces and organized labor, he governed as president from 1943 to 1955 and 1973 to 1974. His legacy continued to divide Argentina long after his death in 1974.
Juan Domingo Perón was born in the town of Lobos in Buenos Aires Province on October 8, 1895. His restless father, Mario Tomás Perón, had given up the study of medicine to live as a minor government bureaucrat and tenant rancher. In 1890, at Lobos, he met Juana Sosa Toledo, a farm girl, and they had a son the following year. Juan was the second born, although the couple still had not married. In 1900, the family moved to Patagonia, but four years later his parents sent the boy to Buenos Aires to begin elementary school while living with some of his father’s relatives.
Large for his age and increasingly self-reliant, Perón stayed on in the city with brief visits to his family, until in 1911 he entered the Military College, a prerequisite for a career in the armed forces. An average student as a cadet, Perón was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1913. By 1929, he was a captain, and his career had been routine and apolitical. Charismatic, hardworking, and energetic, Perón showed talent as a teacher and athlete. He also received an...
(The entire section is 2214 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!