Tuesday, March 27, 2012

María Eva Duarte de Perón (1895–1974)

María Eva Duarte de Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón (1895–1974) and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. 

She was born out of wedlock in the village of Los Toldos in rural Argentina in 1919, the fourth of five children. In 1934, at the age of 15, she went to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires, where she pursued a career as a stage, radio, and film actress. 

In 1951, Eva Perón renounced the Peronist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina. In this bid, she received great support from the Peronist political base, low-income and working class Argentines who were referred to as descamisados or “shirtless ones”. However, opposition from the nation’s military and bourgeoisie, coupled with her declining health, ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy. In 1952 shortly before her death from cancer at the age of 33, Eva Perón was given the official title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress. Eva Perón was given an official state funeral despite the fact that she was not an elected head of state.

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