Salvador Allende

Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens (US: /ɑːˈjɛnd, -di/,[1][2] UK: /æˈ-, ˈɛn-/,[3][4] American Spanish: [salβaˈðoɾ ɣiˈʝeɾmo aˈʝende ˈɣosens]; 26 June 1908 – 11 September 1973) was a Chilean physician and socialist politician,[5][6][7] who served as the 28th president of Chile from 3 November 1970 until his suicide on 11 September 1973. He was the first Marxist to be elected president in a liberal democracy in Latin America.[8][9]

Salvador Allende

Salvador Allende
28th President of Chile
In office
3 November 1970  11 September 1973
Preceded byEduardo Frei Montalva
Succeeded byAugusto Pinochet
56th President of the Senate of Chile
In office
27 December 1966  15 May 1969
Preceded byTomás Reyes Vicuña
Succeeded byTomás Pablo Elorza
Member of the Senate
In office
15 May 1969  3 November 1970
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byAdonis Sepúlveda Acuña
ConstituencyChiloé, Aysén and Magallanes
In office
15 May 1961  15 May 1969
Preceded byCarlos Alberto Martínez
Succeeded byHugo Ballesteros Reyes
ConstituencyAconcagua and Valparaíso
In office
15 May 1953  15 May 1961
Preceded byElías Lafertte Gaviño
Succeeded byRaúl Ampuero Díaz
ConstituencyTarapacá and Antofagasta
In office
15 May 1945  15 May 1953
Preceded byLuis Ambrosio Concha
Succeeded byAniceto Rodríguez Arenas
ConstituencyValdivia, Osorno, Llanquihue, Chiloé, Aysén and Magallanes
Secretary of the Socialist Party of Chile
In office
January 1943  July 1944
Preceded byMarmaduke Grove
Succeeded byBernardo Ibáñez
Minister of Health and Social Welfare
In office
28 September 1939  2 April 1942
PresidentPedro Aguirre Cerda
Preceded byMiguel Etchebarne Riol
Succeeded byEduardo Escudero Forrastal
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
15 May 1937  28 September 1939
Preceded byHumberto Casali Monreal
Succeeded byVasco Valdebenito García
ConstituencyQuillota and Valparaíso
Personal details
Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens

(1908-06-26)26 June 1908
Santiago, Chile
Died11 September 1973(1973-09-11) (aged 65)
Santiago, Chile
Cause of deathSuicide by gunshot
Resting placeCementerio General de Santiago
Political partyChilean Socialist
Other political
Popular Unity Coalition
(m. 1940)
ChildrenBeatriz Allende (1943–1977)
Carmen Paz Allende (born 1944)
Isabel Allende (born 1945)
RelativesAllende family
Alma materUniversity of Chile
ProfessionMedical doctor
Civil servant
WebsiteSalvador Allende Foundation

Allende's involvement in Chilean politics spanned a period of nearly forty years, having covered the posts of senator, deputy and cabinet minister. As a life-long committed member of the Socialist Party of Chile, whose foundation he had actively contributed to, he unsuccessfully ran for the national presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, he won the presidency as the candidate of the Popular Unity coalition, in a close three-way race. He was elected in a run-off by Congress as no candidate had gained a majority.

As president, Allende sought to nationalize major industries, expand education and improve the living standards of the working class. He clashed with the right-wing parties that controlled Congress and with the judiciary. On 11 September 1973, the military moved to oust Allende in a coup d'état supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).[10][11][12] As troops surrounded La Moneda Palace, he gave his last speech vowing not to resign.[13] Later that day, Allende committed suicide.[14][upper-alpha 1]

Following Allende's death, General Augusto Pinochet refused to return authority to a civilian government, and Chile was later ruled by a military junta that ruled until 1990, ending more than four decades of uninterrupted democratic governance. The military junta that took over dissolved the Congress of Chile, suspended the Constitution, and began a program of persecuting alleged dissidents, in which at least 3,095 civilians disappeared or were killed.[16]