Fun Facts Friday: Rómulo Gallegos

Rómulo Gallegos (2 August, 1884 – 5 April, 1969) was a Venezuelan writer and politician. He will be remembered as the first president to be elected in a clean election in Venezuelan history.

Books by Rómulo Gallegos*Books by Rómulo Gallegos*

1)      Rómulo Ángel del Monte Carmelo Gallegos Freire was born in Caracas to a middle class family.

2)      In 1929 Mr. Gallegos published his novel Doña Bárbara which criticized longtime dictator Juan Vicente Gómez Chacón. As a result the author was forced to escape to Spain.

3)      During this time he wrote two more applauded novels Cantaclaro (1934) and Canaima (1935)

4)      In 1936, upon his return to Venezuela, Mr. Gallegos was appointed Minister of Public Education.

5)      He was elected to Congress in 1937, and serving as Mayor of Caracas in 1940-41.

6)       In 1947, during an election that is believed to be Venezuela’s first honest one, Mr. Gallegos won 74% of the votes (a record than and still today).

7)      Mr. Gallegos raised taxes on oil profits from 43% to 50% in a scheme that was later copied by several other countries including Saudi Arabia.

8)      He was forced out of office in 1948 and took refuge in Cuba and Mexico.

9)      Returning to Venezuela in 1958, Mr. Gallegos was named “senator for life”, but he never had an active role in politics.

10)   In 1958 Mr. Gallegos was awarded the National Literature Prize for his novel La doncella, and nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1960.

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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