Arturo Alessandri

Arturo Alessandri

Alessandri Ulk (1932).jpg
17th & 21st President of Chile
In office
24 December 1932 – 24 December 1938
Preceded byAbraham Oyanedel
Succeeded byPedro Aguirre Cerda
In office
20 March 1925 – 1 October 1925
Vice PresidentLuis Barros Borgoño
Preceded byEmilio Bello
Succeeded byLuis Barros Borgoño (Acting)
In office
23 December 1920 – 23 September 1924
Vice PresidentLuis Altamirano
Preceded byJuan Luis Sanfuentes
Succeeded byLuis Altamirano
Personal details
Born(1868-12-20)December 20, 1868
Longaví, Chile
DiedAugust 24, 1950(1950-08-24) (aged 81)
Santiago, Chile
Political partyLiberal Party
Spouse(s)Rosa Ester Rodríguez
Alma materUniversity of Chile

Arturo Fortunato Alessandri Palma, GCTE (American Spanish: [aɾˈtuɾo aleˈsandɾi ˈpalma]; December 20, 1868 – August 24, 1950) was a Chilean political figure and reformer, who served thrice as the President of Chile, first between 1920 and 1924, then for part of 1925, and finally from 1932 until 1938.

Early life

He was son of Pedro Alessandri Vargas, son of an Italian immigrant, and Susana Palma Guzmán. His father was dedicated to the agricultural labor of the estate in which he lived. At the age of 12 he entered the Sacred Hearts High School, run by French priests, where his brothers were studying and his father had studied.

He started his law career by beginning studies at the University of Chile[1] at the age of 20, graduating in 1893. In 1891, while studying, he participated in the newspaper "La Justicia", which was in opposition to the President of the time, José Manuel Balmaceda. After graduating as a lawyer, he married Rosa Ester Rodríguez Velasco, with whom he had 9 children.

He began his political life in 1897, entering the Liberal Party, and assuming the position of representative of Curicó, where he would be re-elected for almost 20 years. In 1915, already showing his first presidential aspirations, he challenged the senator of the province of Tarapacá, Arturo del Río. Alessandri won a disputed and violent election, from where he earned the nickname of León de Tarapacá (Lion of Tarapacá), due to his charisma, his popularity with the people and his public-speaking abilities.

In 1920 he ran for President of the Republic for the Liberal Alliance , defeating by a narrow margin his opponent of the Coalition (now named the National Union since it incorporated the Conservative Party) Luis Barros Borgoño. With his speeches favoring the working class, he caused great fear in the more conservative sectors of Chilean society, which saw its interests in jeopardy. Since the opposition controlled the National Congress, Alessandri favored strengthening the executive power, which lacked political weight before the Congress (Parliamentary Era).

Other Languages