António de Oliveira Salazar

Dictator of Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar

Profession: Dictator of Portugal


Biography: António Salazar held power in Portugal for an incredible 40 years, only giving it up after he became too ill to continue in 1968.

Salazar rose to power after the 1926 military coup. He was initially asked to be the Finance Minister but refused the position after he wasn't given the full control of the country's finances. In 1928 General Antonio Oscar de Fragoso Carmona offered him the position again, this time giving him full control and Salazar accepted. His economic policies were successful in balancing the budget for the first time since 1910 and he became Prime Minister in 1932. In the same year he introduced a new constitution the Estado Novo or New State, bringing it in 1933.

Under Salazar's control Portugal supported other nationalist and fascist governments particularly Francisco Franco's in Spain. However Portugal remained neutral during WWII. Salazar refused to give up Portugal's foreign territories throughout his dictatorship and although forced to give up Goa in India, brutally repressed unrest that began in 1961 in Angola.

Alining with the Catholic Church Salazar's government repressed opposition parties and was criticized for keeping his people poor and illiterate till a stroke and ill health ended his dictatorship. He was replaced by Marcello Caetano as Prime Minister.

Born: April 28, 1889
Birthplace: Santa Comba Dão, Kingdom of Portugal

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: July 27, 1970 (aged 81)
Cause of Death: Cerebral hemorrhage

Historical Events

  • 1932-07-05 António de Oliveira Salazar becomes the premier and dictator of Portugal (1932-1968), founding the authoritarian Estado Novo (New State) regime
  • 1933-08-30 Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar forms secret police (PIDE)
  • 1946-02-08 Portuguese Dictator António de Oliveira Salazar forbids opposition parties
  • 1961-02-04 "Angolan War of Independence" begins
  • 1962-01-30 UN General Assembly censures Portugal over Angola
  • 1968-03-21 Portuguese socialist Mário Soares banished to Sao Tomé, having been arrested by secret police under dictator António de Oliveira Salazar

Biographies and Sources

Famous Dictators