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Died when: 86 years 91 days
Star Sign: Libra
Antonio Fontán Pérez (15 October 1923 – 14 January 2010) was a Spanish journalist recognised for his work in promoting press freedom in his country. He was also a well-known Roman Catholic member of Opus Dei.Antonio Fontán was the editor of the independent newspaper Madrid from 1967 to 1971. The periodical was openly criticising General Franco's authoritarian rule. In 1968, the government began a campaign against the newspaper, in which Fontán was prosecuted 19 times in four months. In October 1971 the authorities demanded Fontán’s resignation, closing down the paper a few weeks later. Fontán’s staunch defence of the principles of free expression during those five years as editor earned him and his staff a unique place in the annals of Spanish journalism.In 1977 Fontán was elected to the Spanish Senate as a member of the Unión de Centro Democrático, in the first democratic general elections after the end of Francisco Franco's regime. During his career, Fontán co-authored Spain's Constitution of 1978, which recognised freedom of expression and freedom of information as fundamental rights. He also served as a minister from 1979 to 1982.At the time of his death, Fontán was the president and publisher of Nueva Revista de Política, Cultura y Arte, a bimonthly news magazine, which he founded in 1990. The International Press Institute (IPI) has named him one of the "Heroes of Press Freedom."