Died when: 65 years 47 days
Star Sign: Leo
Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens (US: , UK: , American Spanish: [salβaˈðoɾ ɣiˈʝeɾmo aˈʝende ˈɣosens]; 26 June 1908 – 11 September 1973) was a Chilean democratic socialist politician and physician, President of Chile from 1970 until 1973, and head of the Popular Unity political coalition government; he was the first ever Marxist to be elected president in a country with liberal democracy. Allende's involvement in Chilean political life 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 in a close three-way race. He was elected in a run-off by Congress as no candidate had gained a majority. On 11 September 1973, the military moved to oust Allende in a coup d'état supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As troops surrounded La Moneda Palace, he gave his last speech vowing not to resign. Later that day, Allende committed suicide with an AK-47 rifle gifted to him by Fidel Castro, according to an investigation conducted by a Chilean court with the assistance of international experts in 2011. 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 was in power up 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 persecution of alleged dissidents, in which at least 3,095 civilians disappeared or were killed.