Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Vargas, Getúlio

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_522-1


Getúlio Vargas was twice the President of Brazil, from 1930 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1954. Between his terms, he was forced to step aside amidst cries for a more democratic process. He sought to transform Brazil through industrialization. He reinstated Catholicism’s role in the political arena in Brazil, though some believe this was for political and not religious purposes.

On August 24, 1954, Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas shot himself, alone in his bedroom as protestors yelled “Death to Vargas” outside his palace gates. Vargas’s suicide note, read on the radio only 2 h after his son found his body, ended with the now oft-cited phrase, “Serenely, I take my first step on the road to eternity and I leave life to enter history” (Williams and Weinstein 2004).

Vargas indeed entered history after being born into a traditional family in 1882. His interests quickly shifted from a burgeoning military career to politics, where he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Rio...


Brazil Roman Catholic Church Politics 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.University of Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo)BuffaloUSA
  3. 3.WashingtonUSA