Adolfo Suárez

For other people named Adolfo Suárez, see Adolfo Suárez (disambiguation).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Suárez and the second or maternal family name is González.
Excelentísimo Señor
Adolfo, Duke of Suárez
Prime Minister of Spain
In office
3 July 1976  25 February 1981
Monarch Juan Carlos I
Deputy Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado
Preceded by Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
Succeeded by Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo
Minister-Secretary General of the Movimiento Nacional
In office
12 December 1975  6 July 1976
President Carlos Arias Navarro
Preceded by José Solís
Succeeded by Ignacio García López
Director-General of the Spanish Radio and Television Corporation
In office
14 May 1969  25 June 1973
Preceded by Jesús Aparicio-Bernal
Succeeded by Rafael Orbe
Civil Governor of the Province of Segovia
In office
31 May 1968  7 November 1969
Leader Francisco Franco
Preceded by Juan Murillo de Valdivia
Succeeded by Mariano Pérez-Hickman
Personal details
Born Adolfo Suárez González
(1932-09-25)25 September 1932
Cebreros, Spain
Died 23 March 2014(2014-03-23) (aged 81)
Madrid, Spain
Resting place Cathedral of Ávila
Nationality Spanish
Political party CDS
Other political
FET y de las JONS
Union of the Democratic Centre
Democratic and Social Centre
Spouse(s) Amparo Illana Elórtegui (d. 2001)
Children María Amparo (1963–2004)
Adolfo (b. 1964)
Laura (b. 1966)
Sonsoles (b. 1967)
Francisco Javier (b. 1969)
Parents Hipólito Suárez Guerra
Herminia González Prados
Alma mater Salamanca University
Occupation Jurist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Adolfo Suárez González, Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain KOGF OCIII (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈðolfo ˈswaɾeθ]; 25 September 1932 – 23 March 2014) was a Spanish attorney and politician. Suárez was Spain's first democratically elected Prime Minister since the Second Spanish Republic and a key figure in the country's transition to democracy after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Early life

Adolfo Suárez was the eldest son of Hipólito Suárez Guerra and Herminia González Prados (Ávila, 1910 – 18 July 2006), and the brother of Hipólito, María del Carmen (who is married to Aurelio Delgado Martín), Ricardo and José María.[1] He was born in Cebreros. He later studied law at Salamanca University.

Political career

Suárez held several government posts during the late Francoist regime. He became the Minister Secretary General of the National Movement (Movimiento Nacional), a body that served as the sole political party in Spain for 38 years, a period that extended beyond the death of Franco in November 1975. At a rally just a month before Franco's death, Suárez was queried by the aging Caudillo on the political future of Spain and told him frankly that the Movement would not likely long survive Franco and that democratization was inevitable.[2] Suárez was appointed as the 138th Prime Minister of Spain by King Juan Carlos on 3 July 1976, a move opposed by leftists and some centrists given his Francoist history. As a nationalist, he was chosen by the monarch to lead the country towards a democratic, parliamentary monarchy without annoying the powerful conservative factions (especially the military) in the nation. Surprising many observers and political opponents, Suárez introduced Political Reform in 1976 as a first, decisive step in the transition to democracy (La Transición).

In 1977, Suárez led the Union of the Democratic Centre (Unión de Centro Democrático, UCD) to victory in Spain's first free elections in 41 years, and became the first democratically-elected prime minister of the post-Franco regime.

Suárez's centrist government instituted democratic reforms, and his coalition won the 1979 elections under the new constitution. Less successful as a day-to-day organiser than as a crisis manager, he resigned as Prime Minister on 29 January 1981.[3] A month later, as parliament was taking a vote to confirm Suárez's replacement as Prime Minister Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, parliament was disrupted by the entrance of Lieutenant Colonel Tejero and his attempted coup.[4] The 23-F coup attempt ("El Tejerazo") shook the government, but was defeated. In 1982, Suárez founded the Democratic and Social Centre (Centro Democrático y Social, CDS) party, which never achieved the success of UCD, though Suárez and its party were important elements in the Liberal International, joining it in 1988, leading to it being renamed Liberal and Progressive International, and Suárez became President of the Liberal International in 1988.[5] He retired from active politics in 1991, for personal reasons.

Former Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez went to Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1981.

In 1981, he was raised into the Spanish nobility by King Juan Carlos of Spain and given the hereditary title of "Duque de Suárez" (Duke of Suárez), together with the title Grande de España (English: Grandee of Spain) following his resignation as Prime Minister and in recognition of his role in the transition to democracy. Suárez was awarded the Príncipe de Asturias a la Concordia in September 1996 for his role in Spain's early democracy. On 8 June 2007, during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the first democratic elections, King Juan Carlos appointed Suárez the 1,193rd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.[6] He was also a member of the Club de Madrid, an independent organization (based in Madrid) that is composed of more than 80 former democratic Prime Ministers and Presidents. The group works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership.[7]

Illness and death

On 31 May 2005, Suárez's son, Adolfo Suárez Illana, announced on Spanish television that his father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and could no longer remember his period as Prime Minister of Spain. The announcement followed speculation about Suárez's health in the Spanish media. On 21 March 2014, his son announced that his death from neurological deterioration was imminent.[8] Suárez then died as a result of a respiratory infection on 23 March 2014 in a clinic in Madrid.[9]

On 26 March 2014, the Spanish government decided to rename the Madrid-Barajas airport to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas in honour of his service to the country.[10]

Pope Francis, in an official telegram message of condolence, sent by the Vatican's Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, to the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Avila, Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo, stated: "With great sadness I received the sad news of the death of His Excellency, The Honourable Former Prime Minister of Spain, Lord Adolfo Suarez. I express to you my sincerest condolences. In fraternal suffrage with you all, I make fervent prayers to the Lord for the eternal rest of this esteemed and feature figure of the recent history of Spain. Mindful of these feelings, and in company with you all and with his grieving family, I impart the Apostolic Blessing as a sign of Christian hope in the Risen Lord."

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles





  1. Adolfo Suárez González, 1. duque de Suárez,, at
  2. Payne, S.G. The Franco Regime, 1936–1975. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1987. p 616.
  3. Preston, Paul, "Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy", page 457. Harper Perennial, 2005. ISBN 0-00-638693-8
  4. Cercas, Javier, "The Anatomy of a Moment". Bloomsbury, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4088-0560-2.
  5. Roberts, Geoffrey K.; Hogwood, Patricia (2003), The Politics Today companion to West European politics, Manchester University Press, p. 137
  6. BOE 07-06-09, Spanish official journal. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
  7. "Suárez, Adolfo". World Leadership Alliance. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  8. El hijo de Adolfo Suárez sobre su padre: “El desenlace es inminente”
  9. Fallece Adolfo Suárez, el presidente de la Transición, El Mundo, 23 March 2014
  10. "El aeropuerto de Madrid se llama desde hoy Adolfo Suárez". El Mundo (in Spanish). 24 March 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  11. Boletín Oficial del Estado 07-06-09, Spanish Official Journal
  12. Boletín Oficial del Estado 14-03-24, Spanish Official Journal
  13. Boletín Oficial del Estado 78-06-23, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  14. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 73-09-29, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  15. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 69-07-18, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  16. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 71-04-05, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  17. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 67-04-01, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  18. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 72-04-01, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on March 24, 2014)
  19. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 72-07-18, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  20. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 75-07-04, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  21. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 70-09-15, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  22. Portuguese Republic
  23. Portuguese Republic
  24. Medalla de Oro de la provincia de Segovia concedida a su Alteza Real Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg (1991). Segovia. Provincial Council of Segovia. ISBN 84-86789-35-4.
  25. Adolfo Suárez, Medalla de Oro de Ávila, e Hijo Adoptivo de dicha ciudad
  26. Adolfo Suárez, Medalla de Oro de Ávila, e Hijo Adoptivo de dicha ciudad
  27. Adolfo Suárez ganador del I Premio Internacional Alfonso X el Sabio
  28. Medalla de Oro de Madrid para Adolfo Suárez, Teresa Berganza, Pedro Laín Entralgo y Joaquín Garrigues
  29. Concesión de la Medalla de Oro de Madrid para Adolfo Suárez
  30. Adolfo Suárez y Mario Soares, investidos Doctores Honoris Causa por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  31. Concesión Príncipe de Asturias a Don Adolfo Suárez González. Hemeroteca El País
  32. Con Adolfo Suárez se va el primer galardonado por la Fundación Premio Convivencia
  33. Suárez, González y Roca hablarán de "España desde la Constitución". Hemeroteca El País. Accessed 24 March 2014.
  34. Adolfo Suárez, profeta en su tierra
  35. Medalla de Honor de Madrid para Suárez, y de Oro para González y Aznar
  36. Adolfo Suárez, nombrado a título póstumo Hijo Adoptivo de Madrid
  37. (Spanish) Adolfo Suárez, AMPA Súarez, p. 5 . Retrieved 24 March 2014.

See also

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adolfo Suárez.
Media offices
Preceded by
Jesús Aparicio-Bernal Sánchez
Director General of RTVE
Succeeded by
Rafael Orbe
Political offices
Preceded by
Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
Prime Minister of Spain
Succeeded by
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo
Party political offices
Preceded by
Giovanni Malagodi
President of the Liberal International
Succeeded by
Otto Graf Lambsdorff
Spanish nobility
New creation Duke of Suárez
Succeeded by
Alejandra Romero Suárez
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