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Pio Baroja Pio Baroja 1872 - 1956 Writer, novelist, biographer, physician
Bartolome Esteban Murillo Bartolome Esteban Murillo 1617 - 1682 Painter of the Spanish Baroque school
John David McAfee John David McAfee 1945 - 2021 Computer programmer
Pau Dones Pau Dones 1966 - 2020 Jarabe de Palo vocalist
Fernando Villaamil y Morillo Fernando Villaamil y Morillo 1845 - 1898 Spanish general and colonial administrator
Luis Bunuel Luis Bunuel 1900 - 1983 Film director and screenwriter
Vicente Riva Palacio Vicente Riva Palacio 1832 - 1896 Writer, politician, military leader
Ignacio Barraquer Barraquer Ignacio Barraquer Barraquer 1884 - 1965 Ophthalmologist
Miguel Delibes Miguel Delibes 1920 - 2010 Writer, novelist, journalist
Estrellita Castro Estrellita Castro 1908 - 1983 Copla and flamenco singer and actress
Luis de Cordova y Cordova Luis de Cordova y Cordova 1706 - 1796 Spanish naval commander during the Anglo-Spanish
Benito Perez Galdpos Benito Perez Galdpos 1843 - 1920 Spanish realist novelist and playwright
Pablo Morillo y Morillo Pablo Morillo y Morillo 1775 - 1837 Spanish general and colonial administrator
Manuel Azana Manuel Azana 1880 - 1940 Minister of War, Prime Minister
Concepcion Arenal Concepcion Arenal 1820 - 1893 Writer, jurist, thinker, journalist, poet
Victoria de los Angeles Victoria de los Angeles 1923 - 2005 Operatic lyric soprano and recitalist
Pedro Carrasco Pedro Carrasco 1943 - 2001 Professional boxer and WBC lightweight champion
Francisco Franco Francisco Franco 1892 - 1975 Leader of the Nationalist forces
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Al-Azdi Abu Abdullah Muhammad Al-Azdi -970 - -1043 Physician and Physicist
Federico Garcia Lorca Federico Garcia Lorca 1898 - 1936 Novelist and poet
Elbira Zipitria Elbira Zipitria 1906 - 1982 Basque language teacher and activist
Liam Hampson Liam Hampson 1998 - 2020 Rugby league player for Redcliffe Dolphins
Caravaggio Caravaggio 1571 - 1610 Painter
Paco de Lucia Paco de Lucia 1947 - 2014 Flamenco guitarist and composer
Santiago Rusinol Santiago Rusinol 1861 - 1931 Painter, poet, journalist, collector ,playwright
Enrique Urquijo Enrique Urquijo 1960 - 1999 Singer, songwriter, and guitarist
Antoni Gaudi Antoni Gaudi 1852 - 1926 Architect and pioneer of Modernism
Santiago Ramon Cajal Santiago Ramon Cajal 1852 - 1934 Father of modern neuroscience
Pablo Casals Pablo Casals 1876 - 1973 Cellist, composer, conductor
Angel Nieto Angel Nieto 1947 - 2017 Grand Prix motorcycle racer
Eugenio Montero Rios Eugenio Montero Rios 1832 - 1914 Prime minister of Spain, minister of Grace
Bert Kaempfert Bert Kaempfert 1923 - 1980 Orchestra leader, music producer
Joaquina Vedruna de Mas Joaquina Vedruna de Mas 1783 - 1854 Founder of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity
Concha Espina Concha Espina 1869 - 1955 Novelist and poet
Maria Blanchard Maria Blanchard 1881 - 1932 Painter and pioneer of Cubism
Camilo Jose Cela Camilo Jose Cela 1916 - 2002 Writer, novelist, essayist, journalist
Vicente Aleixandre Vicente Aleixandre 1898 - 1984 winner of the Cervantes,and the Lenin Peace Prize
Clara Campoamor Clara Campoamor 1888 - 1972 Politician, lawyer, writer, journalist, feminist
Amparo Baro Amparo Baro 1937 - 2015 Actress
Jose Celestino Bruno Mutis Jose Celestino Bruno Mutis 1732 - 1808 Botanist, mathematician, priest, artist
Carmen de Burgos Carmen de Burgos 1867 - 1932 Writer, journalist, translator, pedagogue
Juan de la Cierva Juan de la Cierva 1895 - 1936 Aeronautical engineer inventor of the autogiro
Maria Dolores Pradera Maria Dolores Pradera 1924 - 2018 Spanish melodic singer and actress
Almudena Grandes Almudena Grandes 1960 - 2021 Writer and novelist
Antonio Buero Vallejo Antonio Buero Vallejo 1916 - 2000 Playwright, jurist, thinker, journalist, poet
Francisco Tarrega Francisco Tarrega 1852 - 1909 Classical guitar composer and performer
Amerigo Vespucci Amerigo Vespucci 1451 - 1512 Explorer
Laurence Olivier Laurence Olivier 1907 - 1989 Actor and director
Guillermo Timoner Guillermo Timoner 1926 - 2023 Professional cyclist
Eugenio Lucas Velazquez Eugenio Lucas Velazquez 1817 - 1870 Romantic painter
Ramon Maria del Valle-Inclan Ramon Maria del Valle-Inclan 1866 - 1936 Writer and dramatist of the Spanish Modernism
Fernando Martin Espina Fernando Martin Espina 1962 - 1989 Basketball player
Federico Martin Bahamontes Federico Martin Bahamontes 1928 - 2023 Road racing cyclist
Mario Camus Mario Camus 1935 - 2021 Film director and screenwriter
Angelines Fernandez Angelines Fernandez 1924 - 1994 Actress and comedian
Joan Oro Joan Oro 1923 - 2004 Biochemist and astrobiologist
Louay Hussein Louay Hussein 1960 - 2022 Writer and opposition activist
Necla Hibetullah Sultan Necla Hibetullah Sultan 1926 - 2006 Ottoman and Egyptian royalty
Joaquin Turina Joaquin Turina 1882 - 1949 Classical music composer and performer
Joe Lynch Joe Lynch 1926 - 2001 Actor and singer
Vintila Horia Vintila Horia 1915 - 1992 Writer
Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure Orfila Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure Orfila 1787 - 1853 Founder of toxicology
Josefina de la Torre Josefina de la Torre 1907 - 2002 Poet, novelist, opera singer, and actress
Margarita Salas Margarita Salas 1938 - 2019 Biochemistry and molecular genetics
Lina Morgan Lina Morgan 1937 - 2015 Comedy actress and theater owner
Catherine of Aragon Catherine of Aragon 1485 - 1536 First wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England
Walter Benjamin Walter Benjamin 1892 - 1940 Philosopher and cultural critic
Vasco Nunez de Balboa Vasco Nunez de Balboa 1475 - 1519 Explorer and governor of Panama
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo 1926 - 2008 Prime Minister of Spain, Minister of Economy
Don Raimundo Don Raimundo 1090 - 1152 Archbishop of Toledo and patron of the Toledan
Lew Hoad Lew Hoad 1934 - 1994 tennis player
Teresa Berganza Teresa Berganza 1933 - 2022 Mezzo-soprano opera singer and teacher
Francisco Gento Francisco Gento 1933 - 2022 Footballer
Francesc Pi i Margall Francesc Pi i Margall 1824 - 1901 President of the First Spanish Republic
Demola Seriki Demola Seriki 1959 - 2022 Nigerian ambassador to Spain
Hernando de Soto Hernando de Soto 1496 - 1542 Explorer and conquistador of Central America
Juan Martin Diez Juan Martin Diez 1775 - 1825 Guerrilla leader and military general
Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso 1881 - 1973
Bigas Luna Bigas Luna 1946 - 2013 Film director, designer and artist
Ignatius of Loyola Ignatius of Loyola 1491 - 1556 Founder of the Society of Jesus
Marcelino Menendez Pelayo Marcelino Menendez Pelayo 1856 - 1912 Literary critic and philologist
Pedro Orrente Pedro Orrente 1580 - 1645 Painter of the early Baroque period
Maria Gay Zenatello Maria Gay Zenatello 1879 - 1943 Opera singer and actress
Frederica of Hanover Frederica of Hanover 1917 - 1981 Queen consort of Greece
Maria de la O Lejarraga Maria de la O Lejarraga 1874 - 1974 Writer, dramatist, translator and politician
Esteban Terradas i Illa Esteban Terradas i Illa 1883 - 1950 Mathematician, physicist and engineer
Adolfo Suarez Adolfo Suarez 1932 - 2014 Prime minister of Spain, president of the Union
Horatio Nelson Horatio Nelson 1758 - 1805 Naval commander
Juan Pujol Garcia Juan Pujol Garcia 1912 - 1988 Double agent loyal to Great Britain against Nazi
Manolo Escobar Manolo Escobar 1931 - 2013 Singer of Andalusian copla and other Spanish music
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus 1541 - 1506 Explorer
Avelina Carrera Avelina Carrera 1871 - 1939 Opera singer
Antonio Machado Antonio Machado 1875 - 1939 Poet and leading figure of the Generation of '98
Angela Ruiz Robles Angela Ruiz Robles 1895 - 1975 Inventor of the mechanical precursor
Salvador Dali Salvador Dali 1904 - 1989 Painter and pioneer of Surrealism
Juan Marse Juan Marse 1933 - 2020 Novelist, journalist and screenwriter
Jose Saramago Jose Saramago 1922 - 2010 Writer and Nobel laureate
Fernando Rey Fernando Rey 1917 - 1994 Actor
Andres Manuel del Rio Andres Manuel del Rio 1764 - 1849 Discoverer of vanadium
Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba 1453 - 1515 Military leader in the Conquest of Granada
Francisco Goya Francisco Goya 1746 - 1828 Painter and printmaker
Maria Josefa Cerrato Rodriguez Maria Josefa Cerrato Rodriguez 1897 - 1981 Veterinarian, professor and pharmacist
Gloria Fuertes Gloria Fuertes 1917 - 1998 Novelist and poet
Rocio Jurado Rocio Jurado 1944 - 2006 Singer and actress of copla, flamenco
Jenaro Perez Villaamil Jenaro Perez Villaamil 1807 - 1854 Landscape painter with figures
Juan Fernandez Navarrete Juan Fernandez Navarrete 1526 - 1579 Painter of the Spanish Mannerist school
Buenaventura Durruti Buenaventura Durruti 1896 - 1936 Member of Los Justicieros, Los Solidarios
Jose Echegaray Jose Echegaray 1832 - 1916 dramatist, civil engineer and statesman
Jean Negulesco Jean Negulesco 1900 - 1993 Film Director
Rocio Orsi Portalo Rocio Orsi Portalo 1976 - 2014 Philosopher, essayist, and translator
Dolores Ibarruri Dolores Ibarruri 1895 - 1989 Member of the Communist Party of Spain
Alfredo Torero Alfredo Torero 1930 - 2004 anthropologist, linguist
Julian Marias Julian Marias 1914 - 2005 Philosopher, writer, professor and essayist
Lluis Rigalt Lluis Rigalt 1814 - 1894 Painter of the Spanish Mannerist school
Bartolomeu de Gusmao Bartolomeu de Gusmao 1685 - 1724 Priest and inventor
Baltasar Gracian Baltasar Gracian 1601 - 1658 Baroque prose writer and philosopher
Basilio Martin Patino Basilio Martin Patino 1930 - 2017 Film director, documentary maker, screenwriter
Garcilaso de la Vega Garcilaso de la Vega 1562 - 1635 Playwright and poet of the Spanish Golden Age
Isaac Manuel Francisco Albeniz y Pascual Isaac Manuel Francisco Albeniz y Pascual 1860 - 1909 Spanish composer and pianist of the Post-Romantic
Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia Jose Luis Saenz de Heredia 1911 - 1992 Film director, documentary maker, producer, actor
Carmen Conde Abellan Carmen Conde Abellan 1907 - 1996 Poet, narrative writer, teacher
Rocio Durcal Rocio Durcal 1944 - 2006 Singer actress of canción melódica ranchera genres
Montserrat Caballe Montserrat Caballe 1933 - 2018 Opera singer
Eugenia Osterberger Eugenia Osterberger 1852 - 1932 Composer and pianist
Andres Segovia Andres Segovia 1893 - 1987 Classical guitarist and virtuoso
Maruja Mallo Maruja Mallo 1902 - 1995 Painter
Luis Ocana Luis Ocana 1945 - 1994 Road bicycle racer
Pilar Bardem Pilar Bardem 1939 - 2021 Actress and activist
Leonardo Alenza Leonardo Alenza 1807 - 1845 Painter and engraver in the Romantic style
Hipolito Lazaro Hipolito Lazaro 1887 - 1974 Opera singer
Carlos Saura Carlos Saura 1932 - 2023 Film director, producer, actor
Joana Sainz Garcia Joana Sainz Garcia 1989 - 2019 Super Hollywood Orchestra member
Casto Mendez Nunez Casto Mendez Nunez 1824 - 1869 Naval officer and admiral
Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera 1903 - 1936 Founder and leader of Falange Española
Francisco Javier Castanos Aragorri Francisco Javier Castanos Aragorri 1758 - 1852 Military commander and politician
Conchita Supervia Conchita Supervia 1895 - 1936 Opera singer and recitalist
Francisco Giner de los Rios Francisco Giner de los Rios 1839 - 1915 Philosopher, literary critic
Seve Ballesteros Seve Ballesteros 1957 - 2011 Professional golfer and Ryder Cup captain
Cilla Black Cilla Black 1943 - 2015 Singer and television presenter
Alicia de Larrocha Alicia de Larrocha 1923 - 2009 pianist and composer
Federica Montseny Federica Montseny 1905 - 1994 Anarchist leader, novelist,writer on social issues
Justo Sierra Mendez Justo Sierra Mendez 1848 - 1912 Writer, Historian, Journalist, Poet
Carlos Marin Carlos Marin 1968 - 2021 Singer and member of Il Divo
Pablo Gargallo Pablo Gargallo 1881 - 1934 Sculptor and painter
Teresa of Avila Teresa of Avila 1515 - 1582 Carmelite nun and writer
Josep Comas i Sola Josep Comas i Sola 1868 - 1937 Astronomer and popularizer of science
Manuel de Falla Manuel de Falla 1876 - 1946 Composer, pianist, conductor
Rosalia de Castro Rosalia de Castro 1837 - 1885 Poet, writer, journalist, author
Santiago Carrillo Santiago Carrillo 1915 - 2012 Secretary-general of the Communist Party of Spain
Diego de los Rios Diego de los Rios 1850 - 1911 Last Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines
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Top 10 Died Influential People

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  • 1. Juan Martin Diez

    Died: 1825 A.D
    Slogan: I will die as I have lived: defending my country and my ideas.

    Juan Martín Díez was born in a peasant family in Castrillo de Duero, Valladolid, Spain on September 5, 1775. He had a passion for military affairs since his childhood and participated in the War of the Pyrenees against France when he was 18. He married María Antonia Santos Platero in 1796 and settled in Fuentecén, Burgos, where he worked as a farmer until the French invasion of Spain in 1808. He then organized a group of guerrillas composed of his friends and relatives to fight against the invaders. He earned the nickname El Empecinado (the Undaunted) for his courage and persistence. He fought in many battles and skirmishes along the Duero river basin and other provinces, harassing and defeating the French troops with his superior knowledge of the terrain and his unconventional tactics. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1809 and later to brigadier general in 1812. He also collaborated with the regular Spanish army and the British allies led by Wellington. He was a supporter of the liberal Constitution of 1812 and opposed the absolutist monarchy of Ferdinand VII, who abolished the constitution after his restoration in 1814. He joined the liberal uprising of 1820 and defended the constitutional regime against the royalist forces. He was captured by the royalists in 1823 and imprisoned in Pamplona. He was later transferred to Roa de Duero, where he was sentenced to death by hanging on August 20, 1825. He died with dignity and courage, refusing to ask for pardon or mercy. His body was buried in Burgos cemetery. He is regarded as one of the most prominent figures of the Spanish War of Independence and a hero of liberalism. His life inspired many writers, artists, and historians. His name is honored in many streets, squares, monuments, and institutions throughout Spain. His legacy lives on in the Spanish people's struggle for freedom and democracy.

  • 2. Andres Manuel del Rio

    Died: 1849 A.D
    Slogan: To teach is to create.

    Andres Manuel del Rio was a Spanish-Mexican chemist and mineralogist who discovered compounds of vanadium in 1801. He proposed that the element be given the name panchromium, or later, erythronium, but his discovery was not credited at the time, and his names were not used. He studied analytical chemistry and metallurgy in Spain, where he was born, and later in France, Germany, Hungary, and England. He was a colleague of Antoine Lavoisier, the founder of modern chemistry, and Abbé René Just Haüy, the founder of crystallography. He moved to Mexico in 1794 to teach mineralogy at the College of Mines. He opened the first course in mineralogy ever presented in New Spain and wrote the first textbook of mineralogy in America. He also made important studies of minerals and developed innovative methods in mining. He was a friend of Alexander von Humboldt and a respected member of the scientific community. He died in 1849 in Mexico City. He is regarded as the founder of the mechanical precursor to the electronic book and the leader of the educational innovation movement in Mexico.

  • 3. Blas de Lezo

    Died: 1741 A.D
    Slogan: We can not be inferior to our ancestors

    Blas de Lezo was a Spanish admiral and one of the greatest naval commanders in history. He is best remembered for his heroic defense of Cartagena de Indias in 1741, where he repelled a massive British attack with a much smaller and weaker force. Blas de Lezo was born in Pasajes, a Basque town in the province of Guipúzcoa, Spain, on February 3, 1689. He joined the Spanish navy at the age of 15 and fought in several battles during the War of the Spanish Succession. He lost his left leg below the knee at the Battle of Vélez-Málaga in 1704, his left eye at the defense of Toulon in 1707, and the use of his right arm at the Siege of Barcelona in 1714. Despite these severe injuries, he continued his naval career and earned the nicknames of "Patapalo" (Pegleg) and "Mediohombre" (Half-man). He served in the Pacific from 1720 to 1728, where he captured two French ships and raided British settlements. He also fought against pirates and smugglers in the Caribbean and the Atlantic. He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1734 and became the commander of the Spanish fleet in America. In 1739, Spain and Britain declared war over trade disputes in the colonies. This conflict is known as the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1741, a British expedition led by Admiral Edward Vernon attempted to capture Cartagena de Indias, a strategic port city in present-day Colombia. Vernon had a fleet of 186 ships and 23,600 men, while Lezo had only six ships and 3,600 men to defend the city. Lezo resisted the British siege for 67 days, using his superior tactics and knowledge of the terrain to inflict heavy losses on the enemy. He also received reinforcements from the local militia and nearby towns. The British finally gave up and withdrew on May 20, 1741. Lezo's victory was a major blow to British prestige and power in the Americas. It also preserved Spanish sovereignty over its colonies and secured its trade routes. Lezo was hailed as a national hero in Spain and a legend in Latin America. However, Lezo did not live to enjoy his fame. He died on September 7, 1741, from typhoid fever contracted during the siege. He was buried in Cartagena de Indias, but his grave was never properly marked or preserved. His legacy was also overshadowed by political intrigues and propaganda from both sides. The Spanish government downplayed his role and achievements, while the British tried to erase their defeat from history. It was not until the 20th century that Lezo's reputation was restored and recognized by historians and admirers. Several monuments, streets, schools, ships, and books have been dedicated to his memory. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest naval strategists and commanders of all time.

  • 4. Luis de Cordova y Cordova

    Died: 1796 A.D
    Slogan: The sea is my element, and I will defend it with honor.

    Luis de Córdova y Córdova was a Spanish admiral who served in the Spanish Navy for more than 70 years. He was born in Seville in 1706, to a noble family with a long naval tradition. He joined the navy at the age of 11, following his father's footsteps, and soon showed his talent and courage in various missions and battles. He fought against the Barbary pirates, the Austrians, the British, and the French, rising through the ranks and earning the respect and admiration of his superiors and peers. He was awarded the Order of Calatrava for his bravery in combatting the Algerian ships near Cape St. Vincent in 1747. He became one of the most prominent naval commanders during the Anglo-Spanish War (1779-1783), which was part of the American War of Independence. He was appointed as the captain general of the Spanish fleet in 1779, and led several successful operations against the British trade and naval forces. His most famous achievements were the capture of two large merchant convoys in 1780 and 1782, which inflicted heavy losses to the British economy and morale. He also fought against the British fleet at the Battle of Cape Spartel in 1782, preventing them from breaking the Spanish blockade of Gibraltar. However, he could not stop them from relieving the besieged fortress, which remained in British hands. Córdova was a respected and admired leader, who cared for his men and maintained good discipline and morale among his crews. He was also a skilled strategist and tactician, who knew how to exploit his enemy's weaknesses and avoid unnecessary risks. He was praised by his contemporaries, such as Horatio Nelson, who called him "a great and gallant officer". He was also honored by King Charles III of Spain, who granted him several titles and honors, such as the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III. Córdova retired from active service in 1784, but remained as the captain general of the navy until his death in 1796. He died at the age of 90 in San Fernando, Cádiz, where he had laid the first stone of the Pantheon of Illustrious Sailors. He was buried in the Church of San Francisco in the same town. He is regarded as one of the greatest Spanish naval heroes of all time.

  • 5. Teresa of Avila

    Died: 1582 A.D
    Slogan: Let nothing disturb you; let nothing frighten you; all things pass; God never changes.

    Teresa of Avila, also known as Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish Carmelite nun and one of the most influential mystics and religious reformers in the history of Christianity. She was born in 1515 in Ávila, a city in the Castile region of Spain, to a wealthy and pious family of conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity). She was fascinated by the lives of saints and martyrs from an early age, and at 18 she entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation in Ávila. However, she soon became disillusioned with the laxity and worldliness of the convent, which allowed frequent visits from outsiders and little observance of the rule of silence and solitude. She also suffered from various illnesses that left her partially paralyzed for three years. During her recovery, she began to practice mental prayer, a form of meditation that involved an intimate dialogue with God. She also read the Confessions of St. Augustine, which inspired her to seek a deeper union with God. In 1554, at the age of 39, she had a profound mystical experience that changed her life. She saw an angel who pierced her heart with a flaming arrow, causing her to feel an intense love for God and a desire to suffer for him. She later described this experience as a "spiritual betrothal" with Christ. She also began to receive visions, locutions, raptures, and other supernatural graces that confirmed her call to reform the Carmelite order. In 1562, with the support of her confessor and some prominent ecclesiastics, she founded the first convent of the Discalced Carmelites in Ávila. The Discalced Carmelites were a reformed branch of the order that followed a stricter observance of poverty, enclosure, silence, and prayer. Teresa also wrote the Rule of Life for her nuns, which emphasized humility, obedience, and love. She also encouraged them to cultivate a personal relationship with Christ as their spouse and friend. Teresa faced many difficulties and oppositions in her reform project. She was accused of being deluded by the devil, of disobeying her superiors, and of causing division in the order. She was also investigated by the Inquisition several times, but was never condemned. She persevered in her mission with courage and joy, trusting in God's providence and guidance. She traveled throughout Spain, founding 17 convents for women and 15 for men, with the help of St. John of the Cross, another great mystic and reformer. She also wrote several books that are considered classics of spiritual literature, such as The Way of Perfection, The Interior Castle, and The Book of Her Life. In these works, she shared her insights on prayer, contemplation, mysticism, and the stages of spiritual growth. She died in 1582 at the age of 67 in Alba de Tormes, where she was buried. Her body was found to be incorrupt when it was exhumed several years later. She was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. She is regarded as one of the greatest saints and women in history, as well as a patroness of Spain, writers, headache sufferers, and lacemakers.

  • 6. Casto Mendez Nunez

    Died: 1869 A.D
    Slogan: Spain, the Queen and I prefer honor without ships than ships without honor.

    Casto Méndez Núñez was born in a noble family in Vigo, Galicia, Spain on July 1, 1824. He had a passion for the sea since his childhood and joined the Spanish Navy as a midshipman in 1838. He participated in various naval campaigns and expeditions in Africa, America, and Asia. He distinguished himself for his bravery, skill, and leadership in several battles and actions. In 1866, he was appointed as the general commander of the Spanish fleet in the Pacific during the Chincha Islands War between Spain, Peru and Chile. He led his squadron to bombard and destroy the port of Valparaíso, Chile on March 31, 1866, causing great damage and outrage to the Chilean government and people. He then sailed to Peru and fought the Battle of Callao on May 2, 1866, where he faced a strong resistance from the Peruvian coastal batteries and ships. He was wounded nine times during the battle, but managed to withdraw his fleet without losing any ship. He then decided to circumnavigate the world on his flagship, the ironclad Numancia, becoming the first man to achieve this feat on such a vessel. He arrived back in Spain in 1868, after visiting various ports and countries along the way. He was received with great honors and acclaim by the Spanish government and public. He was promoted to vice admiral and awarded several decorations and titles. He married María del Carmen de la Gándara y Navarro-Rubio in 1852 and had four children with her. He was also a member of several scientific and cultural societies and institutions. He died of tuberculosis in Madrid on August 21, 1869, at the age of 45. He was buried with full military honors in the San Francisco el Grande Basilica in Madrid. His name is honored in many streets, squares, monuments, and institutions throughout Spain. His legacy lives on in the Spanish naval history and tradition.

  • 7. Juan Pujol Garcia

    Died: 1988 A.D
    Slogan: I have done my duty for my conscience and for my country.

    Juan Pujol García was born in Barcelona, Spain on February 14, 1912. He was the son of a Catalan industrialist who owned a dye factory. He studied at the Royal Poultry School of Arenys de Mar, where he received the only degree he obtained during his youth. He developed a loathing of political extremism of all sorts during the Spanish Civil War, in which he fought on both sides. He decided to become a spy for Britain as a way to do something "for the good of humanity". Pujol and his first wife Araceli contacted the British Embassy in Madrid, which rejected his offers. Undeterred, he created a false identity as a fanatically pro-Nazi Spanish government official and successfully became a German agent. He was instructed to travel to Britain and recruit additional agents; instead he moved to Lisbon and created bogus reports about Britain from a variety of public sources, including a tourist guide to Britain, train timetables, cinema newsreels, and magazine advertisements. ¹ Although the information he provided would not have withstood close examination, Pujol soon established himself as a trustworthy agent. He began inventing fictitious sub-agents who could be blamed for false information and mistakes. The Allies finally accepted Pujol when the Germans spent considerable resources attempting to hunt down a fictitious convoy. ¹ Following interviews by Desmond Bristow of Section V MI6 Iberian Section, Juan Pujol was taken on. The family were moved to Britain and Pujol was given the codename "Garbo" by the British; their German counterparts codenamed him Alaric and referred to his non-existent spy network as "Arabal". ¹ Pujol and his handler Tomás Harris spent the rest of the war expanding the fictitious network, communicating to the German handlers at first by letters, and later by radio. Eventually the Germans were funding a network of 27 agents, all fictitious. Pujol had a key role in the success of Operation Fortitude, the deception operation intended to mislead the Germans about the timing, location and scale of the invasion of Normandy in 1944. The false information Pujol supplied helped persuade the Germans that the main attack would be in the Pas de Calais, so that they kept large forces there before and even after the invasion. ¹ Pujol was the only participant of World War II decorated by both sides: he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by King George VI and received the Iron Cross from Adolf Hitler. ¹ After the war, Pujol moved to Venezuela with his second wife Carmen Cilia Álvarez and their three children. He faked his own death in 1949 and lived in anonymity until he was discovered by an investigative journalist in 1984. He then travelled to Normandy to tour the beaches and pay his respects to the dead on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. He died in Caracas on October 10, 1988 and is buried in Choroní, a town by the Caribbean Sea. ¹

  • 8. John of Avila

    Died: 1569 A.D
    Slogan: Withdraw your heart from the world before God takes your body from it.

    John of Avila was born on January 6, 1499 or 1500 in Almodóvar del Campo, near Toledo, Spain. He was the only son of devout Christian parents who were wealthy and of high social standing. His father was of Jewish ancestry, and his mother may also have been Jewish. John received a good education and showed an early interest in spiritual matters. He studied law at the University of Salamanca, but left without obtaining a degree. He felt called to the priesthood and distributed his inheritance to the poor. He was ordained in 1526 and intended to become a missionary in Mexico, but the archbishop of Seville persuaded him to stay in Spain and evangelize Andalusia. John became one of the greatest preachers of his time, attracting large crowds with his eloquent and fiery sermons. He denounced evil and corruption in society and in the church, and called for reform and renewal. He also wrote many letters and treatises on various aspects of Christian life, such as prayer, love, humility, and suffering. His writings are considered classics of Spanish mysticism and spirituality. He was a friend and spiritual director of many saints, such as Teresa of Avila, John of God, Francis Borgia, John of the Cross, Ignatius of Loyola, and Peter of Alcantara. He also founded several colleges and seminaries for the education of priests. John suffered from various illnesses throughout his life, especially in his later years. He spent his last years in semi-retirement in Montilla, in the province of Córdoba. He died there on May 10, 1569, at the age of 70. He was buried in the Jesuit Church of the Incarnation, which now serves as a sanctuary to his memory. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. In 2012, he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI. His feast day is celebrated on May 10. He is known as the Apostle of Andalusia and the patron saint of Spanish secular clergy.

  • 9. Garcilaso de la Vega

    Died: 1635 A.D
    Slogan: Writing is defending the solitude in which one is.

    Garcilaso de la Vega was a Spanish playwright, poet, and novelist who was a key figure in the Spanish Golden Age of Baroque literature. He was born in Madrid on November 25, 1562, to a family of modest origins. He showed an early talent for literature and studied under the poet Vicente Espinel. He also attended the universities of Alcalá de Henares and Salamanca, but did not obtain a degree. Lope de Vega led a turbulent and adventurous life. He joined the Spanish Navy and fought against the English in the Azores. He had numerous love affairs and married twice. He fathered at least 15 children, some of them out of wedlock. He was involved in literary feuds with other writers, such as Miguel de Cervantes and Luis de Góngora. He also faced legal troubles and was exiled from Madrid for several years. He entered the priesthood in 1614, but continued writing secular works. He died of scarlet fever on August 27, 1635, in Madrid. Lope de Vega is considered one of the greatest and most prolific playwrights in world literature. He wrote more than 400 plays, of which about 80 are extant. He also wrote hundreds of shorter dramatic pieces, such as entremeses (interludes) and autos sacramentales (religious allegories). He created a new form of drama that broke the classical rules of unity of time, place, and action. He mixed comedy and tragedy, history and fiction, realism and fantasy. He appealed to the popular taste of his audience with lively plots, witty dialogue, and varied characters. Some of his best-known plays are Fuenteovejuna (The Sheep Well), El perro del hortelano (The Dog in the Manger), El castigo sin venganza (Punishment Without Revenge), and El caballero de Olmedo (The Knight from Olmedo). Lope de Vega was also a remarkable poet who wrote in various genres and forms. He composed more than 3,000 sonnets, as well as epics, romances, elegies, eclogues, ballads, odes, epistles, and silvas. He was influenced by Italian Renaissance poetry and by Spanish traditional poetry. He expressed his personal feelings, his religious faith, his patriotic sentiments, and his artistic ideals with grace and originality. Some of his poetic works are La Dragontea (The Dragon's Teeth), La Arcadia (The Arcadia), La Dorotea (The Dorotea), Rimas sacras (Sacred Rhymes), Rimas humanas y divinas del licenciado Tomé de Burguillos (Human and Divine Rhymes by Licentiate Tomé de Burguillos), and La Filomena (The Philomena).

  • 10. Hernan Cortes

    Died: 1547 A.D
    Slogan: I and my companions suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only with gold.

    Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the king of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish explorers and conquistadors who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Born in Medellín, Spain, to a family of lesser nobility, Cortés chose to pursue adventure and riches in the New World. He went to Hispaniola and later to Cuba, where he received an encomienda (the right to the labor of certain subjects). For a short time, he served as alcalde (magistrate) of the second Spanish town founded on the island. In 1519, he was elected captain of the third expedition to the mainland, which he partly funded. His enmity with the governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, resulted in the recall of the expedition at the last moment, an order which Cortés ignored. Arriving on the continent, Cortés executed a successful strategy of allying with some indigenous people against others. He also used a native woman, Doña Marina, as an interpreter. She later bore his first son. When the governor of Cuba sent emissaries to arrest Cortés, he fought them and won, using the extra troops as reinforcements. Cortés wrote letters directly to the king asking to be acknowledged for his successes instead of being punished for mutiny. After he overthrew the Aztec Empire, Cortés was awarded the title of marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, while the more prestigious title of viceroy was given to a high-ranking nobleman, Antonio de Mendoza. In 1541 Cortés returned to Spain, where he died six years later of natural causes. Cortés is a controversial figure in history. Some view him as a hero who expanded Spain's power and influence in the world. Others see him as a villain who destroyed a rich and sophisticated civilization and exploited and oppressed its people. His legacy is still debated and contested today.

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