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Salvador de Madariaga
Madariaga in 1936
1st President of the Liberal International
In office
20 April 1948 – 18 April 1952
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byRoger Motz
Seat M of the Real Academia Española
In office
2 May 1976[a] – 14 December 1978
Preceded byEmilio Gutiérrez Gamero [es]
Succeeded byCarlos Bousoño
Personal details
Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo

23 July 1886
A Coruña, Spain
Died14 December 1978(1978-12-14) (aged 92)
Locarno, Ticino, Switzerland
  • Spanish
  • British
Other political
Mont Pelerin Society
Constance Helen Margaret
(m. 1912; died 1970)
Emilia Rauman
(m. 1970)
Children2, Isabel and Nieves
  • Writer
  • Diplomat
  • Scholar
AwardsCharlemagne Prize (1973)

Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo (23 July 1886 – 14 December 1978) was an "eminent liberal"[1] Spanish diplomat, writer, historian, and pacifist, nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Nobel Peace Prize[2] and awarded the Charlemagne Prize in 1973.


Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo was born on July 23, 1886, in A Coruña, Galicia, Kingdom of Spain. He graduated with a degree in engineering in Paris, France.[1][3]


Madariaga returned to Spain and became an engineer for the Northern Spanish Railway Company. At that time, he first came into contact with "Generación del 14" intellectuals.[3]

In 1916, he abandoned that for work in London as a journalist for The Times newspaper.[1] Meanwhile, he began publishing his first essays. In 1921, he became a press member of the Secretariat of the League of Nations and chief of the Disarmament Section in 1922. In 1928, he was appointed Professor of Spanish at Oxford University for three years during which he wrote a book on nation psychology, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards.[1][3]

In 1931, the Second Spanish Republic appointed Madariaga as Spanish ambassador to the United States and a permanent delegate to the League of Nations; he kept the latter post for five years.[3] Chairing the Council of the League of Nations in January 1932, he condemned Japanese aggression in Manchuria in such vehement terms that he was nicknamed "Don Quijote de la Manchuria".[4] From 1932 to 1934, he served as ambassador to France. In 1933, he was elected to the National Congress and served as both Minister for Education and Minister for Justice.[1]

In July 1936, as a classical liberal he went into exile in England to escape the Spanish Civil War. There, he became a vocal opponent of and organised resistance to the Nationalists and the Spanish State of Francisco Franco.[1]

In 1947, he was one of the principal authors of the Oxford Manifesto on liberalism. He participated in the Hague Congress in 1948 as president of the Cultural Commission and he was one of the co-founders in 1949 of the College of Europe.[3]

In his writing career he wrote books and essays about Don Quixote, Christopher Columbus, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and the history of Latin America. He militated in favour of a united and integrated Europe. He wrote in French and German, Spanish, Galician (his mother tongue) and English.

In 1973, he won the Karlspreis for his contributions to the European idea and European peace. In 1976, he returned to Spain after Franco's death,[1] and became a member of the Spanish Royal Academy.[3]

Personal life and death

Madariaga with Antonio Jauregui in Oxford, 1972.

In 1912 de Madariaga married Constance Archibald, a Scottish economic historian. The couple had two daughters, Nieves Mathews (1917–2003) and professor and historian Isabel de Madariaga (1919–2014). Constance died in May 1970. In November 1970, de Madariaga married Emilia Székely de Rauman who had been his secretary since 1938 (who died in 1991, aged 83).[1]

Salvador de Madariaga y Rojo died age 92 on December 16 1978, in Locarno, Switzerland.[1]

Awards and recognition

Madariaga received numerous prizes in his lifetime,[3] including:


The Madariaga European Foundation has been named after him and promotes his vision of a united Europe making for a more peaceful world. The 1979–1980 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.

An Oxfordshire blue plaque in honour of Salvador de Madariaga was unveiled at 3 St Andrew's Road, Headington, Oxford by his daughter Isabel on 15 October 2011.[5]


Old European flag design by Salvador de Madariaga

Madariaga wrote books in Spanish, English, French, and German.[1] His best known is the novel El Corazón de Piedra Verde (Heart of Jade).

Selected books

See also

  • Contributions to liberal theory
  • List of peace activists
  • Notes

    1. ^ Elected on 20 May 1936


    1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Salvador de Madariaga, Writer, Ex-Diplomat, Dies". Washington Post. 15 December 1978. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
    2. ^ "Nomination Database". www.nobelprize.org. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
    3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Salvador de Madariaga". Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
    4. ^ Stanley G. Payne, Spain's First Democracy: The Second Republic, 1931-1936 (Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), 159.
    5. ^ Plaque
    6. ^ "Madariaga, Salvador de". Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
    7. ^ "search on Madariaga". The Atlantic. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
    Political offices Preceded byNew position President of the Liberal International 1948–1952 Succeeded byRoger Motz