Éamon de Valera biography

Éamon de Valera

Politician

1882 – 1975

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Who was Éamon de Valera?

Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth-century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century, from 1917 to 1973; he served multiple terms as head of government and head of state. He also led the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland.

De Valera was a leader of Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain in the War of Independence and of the anti-Treaty opposition in the ensuing Irish Civil War. After leaving Sinn Féin in 1926 due to their policy of abstentionism, he founded Fianna Fáil, and was head of government from 1932 to 1948, 1951 to 1954, and 1957 to 1959, when he resigned after being elected as President of Ireland. His political creed evolved from militant republicanism to social and cultural conservatism.

Assessments of de Valera's career have varied; he has often been characterised as a stern, unbending, devious, and divisive Irish politician. Biographer Tim Pat Coogan sees his time in power as being characterised by economic and cultural stagnation, while Diarmaid Ferriter argues that the stereotype of de Valera as an austere, cold and even backward figure was largely manufactured in the 1960s and is misguided.

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Born
Oct 14, 1882
Manhattan
Also known as
  • Eamon de Valera
Parents
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Catholicism
Ethnicity
  • Irish people
  • Irish American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • University of Dublin
    Mathematics
    ( - 1904)
  • Royal University of Ireland
  • Blackrock College
Lived in
  • New York City
    (1882 - 1885)
  • County Limerick
    (1885 - )
  • United States of America
    (1919/05 - 1920/12)
Died
Aug 29, 1975
Dublin
Resting place
Glasnevin Cemetery

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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