One of five children, Maria Eva Duarte was born in Argentina in 1919. When she was seven years old, her father died, and she, along with her mothers and sisters, had to work as cooks for a rich family in order to survive. In 1933, when she had an acting part in the play "Student's Arise", she decided that she was going to be an actress. So, she went to Buenos Aires to find acting jobs, which was very difficult. She worked as a model at times and got parts in a few plays, including "La Senora de Perez," but it was hard to have enough food and money to live on. However, when she dated the owner of Sintonia Magazine, she found that she had enough food, money, and jobs and realized that having an impressive boyfriend was directly related to how well she did. At the time, she also worked as a radio host at Radio Argentina, Radio Belgrano, and a third radio station.
Eva then persuaded a party to be hosted by Colonel Anibal Imbert, and this changed her life forever. There, she met Colonel Juan Domingo Peron, then the secretary of the United Offices Group. As they began to fall in love, Juan became Under Secretary at the War Ministry and the head of Secretary of Labor and Welfare. On February 24, 1944, Juan refused to resign and the president of Argentina was forced to resign instead. Juan soon became the vice president to the new president, and Eva stayed with him.
It was Eva who convined Peron to help the workers, and she also persuaded him into putting her mother's boyfriend and herself into Director of Posts and Telegraphy positions. It would seem that Eva had a lot of influence over Juan, for he would ask for her advice at times. But then, on October 9, Juan was asked to resign again from office, but this time because of Eva. Juan resigned, and when he returned home, Eva got his friends to give him their support. She also asked him to get his papers, for there was a crowd outside and he had to speak in front of them. He wasn't arrested after this, but he was put in jail. After Eva managed to release him, the people in the streets were yelling "Peron for President!"
On December 9, Eva and Juan were married at a small wedding. Then, Juan ran for president and was highly supported by the poor. He was elected on March 28 and Eva became the First Lady. As First Lady, she had all the Argentinians call her by her more informal and friendly name, Evita, and helped out the poor and the country as much as she could. She organized the Peronista party's women's branch, showing her support of women's rights. She also created the Eva Peron Foundation, which helped people get money, housing, and clothing. Mostly, she helped out the poor, whom she called "los descamisados," meaning "the shirtless ones," by establishing orphanages for children, among other things. Eva also toured Europe and was received well in Spain, but was not well received in France, Great Britain, or Italy. She certainly must have been happy to return to her country of Argentina.
In 1951, Eva decided she would run for vice president. The descamisados supported her, but the military didn't because they didn't want a female vice president. So, Eva was unable to become vice president. Sadly, she died at a fairly young age on July 26, 1952.
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