Eva “Evita” Perón


Eva “Evita” Perón Famous memorial

Original Name María Eva Ibarguren Duarte
Los Toldos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Death 26 Jul 1952 (aged 33)
Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina
Burial Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina
Memorial ID 1297 View Source

Argentinean First Lady and Social Reformer. Wife of Argentina President Juan Domingo Peron. Born Maria Eva, she was the fourth child born to Juana Ibarguren and Juan Duarte, all illegitimate in a ramshackle house near the village of Los Toldos some 150 miles west of Buenos Aires. At 15, she arrived in Buenos Aires, and became a star of radio soap operas and then a movie. She met Juan Peron during an earthquake-relief meeting. The widowed Peron married her in 1945, and they became a team in power ruling Argentina until her death in 1952. She lived in style and had a fierce mission: to be the savior of the poor. She got the women the vote, won benefits for workers, founded schools, orphanages and hospitals. She became an icon rivaling the Virgin Mary. When she died, the 33-year old Evita was adored as a saint by working-class Argentines. General Peron hired the best embalmer money could buy, the meticulous Dr. Pedro Ara of Spain, to preserve the body in lifelike perfection. He tended to her for over 20 years and was accused of falling in love with the body. The odyssey which was to last almost two decades began at her death with ceremonies upon ceremonies which only ceased when everyone was simply worn out. Her body was then kept on the top floor of the Peronist trade union headquarters in Buenos Aires. Visitation continued non-stop. In 1955, a military coup overthrew Peron and he went into exile in Madrid, Spain. Evita's body was spirited out of the country and buried secretly in Milan, Italy under the name Maria Maggi for 16 Years. In 1971 her remains were dug up and hastily transferred to Spain and a villa where Juan Peron was staying. Under the supervision of her embalmer, Dr. Pedro Ara, the rotted wood of the outer container was removed, showing the original bronze casket containing the perfectly preserved body of Evita. 1974 found Juan Peron President of Argentina once again. He died July 1, 1974 and Eva was returned to Buenos Aires and her body for a brief time, was displayed next to his coffin. Plans for a giant monument to them were abandoned due to renewed political unrest in the country. Eventually, they were parted. She was moved quickly and secretly in the middle of the night without ceremony was entombed to the Recoleta Cemetery, famous for its burial of the wealthy and socially prominent people of Argentina. Juan was interred on the grounds of the presidential estate. Two years after Peron's death in 1974, a hostile military regime removed his coffin from the official grave on the presidential estate and banished it to the family crypt in a Buenos Aires cemetery. Robbers broke into the crypt, in 1987 and sliced off the general's hands with an electric saw. The mystery of the stolen hands remains "one of the great enigmas of Argentine history."

Bio by: John R. Mark


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 1297
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Eva “Evita” Perón (7 May 1919–26 Jul 1952), Find a Grave Memorial ID 1297, citing Cementerio de la Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina ; Maintained by Find a Grave .