32nd President of Peru. He takes a place in Peruvian history as being the Constitutional President from 1876 to 1879, which was the beginning of the Pacific War with Chile. He took his nation into a war unprepared militarily or financially. There was a small, downsized national army, which he had inherited from his predecessor, and a budget with no money for a medical corp or supplies that would be needed for battle. After Peruvian women had donated their jewelry and money for war supplies, he went to New York City and France in 1879 seeking financial help with the war, but while he was there, his government was successfully overthrown by Nicolas de Pierola's coup d'etat and then proclaiming himself as Peru's dictator. Leaving the country while at war was controversial among citizens as they thought his actions was abandoning his country during a war that he was losing. At this point, labeled as a traitor, his military rank of General and Peruvian citizenship were removed as there was no account for the money given to him. On a personal note, he lost three sons in this war. Although he attempted to return to Peru, he did not until 1887, thus residing in the United States for years. Eventually, he did restore his image. He was orphaned at an early age. His father had been a planter, participated as a patriot in the war of Independence from Spain, and became the mayor of his hometown. He studied in local schools before going to Lima to study law. Upon his brother's death in 1847, he returned to his hometown to manage his family's business until it was sold in 1853. Entering the Peruvian army at an early age in 1854 during the government of Jose Rufino Exhenique, he soon went into exile in Chile for his own safety for criticizing the government. Later he fought along side Ramon Castilla, who had become Peru's President for the third time. He proved to be an outstanding military officer. He was deputy in Congress and in 1858 perfect of Arequipa. On February 28, 1865, Prado began a popular revolt against the government of Juan Antonio Pezet. After about sixty days, he delegated the tasks of presidency to Pedro Diez Canseco in order to be a candidate of the office of Presidency and winning the election. He participated in the Battle of Callo on May 2, 1866 at this Peruvian port city, when Spain attempted to recapture any of their lost South American colonies. This was a very unstable time for the government of Peru with Spain's aggression along with fractions within Peru battling for control of the government. From November 28, 1865 to February 15, 1867, he was the self-proclaimed Commander-in-chief of the Republic of Peru or a dictator; from February 15, 1867 to August 31, 1867 by the designation of Congress, he was Provisional President of the Republic of Peru; and from August 31, 1867 to January 5, 1868 by designation of Congress and direct elections, he was the Constitutional President of the Republic of Peru, but under pressure of Congress resigned in 1868. That same year, there were six different men proclaiming to be the ruler of Peru at the same time. Before entering politics, he had become a very wealthy man with his mining business. In his later years, he made his residence in Paris, France where he died of spinal cancer. His sons excelled in Peruvian history: Leoncio Prado, as a brave Naval young officer, was executed by the Chileans during the Pacific War; Jose Parado Ugarteche was a presidential candidate; and Manuel Prado Ugarteche was elected twice constitutional president of the Republic of Peru.
Bio by: Linda Davis