Name: Che Guevara

Alive: 1928-1967

Bio: Enersto ‘Che’ Guevara, more commonly known as Che, was an Argentinian Marxist revolutionary and military theorist. Guevara travelled around South America as a young student, becoming radicalized by the poverty and disease he witnessed. He developed a desire to overthrow the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States, becoming a key figure in Guatemala’s social reforms and then the Cuban Revolution. Guevara later rose to key positions in the new government, playing an instrumental role in the bringing the Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles to Cuba, precipitating the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Guevara was executed in Bolivia in 1967 after attempting to spread revolution abroad, based on social theories of Marxism-Leninism.

Quotes:

“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall”

“I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man”

“Silence is argument carried out by other means”

Popular Culture:

“Che” – film, 2008

Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th Century

Has become a global icon, being depicted in fashion, restaurants and even body art

Further Reading:

  • Jon Lee Anderson, Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (1997)
  • Joseph Hart, Che: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of a Revolutionary (2004)
  • Michael Casey, Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image (2009)