Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Carlos Saul Menem: 1930—: Political Leader Biography - Longtime Perónist, Served As Governor, Ran For President, Continued Controversies

Carlos Saul Menem: 1930—: Political Leader - Longtime Perónist

party public law rioja

Menem set up a law practice in La Rioja, a major city located not far from his birthplace of Anillaco, after his graduation; yet politics were never far from his mind. He worked as a legal advisor for a Perónist trade union group, the Confederación General del Trabajo, and after his first aborted bid for elected office ran again for the provincial leadership position of the Partido Justicialista (PJ) in 1963. As the party of the Perónists, the PJ continued to articulate its founder's platform of nationalism, massive government spending on public programs, and significant subsidies to businesses. Menem would follow these Perónist programs once he finally won elective office as governor of La Rioja province in 1973.

At a Glance . . .

Born Carlos Saul Menem on July 2, 1930, in Anillaco, Argentina; married Zulema Fatimah Yoma in 1966; two children. Education: Completed law degree at Córdoba University, 1958. Religion: Roman Catholic. Politics: Justicialist Party

Career: Private law practice, 1958; Justicialist Party provincial head, 1963; Governor, La Rioja province, 1973-89; President of Argentina, 1989-99; head of Justicialist Party, 1999-.

Menem met Zulema Fatimah Yoma on a trip to Damascus, Syria, in 1964. Menen had long since previously converted to Roman Catholicism, yet the couple was married in a Muslim religious ceremony in 1966. The Menems had two children, yet the marriage was often the focus of unwelcome attention during the couple's many public spats. Menem deliberately cultivated the image of the successful playboy—typically wearing white suits and keeping his hair (later on, carefully positioned hair pieces) immaculately groomed—and regularly appeared with young models and actresses on his arm. Such antics may have endeared the politician to the Argentine public, but his wife routinely complained about her husband's behavior. The couple separated twice but decided to reconcile both times.

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