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Miguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist

Left A Legacy

Mármol died of pneumonia on June 25, 1993, at the age of 88. Hundreds of people turned out for his funeral. Although he had fathered a number of children with different women, at the time of his interviews with Dalton, his only surviving children were a daughter, Hilda Alicia (called Angelita), and two boys, Miguelito, age two, and another born in the summer of 1966 while Mármol was in Prague. Among his other children, Oscar and Francisquito died while he was underground and Antonita died at age five while he was away. Another daughter died in 1954, leaving him a grandson.

Miguel Mármol was a central figure in the final book of Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano's fictional trilogy, Memory of Fire, Century of the Wind. As a character who escapes death many times, only to re-emerge stronger, he is Galeano's metaphor for the history of Latin America. In his introduction to Miguel Mármol, Dalton wrote: "Comrade Mármol is the prototypical incarnation of the Latin American communist worker and peasant leader of what is usually called 'the classical period,' 'the heroic era,' of the parties that … sprang up and developed in nearly every country on the continent." Curbstone Press awards an annual Miguel Mármol prize for a first book-length fictional work in English by a Latin American author that reflects inter-cultural understanding and respect for human rights and civil liberties.



Dalton, Roque, translated by Kathleen Ross and Richard Schaaf, Miguel Mármol, Curbstone Press, 1987.


AP Weekend Entertainment and Arts, July 24, 1987.

Associated Press, June 29, 1993.

Boston Globe, May 16, 1988, p. 2.

Latin American Perspectives, fall 1991, pp. 9-21, 79-88.

Monthly Review, January 1989, pp. 22-34.

The Nation, September 12, 1987, pp. 240-2.

Newsday, June 23, 1988, p. 49.

Seattle Times, January 31, 1993, p. A2.

—Margaret Alic

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) BiographyMiguel Mármol: 1905-1993: Union Activist Biography - Raised In Poverty, Learned Shoemaking And Politics, Joined The Workers' Movement, Survived His Execution