Guevara (de la Serna), Che ( Ernesto Guevara; 1928–1967)
Argentine revolutionary who became a legend in his own lifetime and a model for radical students all over the world.
Born in Rosario, of Spanish-Irish descent, Guevara completed his medical studies in 1953. After travelling throughout Latin America, he became convinced of the need for violent revolution to overcome the poverty endured by the mass of the people. In 1956 he joined Fidel Castro in the campaign to overthrow the regime of Batista in Cuba. Active as a guerrilla leader, he became one of Castro's principal lieutenants, eventually serving as a diplomat and administrator in the revolutionary procommunist Cuban government, which won power in 1959. Attracted by the cause of liberation from poverty in other third world countries, he went to Africa and fought alongside the anticolonialist forces of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo war. In 1966 he emerged in Bolivia, where he trained and led a team of guerrillas in the Santa Cruz region. Here he was captured and executed by troops from the Bolivian army in 1967, before he could bring about the insurrection he had planned.
Guevara wrote several books about his experiences as a guerrilla, the tactics of guerrilla warfare, and his theories of revolutionary change. They include Guerrilla Warfare (1961), Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War (1963), and Bolivian Diary (1969).