Juscelino Kubitschek was PresidentDoc and more
Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuseˈlinu kubiˈtʃɛk dʒi oliˈvejɾɐ]; September 12, 1902 – August 22, 1976), known also by his initials JK, was a prominent Brazilian politician who was President of Brazil from 1956 to 1961. His term was marked by economic prosperity and political stability, being most known for the construction of a new capital, Brasília.
A leader who favored long-term planning and who set high goals for Brazil’s future, Kubitschek is viewed inside the country as the father of modern Brazil. He stands among the politicians whose legacy is held most favorably. His legacy is marred, however, by continued rumors during his tenure of extramarital affairs and gambling problems.
Kubitschek was born into a poor family in Diamantina, Minas Gerais. His father, João César de Oliveira (1872–1905), who died when Juscelino was two years old, was a traveling salesman. He was raised by his mother, a schoolteacher named Júlia Kubitschek (1873–1973), of Czech and Romani origin.
An excellent student, Kubitschek was trained as a medical doctor and elected to the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil from his home state in 1934. With the imposition of Getúlio Vargas‘ dictatorship in 1937, Kubitschek returned to practicing medicine. However, he was soon appointed mayor of Belo Horizonte in 1940. There, he realized the project of an artificial lake (Pampulha Lake) to supply water to the city and also an architectural complex, with several buildings designed by renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer.
He was again elected to the National Congress of Brazil in 1945 and became governor of the state of Minas Gerais in 1950. In 1955, he ran for president with the slogan “fifty years of progress in five” and won.
He was sworn in on January 31, 1956, as President of what was then known as the Republic of the United States of Brazil.
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Places (as the place on which the above statue is standing) and a bridge is named after him: