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Whether you dig the Elaine Paige version, the Julie Covington, the all-time champ Patti LuPone or even this newfangled Elena Rogers cast, you know Evita’s got it all.
María Eva Duarte de Perón (May 7, 1919 – July 26, 1952) was the second wife of Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón (1895–1974) and the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is often referred to as simply Eva Perón, or by the affectionate Spanish language diminutive Evita, which literally translates into English as "Little Eva".
Born out of wedlock in rural Argentina in 1919, at age 15 Eva Duarte made her way to the nation's capital of Buenos Aires where she pursued a career as a stage, radio, and film actress. Eva met Colonel Juan Perón in 1944 at a charity event in San Juan, Argentina. The two married in 1945. Eva Perón became involved in Argentine politics in 1946 shortly after Juan Perón's first election as President of Argentina. Over the course of the next six years, Eva Perón became powerful within the Pro-Peronist trade unions. Eventually, she founded the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, and the nation's first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party.
In 1951, Eva Perón expressed a desire to be allowed to run for the office of Vice-President of Argentina. In this bid she received great support from the Peronist political base, low-income Argentines referred to as descamisados or "shirtless ones." However, opposition from the nation's military and elite, as well as her declining health, ultimately prevented Eva Perón's candidacy. In 1952, shortly before her death, Eva Perón was given the official title of "Spiritual Leader of the Nation".
Evita, whose concept of feminism saw women as protagonists while continuing to be feminine, thought that the feminist movement should, for love, be united to the cause and doctrine of a man worthy of trust. She understood that among the many differences between a man and a woman, one difference involved the concept of "action": "A man of action is one who triumphs over the rest. A woman of action is one who triumphs for the rest."
The "action for the rest" had a name: Eva Perón Foundation.To this Foundation, Evita dedicated her best efforts.