Lira Tavares, Aurélio de

Aurélio de Lira Tavares

b. 7 Nov 1905, Paraíba (now João Pessoa), Paraíba
d. 18 Nov 1998, Rio de Janeiro

Title: Ministro do Exército (Minister of the Army)
Term: 15 Mar 1967 - 30 Oct 1969
Chronology: 15 Mar 1967, appointed Minister of the Army by decree of the President of the Republic
  31 Aug 1969, ministers of Navy, Army and Air Force temporarily assumed the presidency for the time of illness of the incumbent in virtue of Article 1 of the Institutional Act No. 12 issued by the three military ministers [1]
  14 Oct 1969, the office of President of the Republic declared vacant by Article 1 of the Institutional Act No. 16 issued by the military ministers
  30 Oct 1969, ceased to exercise the functions of head of state with the installation of the President of the Republic

Born in the family of João Lira Tavares, a Paraíba politician and senator, Aurélio de Lira Tavares studied at the Rio de Janeiro Military College (1917-1922) and Realengo Military Academy (1923-1925). Commissioned second lieutenant in January 1926 and promoted first lieutenant in January 1928, Lira Tavares continued his education receiving two degrees from the University of Brazil as bachelor of law (1929) and civil engineer (1930). He was promoted to captain in 1932 and to major in 1939. During World War II, Lira Tavares served on a number of missions including an operation in North Africa (1943), where he accompanied the U.S. troops, and organization of the Brazil Expeditionary Force (1943-1945). Successful accomplishment of the missions earned him the rank of colonel in June 1946. In 1945-1950 Lira Tavares stayed in the occupied Germany as deputy chief and chief of the Brazilian Military Mission. Lira Tavares served as chief of the cabinet of the Army General Staff (1955) and was promoted to brigadier general on 30 Dec 1955. From 1958 to 1960 Lira Tavares was director of the Army Communications Department. He was advanced to general of division in November 1961 and commanded the Second Military District in 1962-1963. After a military coup of 31 Mar 1964, which eventually toppled the government of João Belchior Marques Goulart, Lira Tavares was entrusted the command of the Fourth Army on 1 Oct 1964. Promoted to general on 25 Nov 1964, Lira Tavares successfully held a number of important offices including that of chief of the Production and Works Department (from 18 Nov 1965), commander of the Superior War Academy (from 28 Sep 1966) and army minister (15 Mar 1967 - 30 Oct 1969). The military ministers including Lira Tavares seized the opportunity when President Artur da Costa e Silva was found gravely ill and assumed the presidency of the Republic (31 Aug 1969). Lira Tavares left his ministerial post with the inauguration of Emílio Garrastazu Médici (30 Oct 1969) as President of the Republic. He served as Brazilian ambassador to France from 1 Jun 1970 to 16 Dec 1974. Author of more than 40 books on history, Lira Tavares was elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters (1970). [2]

[1] Original publication of the Institutional Act No. 12 was misdated 31 Aug 1969 (Diário Oficial da União, 31 Aug 1969, p. 7.369; rectified version in Diário Oficial da União, 10 Sep 1969, p. 7.649).
[2] Dicionário Histórico-Biográfico Brasileiro (1984)
  Image: contemporary photograph.
Last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 02:58:44