Biography of Quadros, Jânio da Silva - Archontology
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Quadros, Jânio da Silva

Jânio da Silva Quadros

b. 25 Jan 1917, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul
d. 16 Feb 1992, São Paulo, São Paulo

Title: Presidente da República (President of the Republic)
Term: 31 Jan 1961 - 25 Aug 1961
Chronology: 3 Oct 1960, elected by direct popular voting
  31 Jan 1961, took the oath of office at the session of the National Congress, Congressional Palace, meeting hall of the Chamber of Deputies, Brasília
  25 Aug 1961, resignation submitted to the National Congress

Jânio da Silva Quadros was educated at the Faculty of Law in São Paulo. After his graduation in 1939, he practiced law and taught history and literature at São Paulo colleges. Quadros was enlisted as a candidate of the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Democrata Cristão, PDC) at the municipal elections in 1947 and was elected to the São Paulo city council. In 1950 Quadros was chosen deputy in the state legislature of São Paulo. Backed by PDC and socialists, Quadros won (1953) the first free election of prefect (mayor) of São Paulo since 1930. While serving as mayor (1953-1954), he proved his abilities as effective administrator and PDC made him its candidate for governor in 1954. A charismatic campaigner, Quadros narrowly won the election of Governor of the State of São Paulo (31 Mar 1955 - 31 Mar 1959). Campaigning as a candidate for President of the Republic in 1960, Quadros used a broom as his campaign symbol, vowing to "sweep Brazil clean of corruption." His candidacy was initially endorsed by a number of small political parties including PDC. The National Democratic Union (União Democrática Nacional) hesitated to offer its support, but finally agreed to Quadros's candidacy. Quadros easily defeated war minister Marshal Henrique Teixeira Lott, while João Belchior Marques Goulart, vice president under Juscelino Kubitschek and running mate of Lott, was re-elected to his post. Quadros was sworn in on 31 Jan 1961 and assumed his authority without committing himself to any party. The impartial president found himself in trouble with the Congress, where none of the main political parties was strong enough to command a majority, but Quadros was successful in advancing the projects of tax reform and other measures. Quadros adopted an independent foreign policy aimed at cooperation not only with the traditional western allies of Brazil, but also with communist nations including USSR, Cuba and People's Republic of China. After less than eight months in office Quadros suddenly submitted his resignation (25 Aug 1961). In a letter attached to his formal statement of resignation Quadros wrote that "terrible forces" conspired against him. His decision put Brazil on the brink of civil war as the military adamantly opposed the installation of vice president Goulart as Quadros's successor. Quadros unsuccessfully ran for governor of São Paulo in 1962 and substantially reduced his political activity under the military regime (1964-1985). He was again unsuccessful in his bid for governorship of São Paulo (1982), but his popularity allowed him to win the post of prefect of São Paulo (1 Jan 1986 - 1 Jan 1989). [1]


Candidate (party) Popular vote (3 Oct 1960) [2]
Jânio da Silva Quadros (National Labor) 5,636,623
Henrique Batista Duffles Teixeira Lott (Social Democratic) 3,846,825
Ademar Pereira de Barros (Social Progress Party) 2,195,709
blank 433,391
void 473,806

[1] Dicionário Histórico-Biográfico Brasileiro (1984)
[2] Dicionário do voto (2000)