Adolfo Suárez

Prime Minister of Spain (1976–1981)

Adolfo Suárez González, 1st Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain (25 September 1932 – 23 March 2014) was a Spanish lawyer and politician. Suárez was Spain's first democratically elected prime minister after the dictator of Franco.[1]

The Most Excellent

Adolfo Suárez
Suárez in 1978
Prime Minister of Spain
In office
3 July 1976 – 25 February 1981
MonarchJuan Carlos I
DeputyManuel Gutiérrez Mellado
Preceded byFernando de Santiago y Díaz
Succeeded byLeopoldo Calvo Sotelo
Member of the Congress of Deputies
for Madrid
In office
28 October 1982 – 26 May 1991
Personal details
Adolfo Suárez González

(1932-09-25)25 September 1932
Cebreros, Castile and León, Spain
Died23 March 2014(2014-03-23) (aged 81)
Madrid, Spain
Resting placeÁvila Cathedral
Political partyCDS
Other political
FET y de las JONS ([alange) (1961-1975)
María Amparo Illana Elórtegui
(m. 1961⁠–⁠2001)
(her death)
ChildrenMaría Amparo (1962–2004)
Adolfo (b. 1964)
Sonsoles (b. 1967)
Alma materUniversity of Salamanca

Suárez was born in Cebreros, Spain.

During his term as Prime Minister, Suárez was the key figure in the country's change to democracy.[2] He led and founded some democratic political parties in Spain. He created the Political Reform of Spain in 1976 which helped Spain to become a democratic country.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died nine years later in Madrid at the age of 81.

Early life


Suárez was born in Cebreros, Spain. His parents were Hipólito Suárez Guerra and Herminia González Prados. He studied at the University of Salamanca. Suárez married María Amparo Illana Elórtegui in 1961.

Political career

Suárez in 1979

On 4 July 1976, King Juan Carlos appointed Suárez as Prime Minister of Spain. He was the first Prime Minister under the 1978 Constitution of Spain.

In late July of 1977, Suárez became a member of the Congress of Deputies for Madrid. He was a member until he retired from politics in 1991.

In 1977, Spain had its first free elections in 41 years. Suárez was elected Prime Minister. He and the people working with him won the 1979 elections under the new constitution. He resigned as Prime Minister on 29 January 1981.

In 1981, King Juan Carlos of Spain gave Suárez the hereditary title of "Duque de Suárez" (Duke of Suárez). He also received the title Grande de España (English: Grandee of Spain) because of his role in the change to democracy.

The Prime Minister after Suárez was Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo. In 1986, Suárez ran again for Prime Minister. He lost to Felipe González.

Personal life


Suárez had five children. His first child died in 2004 from cancer. His wife of fifty years, María Amparo died in 2001. He lived in Madrid during his retirement years.

Health and death


On 31 May 2005, Suárez's son, Adolfo Suárez Illana, announced on Spanish television that his father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Suárez died from a respiratory infection in Madrid, aged 81.[3]



Suárez was granted a state funeral. His small memorial service was held on March 26 at the Ávila Cathedral.[4] Many politicians attended including all former living Spanish Prime Ministers. His state funeral was held on 31 March 2014.[5] He was buried at the Ávila Cathedral.[4]



On 24 March 2014, the Spanish government decided to rename the Madrid Barajas Airport to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas in honor of his service to the country.[6]

Honorary titles

The Coat of Arms of Duke Suárez
  • Mr. Adolfo Suárez (1932–1976).
  • The Most Excellent Adolfo Suárez, Prime Minister of Spain (1976–1981).
  • The Most Excellent The Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain (1981–2007).
  • The Most Excellent The Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain, Order of the Golden Fleece (2007–2014).

Some honors or awards

  • Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit (18 July 1969).[7]
  • Gold Medal of Segovia (17 November 1969).
  • Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise (1 April 1970).[8]
  • Gold Medal of Ávila (12 February 1981).[9]
  • Adopted Son of Ávila (12 February 1981).[9]
  • Gold Medal of Madrid (30 November 1995).[10][11]
  • Prince of Asturias Concord Award (13 September 1996).[12]
  • Coexistence Award of Ceuta (30 April 1999).[13][14]
  • Gold Medal of Castilla y León (22 March 1997).[15]
  • Medal of Honor of Madrid (15 May 2011).[16]

Further reading

  • Medalla de Oro de la provincia de Segovia concedida a su Alteza Real Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg (1991). Segovia. Provincial Council of Segovia. ISBN 84-86789-35-4.


  1. "Adolfo Suárez Dies at 81; Led Spain Back to Democracy". New York March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  2. Roberts, Geoffrey K.; Hogwood, Patricia (2003), The Politics Today companion to West European politics, Manchester University Press, p. 137
  3. "Adolfo Suarez dies, steered Spain out of post-Franco turmoil". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "More than 30,000 people turn out to say farewell to Adolfo Suárez". EL Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  5. "President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Kingdom of Spain to attend the State Funeral for former President Adolfo Suarez Gonzalez". White 28 March 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  6. "El aeropuerto de Madrid se llama desde hoy Adolfo Suárez". El 24 March 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  7. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 69-07-18, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  8. Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado 71-04-05, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on December 23, 2011)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Adolfo Suárez, Medalla de Oro de Ávila, e Hijo Adoptivo de dicha ciudad
  10. Medalla de Oro de Madrid para Adolfo Suárez, Teresa Berganza, Pedro Laín Entralgo y Joaquín Garrigues
  11. Concesión de la Medalla de Oro de Madrid para Adolfo Suárez
  12. Concesión Príncipe de Asturias a Don Adolfo Suárez González. Hemeroteca El País
  13. Con Adolfo Suárez se va el primer galardonado por la Fundación Premio Convivencia
  14. Suárez, González y Roca hablarán de "España desde la Constitución". Hemeroteca El País. Consultado el 24 de marzo de 2014.
  15. Adolfo Suárez, profeta en su tierra
  16. Medalla de Honor de Madrid para Suárez, y de Oro para González y Aznar

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