Salvador de Madariaga was born in Spain in 1886.
Spanish writer, diplomat, and historian, noted for his service at the League of
Nations and for his prolific writing in English, German, and French, as well as
The son of a Spanish army officer, Madariaga was trained at his father's
insistence as an engineer in Paris but abandoned his career to become a
journalist. In 1921 he joined the Secretariat of the League of Nations at Geneva
as a press member and the following year was appointed head of its disarmament
section. From 1928 to 1931 he was professor of Spanish studies at the University
of Oxford. After the Spanish monarchy fell in 1931, the Spanish republic
appointed him ambassador to the United States (1931) and then to France
(1932–34), and he was Spain's permanent delegate to the League of Nations from
1931 to 1936. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July 1936, Madariaga—“equally
distant from both sides,” as he wrote at the time—resigned and left for England.
He became a vocal opponent of the Francisco Franco regime and did not return to
Spain until April 1976, following Franco's death the previous November.
He was an active militant pro-European integration. As a member
of the European Union of Federalists, he took a prominent role in the founding
in 1949 of the College of Europe in Bruges.
Among Madariaga's most notable essays are Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards
(1928), a study of national psychology; Guía del lector del Quijote (1926; Don
Quixote ), an analysis of Cervantes' classic; and Spain (1942), a historical
essay. He also published books on various periods in Latin-American history. Madariaga's political writings expound his
philosophy of individual liberty and the solidarity of mankind.
He died in Locarno, Switzerland, in 1978