Agostinho Neto - Former President of Angola, Birthday and Childhood

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Agostinho Neto's Personal Details

Agostinho Neto was the first President of the People’s Republic of Angola and a prominent writer

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 17, 1922
Died onSeptember 10, 1979
NationalityAngolan
FamousFormer President of Angola, Leaders, Political Leaders, Revolutionaries
SpousesMaria da Silva
Known asDr. Agostinho Neto
Universities
  • University of Lisbon
Founder / Co-Founder
  • MPLA
Birth PlaceÍcolo e Bengo
Political IdeologyPolitical party - Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola
ReligionCatholicism
GenderMale
Sun SignVirgo
Born inÍcolo e Bengo
Famous asFormer President of Angola
Died at Age56

// Famous Former President of Angola

Agostinho Neto's photo

Who is Agostinho Neto?

Agostinho Neto was the first President of the People’s Republic of Angola and a prominent writer. He is celebrated for helping his country gain independence from Portugal in 1975. As a revolutionary, he led a series of liberation activities to help Angola, attain freedom from the oppressive colonial Portuguese authorities. Determined and firm upon his desire to help his countrymen lead a free life, he got involved with politics secretly while pursuing his medical program in Portugal. He was arrested and served several years in prison while leading protests against the colonial rule. He joined the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Apart from politics, he became a successful doctor and one of Angola’s highly acclaimed poets. His works were inspired by the quest for freedom and published in various Angolan and Portuguese reviews. It was all for these reasons that he is rightly known as ‘the father of modern Angola’. His birthday is a public holiday in Angola and celebrated as National Heroes Day.

// Famous Revolutionaries

Childhood & Early Life

Antonio Agostinho Neto was born on September 17, 1922 in Icolo e Bengo, Bengo province, Angola, in a Methodist family to Agostinho Neto, a Methodist church pastor, and Mary d Silva Neto, a kindergarten teacher.

He completed his secondary education from Liceu Salvador Correia, Luanda, in 1944, and started working for Portuguese Colonial Health Service.

In 1947, he went to Portugal to study medicine, with specialization in gynecology, at the University of Lisbon and then at Coimbra, through a scholarship offered by a US Methodist Church.

Career

While studying in Lisbon, he met and befriended other African students who later became politicians – Amilcar Cabral and Marcelino dos Santos, and got actively involved in political activities, though secretly.

While opposing Prime Minister Salazar’s dictatorial rule in Portugal, he formed an African cultural society, Anti-Colonial Movement.

He released his first set of poems in 1948, soon after which he was arrested by PIDE for his protests against the Portuguese rule over Angola, on three occasions, and later imprisoned for seven years in 1951.

He joined the newly formed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), from the merger of Angolan Communist Party (PCA) and Party of the United Struggle for Africans in Angola (PLUA), in 1956.

He was released in 1958 and completed his medical studies. Upon graduating, he returned to Angola in 1959, where he opened a private medical center.

In 1960, he was arrested by the Portuguese authorities for his opposition of the colonial rule, which led to the Massacre of Icolo e Bengo leaving 30 patients and supporters killed and 200 injured, when the Portuguese police open fired.

He was arrested and exiled in Cape Verde for two years, after which he was imprisoned in Lisbon. Due to extensive protests from his supporters and international pressure, he was released and put into house arrest in 1962.

He completed his second volume of verses while serving the period of detention in Lisbon. He escaped house arrest with his family and fled to Morocco. From there, he moved to Leopoldville, Zaire.

He spent the next couple of months traveling across Europe, Soviet Union and other African nations seeking support for liberation war against Portuguese imperialism.

In 1962, he traveled to Washington DC in the hope of receiving aid from Kennedy administration, but his plea was rejected due to US’s oil interests in colonial Angola. Instead, he started getting support from Cuba and Soviet Union, in 1965.

In 1974, when a military coup ousted Marcelo Caetano’s dictatorial rule during the Carnation Revolution, Neto took this opportunity to negotiate with Portugal for the independence of Angola.

Angola was declared independent on November 11, 1975. The MPLA (to which Neto was associated) was successful in capturing the central part of Angola, including Luanda, with Cuban help.

Under his rule, he developed close relations with Soviet Union, Communist states including Cuba, and countries in the Eastern bloc, yet he permitted the Western World to invest in oil production in Angola.

The Agostinho Neto University, a public Angolan university in Luanda, was re-founded as the merger of two university institutions in 1975, of which Neto became the first Rector.

In December 1975, he established the Angolan Writers Union as the founding member. He served as the President of its General Assembly, until his death.

He delivered the closing address as the chairman of the closing ceremony at the 6th Conference of African-Asian Writers, conducted from June 26 to July 3, 1979.

Besides being a nationalist leader, he was also a renowned medical doctor and a prominent poet, publishing three books during his life, which were translated into several languages with some of them becoming liberation anthems.

Major Works

He joined the Angolan Liberation Movement, while still in exile, and became the President of Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in 1962.

He became the first president of independent Angola in 1975, after his party MPLA succeeded in defeating the other two political parties and established a one-party state.

Awards & Achievements

In 1970, he received the Lotus Prize at the 4th Conference of African-Asian Writers.

He was posthumously honored with the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union government for 1975-76.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Maria Eugenia da Silva, a white Portuguese native, in 1958 upon completing his medical study. The couple had two children – son Mario Jorge Neto (1958) and daughter Irene Alexandra (1961).

In 1979, he went to Moscow to undergo treatment for pancreatic cancer and liver cirrhosis. However, he died during surgery on September 10, at the age of 56, just seven days ahead of his 57th birthday.

Angola celebrates his birthday as National Heroes Day and is a public holiday.

Chinua Achebe authored a poem ‘Agostinho Neto’ as a mark of respect to this distinguished personality.

The prime hospital in the Cape Verdean capital, Praia, is named after him – Hospital Agostinho Neto (HAN), while an airport and a morna in Cape Verde is dedicated to him.

// Famous Leaders

Agostinho Neto biography timelines

  • // 17th Sep 1922
    Antonio Agostinho Neto was born on September 17, 1922 in Icolo e Bengo, Bengo province, Angola, in a Methodist family to Agostinho Neto, a Methodist church pastor, and Mary d Silva Neto, a kindergarten teacher.
  • // 1944
    He completed his secondary education from Liceu Salvador Correia, Luanda, in 1944, and started working for Portuguese Colonial Health Service.
  • // 1947
    In 1947, he went to Portugal to study medicine, with specialization in gynecology, at the University of Lisbon and then at Coimbra, through a scholarship offered by a US Methodist Church.
  • // 1948 To 1951
    He released his first set of poems in 1948, soon after which he was arrested by PIDE for his protests against the Portuguese rule over Angola, on three occasions, and later imprisoned for seven years in 1951.
  • // 1956
    He joined the newly formed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), from the merger of Angolan Communist Party (PCA) and Party of the United Struggle for Africans in Angola (PLUA), in 1956.
  • // 1958 To 1959
    He was released in 1958 and completed his medical studies. Upon graduating, he returned to Angola in 1959, where he opened a private medical center.
  • // 1958 To 1961
    He married Maria Eugenia da Silva, a white Portuguese native, in 1958 upon completing his medical study. The couple had two children – son Mario Jorge Neto (1958) and daughter Irene Alexandra (1961).
  • // 1960
    In 1960, he was arrested by the Portuguese authorities for his opposition of the colonial rule, which led to the Massacre of Icolo e Bengo leaving 30 patients and supporters killed and 200 injured, when the Portuguese police open fired.
  • // 1962
    He was arrested and exiled in Cape Verde for two years, after which he was imprisoned in Lisbon. Due to extensive protests from his supporters and international pressure, he was released and put into house arrest in 1962.
  • // 1962 To 1965
    In 1962, he traveled to Washington DC in the hope of receiving aid from Kennedy administration, but his plea was rejected due to US’s oil interests in colonial Angola. Instead, he started getting support from Cuba and Soviet Union, in 1965.
  • // 1962
    He joined the Angolan Liberation Movement, while still in exile, and became the President of Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in 1962.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, he received the Lotus Prize at the 4th Conference of African-Asian Writers.
  • // 1974
    In 1974, when a military coup ousted Marcelo Caetano’s dictatorial rule during the Carnation Revolution, Neto took this opportunity to negotiate with Portugal for the independence of Angola.
  • // 1975
    The Agostinho Neto University, a public Angolan university in Luanda, was re-founded as the merger of two university institutions in 1975, of which Neto became the first Rector.
  • // 1975
    He became the first president of independent Angola in 1975, after his party MPLA succeeded in defeating the other two political parties and established a one-party state.
  • // 1975 To 1976
    He was posthumously honored with the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union government for 1975-76.
  • // 11th Nov 1975
    Angola was declared independent on November 11, 1975. The MPLA (to which Neto was associated) was successful in capturing the central part of Angola, including Luanda, with Cuban help.
  • // Dec 1975
    In December 1975, he established the Angolan Writers Union as the founding member. He served as the President of its General Assembly, until his death.
  • // 1979
    In 1979, he went to Moscow to undergo treatment for pancreatic cancer and liver cirrhosis. However, he died during surgery on September 10, at the age of 56, just seven days ahead of his 57th birthday.
  • // 3rd Jul 1979
    He delivered the closing address as the chairman of the closing ceremony at the 6th Conference of African-Asian Writers, conducted from June 26 to July 3, 1979.

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Agostinho Neto's FAQ

  • What is Agostinho Neto birthday?

    Agostinho Neto was born at 1922-09-17

  • When was Agostinho Neto died?

    Agostinho Neto was died at 1979-09-10

  • Where was Agostinho Neto died?

    Agostinho Neto was died in Moscow

  • Which age was Agostinho Neto died?

    Agostinho Neto was died at age 56

  • Where is Agostinho Neto's birth place?

    Agostinho Neto was born in Ícolo e Bengo

  • What is Agostinho Neto nationalities?

    Agostinho Neto's nationalities is Angolan

  • Who is Agostinho Neto spouses?

    Agostinho Neto's spouses is Maria da Silva

  • What was Agostinho Neto universities?

    Agostinho Neto studied at University of Lisbon

  • Which company or organization was founded by Agostinho Neto?

    Agostinho Neto was the founder/co-founder of MPLA

  • What is Agostinho Neto's political ideology?

    Agostinho Neto's political ideology is Political party - Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola

  • What is Agostinho Neto's religion?

    Agostinho Neto's religion is Catholicism

  • What is Agostinho Neto's sun sign?

    Agostinho Neto is Virgo

  • How famous is Agostinho Neto?

    Agostinho Neto is famouse as Former President of Angola