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Fox, Vicente 1942- (Vicente Fox Quesada, Vincente Fox Quesada)

Fox, Vicente 1942- (Vicente Fox Quesada, Vincente Fox Quesada)

PERSONAL:

Born July 2, 1942, in Mexico City, Mexico; son of José Luis (a landowner) and Mercedes (a homemaker) Fox; married Lillian de la Concha, 1975 (divorced, 1991); married Martha Sahagun, July 2, 2001; children: (first marriage; adopted) Ana Cristina, Paulina, Vicente, and Rodrigo. Education: Universidad Iberoamericana, B.B.A., 1964. Politics: Conservative.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Mexico.

CAREER:

Politician, writer, and businessperson. Coca-Cola México, started as route supervisor and worked up to marketing director, 1964-75, chief executive officer, 1975-79; Grupo Fox (family farm), San Francisco del Rincón, Mexico, comanager, 1979-88; served in Mexican legislature, 1988-91; Guanajuato, Mexico, governor, 1995-99; Mexico, president, 2000-06.

MEMBER:

National Action Party (PAN).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Civic Man of the Year, Alianza Civica (Civic Alliance), 1991.

WRITINGS:

Hechos y oportunidades: Primer informe de gobierno, Gobierno del Estado (Guanajuato, Mexico), 1996.

Hechos y oportunidades: Primer ãno de trabajo: Resumen ejecutivo, Gobierno del Estado (Guanajuato, Mexico), 1996.

Hechos y oportunidades: Segundo informe de gobierno, Gobierno del Estado (Guanajuato, Mexico), 1997.

Hechos y oportunidades: III informe de gobierno, Gobierno del Estado (Guanajuato, Mexico), 1998.

A Los Pinos: Recuento autobiográfico y político, Océano (Mexico City, Mexico), 1999.

(With Eduardo Ruiz-Healy) En voz de Vicente: Entrevistas a Fox, Oxford University Press (Mexico City, Mexico), 2000.

Me comprometo contigo: Alianza por el Cambio plataforma electoral, compromisos y prepuestas, Alianza por el Cambio (Mexico City, Mexico), 2000.

Vicente Fox propone, Ediciones 2000 (Mexico City, Mexico), 2000.

5. informe de gobierno, 1 de septiembre de 2005: Mensaje del presidente de la República, Vicente Fox Quesada con motivo de la entrega del Quinto Informe de Gobierno al Honorable Congreso de la Unión, Gobierno de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Mexico City, Mexico), 2005.

Vicente Fox Quesada: Ideas del cambio democrático en México, Gobierno de la República (Mexico City, Mexico), 2006.

Vicente Fox Quesada: Encuentros con los medios: Entrevistas sobre los programas y resultados del gobierno del cambio, 2001-2006, Gobierno de la República (Mexico City, Mexico), 2006.

(With Rob Allyn) Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Vicente Fox was born on July 2, 1942, in Mexico City, Mexico. He is the son of a Spanish-born mother, who moved to Mexico as an infant with her family, and a Mexican-born father, who was a rancher and landowner. The family farm consisted of 1,100 acres in San Francisco del Rincón, where Fox was raised as the second of nine children. He went to Catholic schools, where he dreamed of a future career as a bullfighter. His parents, however, had other plans, and discouraged him from such a brutal career, encouraging him to study business instead. After completing his primary education, Fox was educated at the Universidad Iberoamericana, where, heeding his parents' advice, he earned his bachelor of business administration degree in 1964. From there, he went on to take a position working for Coca-Cola México, starting as a route supervisor for deliveries. Over the next seven years, Fox's job had him living in six different cities. In 1971, though, his efforts paid off, and he was transferred to Mexico City where the firm's national headquarters were. Fox credits his career with Coca-Cola México for providing him with what was essentially a graduate degree in business, training him on the job, regarding what was important and what was necessary for him to learn and accomplish. He was made marketing director soon after settling in Mexico City, and in 1975, became chief executive officer of the company.

In 1979, Coca-Cola México offered Fox yet another promotion, making him the head of the Latin American division of the company, a job that would require him to relocate to Miami, Florida. Though he loved his job and was flattered and honored by the offer, he did not want to move to Miami, so Fox turned down the promotion. Ultimately, this decision led to him leaving Coca-Cola México entirely. Unsure of his next step, Fox returned home to Grupo Fox, his family farm, which he planned to help his brothers manage. Increasing the farm's productivity and business, though, was not as easy as it seemed. Although Fox and his brothers worked hard to increase their exporting revenue, sending frozen broccoli and cauliflower to the United States, and shipping cowboy boots to Europe, new regulations on trade worked against them. In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) became effective, and Mexico also suffered a serious devaluation of its currency due to a crisis with the country's banking infrastructure. The brothers were forced to borrow a sizable amount of money in order to keep the farm afloat.

Slowly, the political and economic climate of Mexico began to concern Fox. He never intended to go into politics, because in Mexico—more than in most countries—politicians are mistrusted and considered to be crooks, an opinion that was shared by Fox's father. However, he did not approve of the way that government policies were affecting small businesses. He also believed that there was a way to make life better for the poor, a situation that had troubled him for years, despite his sheltered and privileged upbringing. Politics appeared to be the only means of tackling these issues, so Fox resigned himself to name-calling and his immediate family members' negative opinions, and began his career in the Mexican political arena. In 1988, he joined the National Action Party (PAN), considered to be conservative and supportive of Catholics and business owners. He also went on to win a seat in the Mexican legislature, but only served a single term. In 1991, he ran for the position of governor of the Mexican state of Guanajuato, where he was raised, but failed to win the election. However, in 1995, his second attempt at the governorship was successful; he won the election by a two-to-one landslide, the largest margin of victory ever recorded for a Mexican election for governor.

With his success in attaining the governorship, Fox decided to run for president of Mexico. The presidential campaign was an open run, with Fox announcing his intentions early on and never faltering in his desire to break the dictatorial regime's hold over Mexico. In an effort to represent a new set of choices, Fox veered away from the more traditional platform of his party, and instead promised fairness toward the poor and minorities across Mexico. The election had the potential to be difficult—not only was Fox running in opposition to the tried-and-true party, but a third candidate, for the Democratic Revolution Party (DRP), ultimately joined the race. Though the DRP candidate took only a small percentage of the votes, his presence made Fox's ultimate victory that much more impressive, when he was elected president in 2000.

Fox took charge before he even took office, promising to fight crime and corruption in Mexico, and to develop an agency similar to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He also proposed alterations to NAFTA to give Mexicans greater opportunities and better wages. He also aimed to loosen the regulations against Mexicans crossing the border into the United States. Fox began his presidential term with mixed results, progress slowed by the 2001 recession in Mexico. By 2006, he indicated that, while he completed some of his goals, others were far from being accomplished. Over the course of his term in office, he faced a number of obstacles, including members of the opposing party and the Congress of Mexico, which repeatedly blocked many of his efforts for change. Near the end of his presidential term, Fox was put in the difficult position of having to justify the election process. Though he was not running, a close call between the two candidates left many people angry about the results, accusing the government of cheating in some way. Once Fox left office, the Congress of Mexico began to look into his income, suspecting him of potentially stealing money from the government during his tenure.

Writing with Rob Allyn, Fox published his memoir, Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President, in 2007. The book chronicles his experiences prior to the presidential election that he won, and examines his reasons for entering politics, and ultimately what made him work toward such a high political position. He also recounts his years as president, discussing the economic changes he made and pointing out the barriers that he believed kept him from achieving even more. Fox also discusses how the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, altered the course of his presidency, nearly as much as it changed that of U.S. President George W. Bush. In a review of Revolution of Hope, a contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote, "Cynics looking for [a public relations (PR)] spin may be surprised by this book, which is driven by Fox's undeniable raconteurial skills and his keen eye for drama." A reviewer for the Economist stated that "Fox's book, like his presidency, is oddly lightweight. Its aim seems to be to secure work on the conference circuit rather than to illuminate his years in power."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Fox, Vicente, and Rob Allyn, Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 2007, Gilbert Taylor, review of Revolution of Hope, p. 19.

Business Mexico, April 1, 2001, "15 Minutes With … Vicente Fox," author interview, p. 10; November 1, 2001, "15 Minutes with … Vicente Fox: Mexico's President Talks about His Trade Trip to Europe, the Controversy over Recent Support for the United States and the Accomplishments of His First Year in Office," author interview, p. 10; January 1, 2004, "El Gran Future: Fox Faces Daunting Obstacles on Reform Package in Make-or-Break Year for Disappointing Presidency," author information, p. 34.

Business Week, February 5, 2001, "A Talk with North America's Other New President," author interview, p. 61.

Capital & Class, June 22, 2005, "The Crisis of Foxism: The Political Economy of Fiscal Reform in Mexico," author information, p. 1.

Church & State, September 1, 2002, "President's Papal Kiss Sparks Controversy in Mexico," author information, p. 22.

Economist, July 19, 1997, "Fox, Hunting; Mexico," author information, p. 34; October 6, 2007, "Reflections from the Ranch; Mexico," review of Revolution of Hope, p. 42.

Foreign Affairs, January 1, 2008, Richard Feinberg, review of Revolution of Hope, p. 186.

Government Finance Review, February 1, 1998, "Reinventing the Government in Guanajuato, Mexico: An Interview with Governor Vicente Fox Quesada," p. 34.

Harvard International Review, March 22, 2005, "Running after a Fallen Fox: The Prelude to Mexico's 2006 Presidential Election," author information, p. 22.

Institutional Investor International Edition, September 1, 2000, "The New Look of Mexico," author interview, p. 68.

Journal of the Southwest, December 22, 2003, "Politics across Borders: Mexico's Policies toward Mexicans in the United States," author information, p. 533.

Latin American Politics and Society, June 22, 2005, "Rivaling the PRI: The Image Management of Vicente Fox and the Use of Public Opinion Polling in the 2000 Mexican Election," author information, p. 143; December 22, 2005, "The Lost Sexenio: Vicente Fox and the New Politics of Economic Reform in Mexico," author information, p. 135.

Latino Leaders, December 1, 2006, "The Exit Interview Vicente Fox: President of Mexico: Lessons Learned," p. 14.

Latin Trade, May 1, 2006, "Loyal Opposition," author interview, p. 32.

Multinational Monitor, March 1, 2001, "The Democratic Opposition," author information, p. 18.

New Leader, January 1, 2003, "Fox under Fire in Mexico," author information; September 1, 2003, "Mexico's Identity Crisis," author information.

Newsweek International, November 22, 1999, "There's No Time for Fear," author interview, p. 60; February 5, 2001, "The Toast of Davos Speaks Out," author information, p. 56; July 19, 2004, "Worst Lady? President Vicente Fox Is Losing His Grip on His Party and His Government, and His Wife May Be to Blame," author information, p. 32.

New York Times Book Review, November 4, 2007, Ginger Thompson, "Border Politician," review of Revolution of Hope.

OECD Observer, December 1, 2002, "President Fox," author information, p. 57.

Publishers Weekly, September 3, 2007, review of Revolution of Hope, p. 54.

Review of Policy Research, September 1, 2005, "Resistance from Within: Why Mexico's Attempt to Advance an Active Foreign Policy Failed," author information, p. 657.

San Diego Business Journal, December 3, 2001, "President Vicente Fox—His Works, His Vision," author interview, p. 2.

Time, July 3, 2000, "The Bionic Candidate: Vicente Fox Is Running a Marketeer's Dream of a Campaign to Be President of Mexico," author information, p. 38; January 19, 2004, "10 Questions for Vicente Fox," author interview, p. 8.

Time International, July 17, 2000, "A New Era," author information, p. 12; July 17, 2000, "Starting a New Way of Governing: President-Elect Vicente Fox Quesada," author interview, p. 16; December 4, 2000, "Fox: Looking at Opportunities," author interview, p. 100; December 4, 2000, "The Moment of Truth: Dec. 1 Is Inauguration Day for Mexico's Vicente Fox Quesada. After That, the Real Challenges of His Presidency Begin," author information, p. 96.

Wilson Quarterly, June 22, 2002, "Mañana Never Comes (Other Nations)," author information, p. 107; March 22, 2006, "Goodbye and Good Riddance," author information, p. 96.

WorldLink, January 1, 2001, "Fox Factors: Mexico's New President Vicente Fox Talks to Kamalakshi Mehta about the Challenges That Lie Ahead and His Plans for Changing the Nature of the Presidency," author interview, p. 36.

World Policy Journal, June 22, 2003, "‘Forgetting Is Not Justice’: Mexico Bares Its Secret Past," author information, p. 61.

ONLINE

Business Week Online,http://www.businessweek.com/ (March 13, 2006), "Vicente Fox: Looking Back, and Ahead; with the Clock Ticking on His Term, Mexico's President Talks about the Achievements of His Administration and the Challenges to Come," author interview.

CBS News Web site,http://www.cbsnews.com/ (October 14, 2007), "Protestors Tear Down Vicente Fox Statue," author information.

Mexican Presidency Web site,http://fox.presidencia.gob.mx/ (August 13, 2008), author presidential profile.

Mexidata Web site,http://mexidata.info/ (August 28, 2006), Enrique Andrade González, "The Final Days of Mexican President Vicente Fox," author information.

Mission of Mexico to the United Nations (UN) Web site,http://www.un.int/mexico/ (August 13, 2008), author profile.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators Web site,http://www.nafsa.org/ (August 13, 2008), author profile.

Penguin Group Web site,http://us.penguingroup.com/ (August 13, 2008), author profile.

OTHER

All Things Considered: National Public Radio (NPR), July 3, 2000, "Profile: Mexico's Newly Elected President, Vicente Fox"; July 17, 2001, "Analysis: Mexican President Vicente Fox Calls for Sweeping Reforms of Policies Governing Migration between Mexico and the U.S."; October 22, 2001, "Analysis: Spotlight on President Vicente Fox's Efforts to End Mexico's Human Rights Abuse after Death of Human Rights Attorney"; May 9, 2003, "Analysis: Mexican President Vicente Fox's Crackdown on Drug Trafficking Leads to Backlog of Drugs in Mexico and Rise in Domestic Abuse."

Morning Edition: NPR, March 21, 2000, "Interview: Governor Vicente Fox of Guanajuato, Mexico, Discusses His Plans to Run for President of Mexico and the Changes He Hopes to Bring if Elected."

Talk of the Nation: NPR, May 1, 2001, "Profile: Mexican President Vicente Fox and His Efforts in Mexico"; October 8, 2007, "Vicente Fox Discusses Revolution of Hope."

Tell Me More: NPR, May 28, 2008, "Mexico's Former President on Immigration," author interview.

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