Fangio, Juan Manuel (1911–1995)

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Fangio, Juan Manuel (1911–1995)

Juan Manuel Fangio is one of the most important icons of Argentine history. He was born to Italian immigrants in a modest home in a village in the province of Buenos Aires, and he left school at the age of twelve to learn the trade of auto mechanics. In the course of his work he developed a passion for auto racing, and he entered in his first race in 1929. For years he competed in Argentina in the category of Touring Car Racing, winning two championships. Fangio left for Europe at the end of the 1940s with financial support from the government of Juan Domingo Perón. Between 1950 and his retirement in 1958, he won twenty-four of the fifty-one races he entered, including five world Formula One championships driving four different makes of vehicle (Mercedes Benz, Maserati, Ferrari, and Alfa Romeo). His racing feats made him one of the great popular idols of his time. Fangio's image was further enhanced by his unassuming and modest demeanor, and because the story of his rise to fame resonated with Argentines: He was a man who had been born in a humble home, became one of the greatest race-car drivers of all times, and finished his life as a prosperous businessman at the head of an automobile company.

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Brudenell, Mike. "An Ode to Fangio, an Icon for All Time." Detroit Free Press, October 14, 2003.

"Prince of the Pampas." Sports Illustrated 83, no. 5 (July 31, 1995): 91. Obituary.

                                               Juan Suriano