Guimarães, Ulysses Silveira (1916–1992)

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Guimarães, Ulysses Silveira (1916–1992)

Ulysses Silveira Guimarães (b. 6 October 1916; d. 12 October 1992), Brazilian politician. Until his death in a helicopter crash off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Ulysses Guimarães was one of Brazil's most prominent federal legislators. Although Guimarães suffered numerous setbacks during his lengthy career, including political repression, endemic legislative gridlock, and unsuccessful presidential bids in 1974 and 1989, his political persona symbolized a devout dedication to democratic principles in public service and national life.

As the long-standing president of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), which existed from 1966 to 1979, and its successor, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), Guimarães led the party's legislative opposition to military rule and support of the restoration and extension of democracy. Guimarães played an instrumental role in the 1985 campaign for direct presidential elections, the 1987–1988 Constituent Assembly, and the 1992 impeachment proceedings against Fernando Collor De Mello. Toward the end of his political career, Guimarães's political influence faltered somewhat with the splintering of the PMDB into competing leftist and centrist parties.

A native of the state of São Paulo, Guimarães received a law degree from the University of São Paulo in 1940 and entered national politics in 1950 as a federal legislator for the Social Democratic Party (PSD). He served briefly as minister of industry and commerce (1961–1962) and represented the PSD in the Chamber of Deputies until 1966, when he joined the MDB. In 1974 Guimarães was the MDB "anticandidate" for president, running on a platform of opposition to repressive military rule. Although handily defeated by the military candidate, he remained a power broker throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Guimarães also represented Brazil in numerous international conventions.

See alsoBrazil, Political Parties: Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) .


"Ulisses Guimarães," in Dicionário histórico-biográfico brasileiro (1984), pp. 1,571-1,574.

Thomas Skidmore, The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964–85 (1988); Veja (21 October 1992), pp. 16-31.

Additional Bibliography

Mattos, Marco Aurélio Vannucchi Leme de, and Walter Cruz Swensson. Contra os inimigos da ordem: A repressão política do regime militar brasileiro (1964–1985). Rio de Janeiro: DP & A Editora, 2003.

Scartezini, A. C. Dr. Ulysses: Uma biografia. São Paulo: Marco Zero, 1993.

                                          Daryle Williams

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Guimarães, Ulysses Silveira (1916–1992)

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