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Lombardo Toledano, Vicente (1894–1968)

Lombardo Toledano, Vicente (1894–1968)

Vicente Lombardo Toledano (b. 16 July 1894; d. 16 November 1968), Mexican labor leader, intellectual, and opposition party leader. Along with Manuel Gómez Morín and Alberto Vázquez del Mercado, Lombardo was a member of the important intellectual generation known as the "Seven Wisemen," which founded the Society of Conferences and Concerts. His intellectual orientation began with Christian Democracy and early in his adult life moved toward socialism. He was a labor activist best remembered as an organizer and secretary general of the Mexican Federation of Labor (CTM), Mexico's most powerful union. He lost control over this union to a group that included Fidel Velásquez, who dominated it from the mid-1940s to the 1990s. In 1948, disenchanted with the government, Lombardo Toledano founded his own opposition Partido Popular, which predated the Popular Socialist Party (1960), later an ally in Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas's 1988 electoral front.

Born in Teziutlán, Puebla, he was a childhood friend of Manuel Ávila Camacho. His grandparents were Italian immigrant peasants, and his father, who married into an old Spanish family, served as mayor of his hometown. Two of his sisters married leading intellectual contemporaries, Alfonso Caso and Pedro Henríquez Ureña. Lombardo Toledano completed his preparatory studies at the National Preparatory School and went on to obtain a law degree and an M.A. from the National University in 1919 and 1920, respectively. A professor for many years, he founded and directed the night-school program at the National Preparatory School (1923) and the Workers University of Mexico (1936–1968). A student leader in college, he worked for the Federal District, and at the age of twenty-nine, became interim governor of his home state, Puebla. He served in the Chamber of Deputies from 1924 to 1928 and again from 1964 to 1966, and held major union posts as secretary general of the National Federation of Teachers and secretary general of the Federation of Workers of the Federal District. When he lost his influence as the government co-opted labor unions after 1940, he founded and presided over the Federation of Latin American Workers from 1938 to 1963. He also organized and served as secretary general of the Socialist League (1944). He contributed many essays to popular magazines and newspapers.

See alsoMexico, Organizations: Federation of Mexican Labor (CTM) .


Enrique Krauze, Caudillos culturales en la revolución mexicana (1976).

Robert P. Millon, Vicente Lombardo Toledano, Mexican Marxist (1966): Vicente Lombardo Toledano, A un joven socialista mexicano (1967).

Additional Bibliography

Bolívar Meza, Rosendo. Vicente Lombardo Toledano: Vida, pensamiento y obra. Mexico City: Instituto Politécnico Nacional, 2005.

Fernando Alvarez, Luis. Vicente Lombardo Toledano y los sindicatos de México y Estados Unidos. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico: Editorial Praxis, 1995.

Gutiérrez Lombardo, Raúl. Vicente Lombardo Toledano: Apuntes para una biografía. Mexico City: Centro de Estudios Filosóficos, Políticos y Sociales Vicente Lombardo Toledano, 2003.

                                    Roderic Ai Camp

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