Ortiz, Roberto Marcelino (1886–1942)

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Ortiz, Roberto Marcelino (1886–1942)

Roberto Marcelino Ortiz (b. 24 September 1886; d. 25 July 1942), cabinet minister and president of Argentina (1938–1942). Born in Buenos Aires, Ortiz received a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 1909. After establishing a successful law practice in the Argentine capital, he sought public office. He first served as a city councilman in Buenos Aires between 1918 and 1920. He then advanced to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, where he represented Buenos Aires until 1924. In 1925, President Marcelo T. de Alvear (1922–1928) appointed him minister of public works.

Active in national politics through the 1920s, Ortiz became one of the leading Anti-Personalist Radicals. He returned to public service during the Concordancia, when President Agustín P. Justo (1932–1938) named him minister of finance (1935). Justo selected him as his successor, and in 1938 he was elected president. In office, Ortiz tried to curtail the fraudulent electoral practices that had undermined Argentine democracy after 1930. Before substantive changes were introduced, diabetes forced him to delegate power in 1940 to Ramón Castillo and then to resign in June 1942.

See alsoArgentina: The Twentieth Century; Argentina, Political Parties: Antipersonalist Radical Civil Union.


Mark Falcoff and Ronald H. Dolkart, eds., Prologue to Perón: Argentina in Depression and War, 1930–1943 (1975).

Félix Luna, Ortiz: Reportaje a la Argentina opulenta, 6th ed. (1982).

                                             Daniel Lewis

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