Wilde, Eduardo (1844–1913)

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Wilde, Eduardo (1844–1913)

Eduardo Wilde (b. 15 June 1844; d. 5 September 1913), Argentine statesman, diplomat, and writer. Wilde, born in Tupiza, Bolivia, became a symbol of the liberal "Generación del Ochenta" (Generation of 1880) that came to power with President Julio Argentino Roca in 1880. Wilde graduated from the Medical School of the University of Buenos Aires in 1870 and made an outstanding contribution during the yellow fever epidemic that scourged that city in 1871. In 1875 he was appointed professor of forensic medicine and toxicology at the University of Buenos Aires and professor of anatomy at the Colegio Nacional. He became interested in issues of public health and in 1878 published his Curso de higiene pública. He served in Congress as a national deputy for Buenos Aires (1874–1876, 1876–1880). President Roca chose him as his minister of justice and education, and it was in that post that Wilde made his mark. In the early 1880s, a series of laws gave the national government jurisdiction over primary education and the Civil Register of Births and Marriages (Office of Vital Statistics), which had been in the hands of the Catholic church. After successfully defending the secularizing laws, Wilde remained at the forefront in the ensuing confrontations with militant Catholics, which continued during his service as minister of the interior under President Miguel Juárez Celman (1886–1889). During this period he returned to his concern with public health, pushing forward a project for the construction of a drainage and sewage system for the city of Buenos Aires that would produce a dramatic improvement in sanitary conditions. In 1898 he was appointed president of the National Department of Health and was later chosen to represent his country in Madrid and Brussels. He published several collections of articles and short stories, such as Tiempo perdido (1878) and La lluvia (1880).

See alsoMedicine: The Modern Era .


Néstor T. Auza, Católicos y liberales en la generación del ochenta (1975).

Enrique Pezzoni, "Eduardo Wilde: Lo natural como distancia," in La Argentina del ochenta al centenario, edited by G. Ferrari and E. Gallo (1980).

Héctor Recalde, La higiene y el trabajo, 2 vols. (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Acerbi, Norberto. Vida y obra del Dr. Eduardo Wilde: La construcción del estado nacional roquista. Buenos Aires: Original & Copia, 1995.

                              Eduardo A. Zimmermann