Manuel Montt (mänwĕl´ mōnt), 1809–80, president of Chile (1851–61). From a poverty-stricken childhood he rose to become one of Chile's most notable jurists. He held many prominent academic and governmental posts, distinguishing himself as minister of education. As president, Montt consolidated the great task of progressive reform pioneered by Diego Portales. He especially emphasized educational and scientific advancement, improved relations with Chile's neighbors, and brought prosperity.