Kent, Victoria (1898–1987)

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Kent, Victoria (1898–1987)

Spanish lawyer and politician during the 1930s. Name variations: Victoria Kent y Siano. Born in Málaga, Spain, in 1898; died in New York City on September 27, 1987; studied law at the University of Madrid.

Victoria Kent was born in Málaga, Spain, in 1897. She studied law at the University of Madrid and first gained national prominence when she acted as defense lawyer for one of the accused officers who had led the Jaca military uprising against the Spanish monarchy in late 1930. This made her the first woman to argue before the Spanish Royal Tribunal of Law. Following the abdication of Alphonso XIII and proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931, Kent stood as a candidate of the Radical Socialist Party and was elected to the Cortes (national assembly) to represent Madrid. She introduced several initiatives to make Spanish prisons more humane.

When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Kent was still a member of the Cortes and sided with the Republican government against the Nationalists and Francisco Franco. She spent part of the war in Paris, aiding Republican refugees who fled Spain. When the Germans invaded France, Kent took refuge in the Mexican embassy. She recounted her experiences there in Cuatro años en París, 1940–1944 (1947). After the war ended, Kent moved to Mexico and taught law there. In 1950, she emigrated to the United States. She worked for the United Nations and founded an anti-Franco political journal, Ibérica, which she edited for two decades. Following Franco's death in 1975, she returned temporarily to Spain. She died in 1987 in New York City. The same year King Juan Carlos of Spain had awarded her the Grand Cross of the Order of San Raimundo of Peñafort.


Kent, Victoria. Cuatro años de mi vida. Barcelona: Bruguera, 1978.

The New York Times. September 28, 1987.

Kendall W. Brown , Professor of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah