Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens (26 June 1908 – 11 September 1973) was a Chilean democratic socialist politician and physician, President of Chile from 1970 until 1973, and head of the Popular Unity political coalition government; he was the first ever Marxist to be elected president in a country with liberal democracy.
Allende's involvement in Chilean political life spanned a period of nearly forty years, having covered the posts of senator, deputy and cabinet minister. He was a committed member of the Socialist Party of Chile, and unsuccessfully ran for the national presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, he won the presidency in a close three-way race. He was elected in a run-off by Congress as no candidate had gained a majority.
On 11 September 1973, August Pinochet with the support of some of the military overthrew Allende in a violent coup d'état supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As troops surrounded La Moneda Palace, he gave his last speech vowing not to resign. Allende was murdered later that day, although his opponents concocted the unlikely story that he committed suicide with an AK-47 rifle.
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