|Américo de Deus Rodrigues Thomaz|
|Américo Thomaz in Vale do Rio, Portugal, October, 1968.|
13th President of Portugal
August 9, 1958 – April 25, 1974
|Prime Minister||António de Oliveira Salazar
|Preceded by||Francisco Craveiro Lopes|
|Succeeded by||António de Spínola|
|Minister for the Navy|
September 6, 1944 – August 14, 1958
|Prime Minister||António de Oliveira Salazar|
|Preceded by||Mesquita Guimarães|
|Succeeded by||Mendonça Dias|
November 19, 1894|
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
|Died||18 September 1987
|Political party||People's National Action (1970–74)
National Union (until 1970)
|Spouse(s)||Gertrudes Ribeiro da Costa, Mrs. Thomaz|
|Children||Maria Natália (died 1980)
|Alma mater||Portuguese Naval School|
|Years of service||1914–1974|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Order of Christ
Order of Aviz
Order of St. James of the Sword
Order of Charles III
Américo de Deus Rodrigues Thomaz, GCC, GOA, GOSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmɛɾiku dɨ ˈdewʃ ʁuˈdɾiɡɨʃ tuˈmaʃ]), (November 19, 1894 – September 18, 1987) was a Portuguese admiral and politician. He was the 13th President of Portugal.
Américo de Deus Rodrigues Thomaz was born in Lisbon to parents António Rodrigues Thomaz and Maria da Assunção Marques.
He married Gertrudes Ribeiro da Costa in October 1922. The couple had two children, Maria Natália Rodrigues Thomaz (born 1925) and Maria Madalena Rodrigues Thomaz (born 1930).
Thomaz attended the High School of Lapa, Portugal, in 1904, completing his secondary education in 1911. He then attended the Faculty of Sciences for two years (1912–1914), after which he joined the Naval Academy as a midshipman.
After Thomaz graduated from the Naval Academy in 1916, he was assigned to the Portuguese coast escort service on Vasco da Gama and later assigned to the Pedro Nunes and the destroyers Douro and Tejo  during World War I. In 1918, he received a promotion to Lieutenant.
On March 17, 1920, he was placed on the survey vessel 5 de Outubro, where he served for the next sixteen years. During this time, he was assigned to the survey mission of the Portuguese coast and was a board member of the Technical Commission for Hydrography, Navigation and Nautical Meteorology and a member of the Council for Studies of Oceanography and Fisheries. Thomaz was also a member of the International Permanent Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
During his term as Minister of the Navy, he was responsible for the total reconstruction of the Portuguese commercial navy organized under Dispatch 100. Fifty-six ships were ordered, with more than 300,000 tons of displacement. This dispatch included statutes that also allowed the formation of what is now the modern shipbuilding industry in Portugal. Thomaz' actions while Minister of the Navy created a positive reputation in the marine community, unlike the infamy created by several of his colleagues in the Portuguese Armed Forces (FAP) and the Portuguese government during their respective tenures.
President of the Republic
In 1958, he was chosen by then-Prime Minister António Salazar as the candidate of União Nacional party for the presidency of the republic, succeeding Francisco Craveiro Lopes. He ran against the opposition-backed Humberto Delgado. In a highly contested election he was elected president of the Portuguese Republic. He was officially credited with 52.6 percent of the vote to Delgado's 23.5 percent. Most neutral observers believed, however, that Thomaz would not have won had the election been conducted honestly. Salazar was frightened enough that he pushed through a constitutional amendment transferring election of the president to the legislature, which was firmly controlled by the regime. He was re-elected by the legislature in 1965 and 1972, both times as the only candidate.
Although vested with sweeping—almost dictatorial—powers on paper, in practice Thomaz was little more than a figurehead for his first decade in power. For most of the existence of the Estado Novo, Salazar, as prime minister, held the real power. Indeed, Salazar had chosen him because Craveiro Lopes had shown an independent streak that Salazar didn't like. The virtual powerlessness of his office under Salazar made him little more than a decorative figure at inaugurations and festivities. This, together with a natural inability for speech, made him target of frequent jokes.
Thomaz used his presidential prerogative just once during his first decade in office: to dismiss Salazar when he became incapacitated by a severe stroke in September 1968. Thomaz appointed Marcello Caetano to replace Salazar as prime minister. However, he never told Salazar about this, and Salazar reportedly died two years later still believing he was prime minister. Thomaz took a much more active role in the government after Caetano took power, and became the rallying point for hard-liners who thought that even Caetano's cosmetic efforts to open up the regime went too far.
Thomaz, while President of the Republic and unlike his predecessor, always lived in his private residence, only using the Belém Palace as an office and for official ceremonies.
Overthrow and death
He was allowed to return to Portugal in 1980, but he was denied readmission into the Portuguese Navy and the special pension scheme currently in place for former Presidents of the Republic.
Americo Thomaz died at 92 in a Cascais clinic from complications after a surgery.
- Sem Espírito Marítimo Não É Possível o Progresso da Marinha Mercante, Lisbon, Own edition, 1956.
- Renovação e Expansão da Frota Mercante Nacional, preface of Jerónimo Henriques Jorge, Lisbon, Own edition, 1958.
- Citações, Lisbon, República, 1975.
- Últimas Décadas de Portugal, l.º e 2.º vols., Lisbon, Fernando Pereira, 1980 and 1981.
Francisco Craveiro Lopes
|President of Portugal
António de Spínola