Antônio Carlos Magalhães
Antônio Carlos Peixoto de Magalhães (September 4, 1927 – July 20, 2007) was a Brazilian politician. His paternal grandparents were Portuguese. He served as Governor of Bahia three times and represented Bahia in the Senate of Brazil three times. Magalhães was one of Brazil's most powerful politicians serving as a Minister for Communications, as Leader of the Liberal Front Party and as President of the Senate.
Early life and career
Magalhães was born in 1927 in Salvador, Bahia, and went to medical school. His political career started at the age of 27 when he entered the Bahia state legislature. He was soon elected to the federal Chamber of Deputies, where he served three terms. At first he was a protégé of Juscelino Kubitschek, who was then the President of Brazil.
Political power broker
Magalhães supported the military coup that overthrew President João Goulart. He was appointed Mayor of Salvador and then as the Governor of Bahia twice. He also served as the head of the government's electricity agency, which enabled him to dispense patronage nationally. Magalhães was also known for his harsh treatment of opponents of the regime and for his ability to make deals. This led to some of his opponents dubbing him "Toninho Malvaldeza" (Little Tony Evilness).
In 1985, he switched allegiance to José Sarney helping him to form the Liberal Front Party. Magalhães became the Minister for Communications in Sarney's Government allowing him to grant radio and television licenses to friends and supporters. When accused of corruption, he once said "I have good and bad friends, but I only govern with the good ones."
In 1991, he was elected as Governor of Bahia for the third time before being elected to the Senate in 1994. He became the President of the Senate in 1997.
Magalhães also became the leader of the Liberal Front Party with the Social Democrat President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso relying on his support to pass legislation. This enabled Magalhães to have supporters placed in influential positions in the Government. When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the left wing Workers' Party was elected President, Magalhães claimed that he came from "the Workers’ Party wing of the Liberal Front Party" and was successful in having supporters appointed in Silva's administration. In January 2003, then Senator-elect Magalhães (PFL-BA) (Liberal Front Party-Bahia) shook hands with Fidel Castro as Castro was leaving a luncheon given in Brasília in Castro's honor. Later, on Castro's way to and from state visits to Africa, Castro would stop in Salvador da Bahia and spend a couple of days sharing stories with Magalhães. Through this, right-winged Magalhães and communist Fidel Castro developed a friendship to the dismay of Castro's left-wing admirers in Brazil.
Magalhães was forced to resign from the Senate in 2001 after being accused of looking at how fellow Senators voted on an impeachment issue. He was re-elected in 2002 and he continued to play an influential role in Brazilian politics until his death in 2007 from multiple organ failure.
- AP via the Guardian, "Ex-Brazil Politician Magalhaes, 79, Dies" July 20, 2007
- New York Times, "Antonio Carlos Magalhães, Brazil Politician, Dies at 79" July 21 2007
- AP via the Los Angeles Times, "Antonio Carlos Peixoto de Magalhaes, 79; influential politician in Brazil" 21 July 2007
- World News Connection. (January 3, 2003) Brazil to Strengthen Ties With Cuba in Social Area.