Francisco da Costa Gomes

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Francisco da Costa Gomes
President of Portugal
In office
30 September 1974 – 13 July 1976
Prime MinisterVasco Gonçalves
José Pinheiro de Azevedo
Vasco Almeida e Costa
Preceded byAntónio de Spínola
Succeeded byAntónio Ramalho Eanes
President of the Revolutionary Council
In office
14 March 1975 – 13 July 1976
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byAntónio Ramalho Eanes
President of the National Salvation Junta
In office
30 September 1974 – 14 March 1975
Preceded byAntónio de Spínola
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff
In office
29 April 1974 – 13 July 1976
Preceded byJoaquim da Luz Cunha
Succeeded byAntónio Ramalho Eanes
In office
5 September 1972 – 19 March 1974
Preceded byVenâncio Augusto Deslandes
Succeeded byJoaquim da Luz Cunha
Personal details
Born(1914-06-30)30 June 1914
Chaves, Portugal
Died31 July 2001(2001-07-31) (aged 87)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political partyIndependent
Maria Estela Veloso de Antas Varajão
(m. 1952)
Alma materUniversity of Porto
PortfolioMilitary Region of Angola
Military service
Allegiance Portugal
Branch/service Portuguese Army
Years of service1931–1976
RankGeneral (effective)
Field Marshal (honorific)
Battles/warsPortuguese Colonial War

Francisco da Costa Gomes, ComTE, GOA (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɾɐ̃ˈsiʃku dɐ ˈkɔʃtɐ ˈɡomɨʃ]; 30 June 1914 – 31 July 2001) was a Portuguese military officer and politician, the 15th President of the Portuguese Republic (the second after the Carnation Revolution).


He was one of the eleven children of António José Gomes, (Santo Estevão, Chaves, ? – Lisbon, 1 July 1922) and wife, Idalina Júlia Monteiro da Costa (Chaves, 27 May 1880 – Porto, 18 February 1967).

On 8 December 1952, Gomes married Maria Estela Veloso de Antas Varajão (born 23 March 1927 in Viana do Castelo), daughter of João de Campos Varajão and his wife Angélica Martins Veloso (b. Barcelos, Barcelos), at the See of Viana do Castelo. The couple had only one son, Francisco da Costa Gomes.

In 1961 Costa Gomes, acting as under-secretary of state for the Army, was involved in a constitutional "coup d'état" headed by the Minister of Defense, General Júlio Botelho Moniz, that tried to convince President Américo Tomás to remove an aged António de Oliveira Salazar from the premiership.

In 1970 he occupied the post of Commander of the Military Region of Angola, where he overhauled the chief-command and was the first to try to establish a military agreement with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) against the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA).

On 12 September 1972 he was called back to Portugal to occupy the post of Chief of the Armed Forces—replacing General Venâncio Deslandes—but he was replaced in March 1974, a few weeks before the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, because he had refused to swear his loyalty to the President of the Council of Ministers Marcello Caetano in a public ceremony.

After the Revolution he was one of the seven military leaders who made up the National Salvation Junta. Between 25 April and 30 September he was the second-in-command of the Portuguese state, behind António de Spínola.

He assumed the Presidency of the Republic when named by the Junta after the resignation of Spínola on 30 September 1974, and occupied the post until 27 June 1976 when, in the first Presidential election, the Portuguese chose General Ramalho Eanes to succeed him. He received an honorary promotion to Field Marshal in 1982.


Gomes was one of eleven children of António José Gomes (Chaves, Santo Estêvão – Lisbon, Socorro, 1 July 1922) and wife (m. Chaves, 17 January 1901) and wife Idalina Júlia Monteiro da Costa (Chaves, 27 May 1880 – Porto, 18 February 1967).



  • Centro de Documentação 25 de Abril da Universidade de Coimbra (2014). Costa Gomes, O Último Marechal [Costa Gomes the last Marshall] (in Portuguese). Lisbon: D. Quixote. ISBN 978-972-20-5518-5. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  • Rodrigues, Luís Nuno (2008). Marechal Costa Gomes, No centro da tempestade [Marshall Costa Gomes, in the epicenter of the storm] (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Esfera dos Livros. ISBN 978-989-626-103-0.
  • "Costa Gomes". Presidency of the Portuguese Republic. Retrieved 23 September 2015.

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by President of the National Salvation Junta
Succeeded by
None, office abolished
Preceded by President of Portugal
Succeeded by