Paul Magloire

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Paul Magloire
Paul Magloire portrait.jpg
31st President of Haiti
In office
December 6, 1950 – December 12, 1956
Preceded byFranck Lavaud
Succeeded byJoseph Nemours Pierre-Louis
Minister of Interior and Defence
In office
May 12, 1950 – August 3, 1950
PresidentFranck Lavaud
Preceded byLouis Raymond
Succeeded byLuc E. Fouché
Member of the Government Junta of Haiti
In office
May 10, 1950 – December 6, 1950
PresidentFranck Lavaud
Minister of Interior and Defence
In office
January 12, 1946 – August 16, 1946
PresidentFranck Lavaud
Preceded byVély Thébaud
Succeeded byGeorges Honorat
Member of the Executive Military Committee
In office
January 11, 1946 – August 16, 1946
PresidentFranck Lavaud
Personal details
Paul Eugène Magloire

(1907-07-19)July 19, 1907
Quartier-Morin, Haiti
DiedJuly 12, 2001(2001-07-12) (aged 93)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Other political
MOP (Mouvement Ouvrier Paysan)
Spouse(s)Yolette Leconte
RelationsEugene Francois Magloire Philomene Mathieu
OccupationMilitary (Division general)
Military service
Allegiance Haiti
Branch/serviceHaitian Army
Years of service1930–1950

Paul Eugène Magloire (July 19, 1907 – July 12, 2001), nicknamed Kanson Fe,[1] was a Haitian president from 1950 to 1956.He became the first president elected by universal suffrage in Haiti.

Early life[edit]

Paul Eugène Magloire, 30th president of Haiti and 33rd head of state (ephemeral military governments were excluded from the count) was born on July 19, 1907 in Quartier-Morin, commune of Cap-Haitien, in the North Departement. Paul was the son of a high-ranking General Eugene Francois Magloire, and Marie-Philomene Mathieu. He attended Lycee Philippe Guerrier. On April 18, 1936 He married Yolette Leconte, a direct descendant of Jean-Jacques Dessalines till her death in 1981.

Military career[edit]

In 1930, Paul joined the army. In 1935, he found himself in Cap-Haitien as sub-commander of this military district, a position he maintained until 1938 when he was promoted to the rank of captain and to the post of commander of the same district. In 1941, he was transferred to Port-au-Prince as commander of the National Penitentiary (also called Grand Prison) The following year he graduated from the Port-au-Prince Law School. He became Police Chief of Port-au-Prince in 1944. In January 1946, the population rose up against President Elie Lescot who found himself in great difficulty in Port-au-Prince. Lescot would later be accused by parliamentary committees of having used public funds to participate in World War II alongside the United States of America without taking into account the daily realities of the Haitian masses or the interests of Haiti. Magloire therefore proposes to President Élie Lescot to hand over power to a military junta of 3 members including Magloire himself who will occupy the post of Minister of the Interior and National Defense, from January 12 to August 16, 1946, Colonel Franck Lavaud and Antoine Levelt.

In August 1946, Dumarsais Estimé was elected President of Haiti against Dantès Louis Bellegarde. Magloire then found himself in the opposition and created MOP (Mouvement Ouvrier Paysan). In 1947, during a parliamentary session in Port-au-Prince, two ministers of the government of Dumarsais Estimé informed the parliamentary commission of inquiry that Haiti's participation in the Second World War cost 20 million US dollars to the government. Haitian State and generates only 1.5 million US dollars following the liquidation of German property sequestered in the country. Magloire ousted him with the help of a local elite and took power. In 1950, he was proclaimed Colonel in the Haitian Army.


In May 1950, Colonel Franck Lavaud returned to power provisionally with the mission of organizing presidential elections to hand power over to a civilian, and Magloire joined him. In December of the same year, Magloire ran for the presidency. He will participate in Haiti's first presidential election by universal suffrage and will largely win the elections against the socialist, communist and conservative front.During his rule, Haiti became a tourist spot for American and European tourists. His anti-communist position also gained favorable reception from the US government. In addition, he used revenues from the sale of coffee to repair towns, build roads, public buildings, and a dam. He also oversaw the institution of women's suffrage. Magloire was very fond of a vivid social life, staging numerous parties, social events, and ceremonies. When he came to power in December 1950, Magloire amended the constitution to set up, by referendum, a republican presidential regime and broke with parliamentarism. He leads an anti-Communist policy appreciated and supported by the United States, he has the streets of Cap-Haitien asphalted, he has the monuments of Vertières and the gatehouses of Barrière-Bouteille built at the southern entrance to the city. Under the governance of Magloire, Haiti is classified as the first tourist destination in the Caribbean. In 1954, when Hurricane Hazel ravaged Haiti and relief funds were stolen, Magloire's popularity fell. On December 6, 1956, Magloire ends his mandate, without being able to stand for re-election, in the midst of a political crisis.

Exile and death[edit]

In 1956 there was a dispute about when his presidency would end; he fled the country amid strikes and demonstrations. On October 15, 1957, about a month after François Duvalier was elected president, Duvalier condemns Magloire to exile. Paul left Haiti to settle in New York. He stripped Magloire of his Haitian citizenship. The Military Council decrees the nationalization of all the properties and buildings of Paul Eugene and his brothers, Arsene and Fernand.

In 1986, when Duvalier's son and successor Jean-Claude lost power, Magloire returned to Haiti from New York City. Two years later he became an unofficial army advisor. On July 19, 1997, Paul Eugène Magloire obtained the rare distinction of "Marshal of Haiti" before dying, on July 12, 2001, at the age of 93. He had received a state funeral.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ "Haiti: Au Revoir, Magloire". Time. December 24, 1956. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Paul Magloire, Former Haitian Ruler, 94". New York Times. July 16, 2001. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Chamberlain, Greg (July 19, 2001). "Paul Magloire". The Guardian. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  4. ^ "Yolette Leconte Magloire, 62, Wife of Ex-President of Haiti". New York Times. June 22, 1981. Retrieved October 12, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Franck Lavaud
President of Haiti
Succeeded by
Joseph Nemours Pierre-Louis