Raúl Sáez

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Raúl Sáez Sáez (16 February 1913 – 24 November 1992) was a Chilean engineer who also served as Minister of Finance in Chile in 1968.

Early life and education[edit]

Sáez was born in 1913 to a Chilean military officer who married his cousin. His first school years were spent in the Colegio Alemán (German School) of Santiago. In 1925, his father was sent to France on a military mission and the whole family traveled there. In Paris, Saez enrolled in one of the traditional French Lycees, where he studied Mathematics and Philosophy. Back in Chile in 1931, he enrolled in the School of Engineering at Universidad de Chile in Santiago, where he soon reached the top of his class and eventually became the best student of the university.

Professional life[edit]

His first project after graduation was the Electrification Plan for Chile, which would eventually lead to the founding of Endesa (Chile's national electricity company). Saez actually joined Endesa in 1940 as Chief Engineer for Civil Engineering and eventually rose to the position of CEO of the company in 1961.

Without leaving his job in Endesa, Saez joined Compania de Acero del Pacifico (CAP), Chile's largest steel manufacturing company, between 1944 and 1947 and played important roles in CORFO (Chile's corporation for industrial development), IANSA (Chile's national sugar company) and ENTEL (Chile's telecommunications company), among others.

He has been called "Chile's greatest maker of works of progress in the second half of the 20th century".

He is also well-remembered for leading the effort to avert the overflowing of Riñihue Lake in the aftermath of the devastating Great Chilean earthquake of 22 May 1960 (a huge undertaking which is known as the "Epic of the Riñihue" (see Riñihuazo) and which at least one writer has called "Chile's finest hour").

Death and Honors[edit]

Raúl Sáez died on 24 November 1992, a week after he was awarded the National Prize for Engineering and only one day after the Chilean government awarded him the National Prize for Applied and Technological Sciences.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sergio Molina
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Andrés Zaldívar