Rómulo Gallegos Freire (2 August 1884 – 4 April 1969) was a Venezuelan novelist and politician. For a period of some ten months during 1948, he served as his country's president.
Rómulo Gallegos was born in Caracas to Rómulo Gallegos Osío and Rita Freire Guruceaga, into a family of humble origin. He began his work as a schoolteacher, writer, and journalist in 1903. His novel Doña Bárbara was first published 1929, and it was because of the book's criticisms of the regime of Juan Vicente Gómez (an army general who had come to power in a 1908 coup d'état) that he was forced to flee the country. He took refuge in Spain, where he continued to write: his acclaimed novels Cantaclaro (1934) and Canaima (1935) date from this period.
He returned to Venezuela in 1936 and was appointed Minister of Public Education. In 1937 he was elected to Congress and, in 1940–41, served as mayor of Caracas. In 1945 he was involved in the coup that brought Rómulo Betancourt to power. In 1947 he ran for the presidency of the republic, won the election, took office in February 1948, and was overthown by a military coup d'état the following November. He took refuge first in Cuba and then in Mexico.
He was able to return to Venezuela in 1958. He was appointed a senator for life, awarded the National Literature Prize, and elected to the Venezuelan Academy of the Language (the correspondent agency in Venezuela of the Spanish Royal Academy). The Rómulo Gallegos international novel prize was created in his honour in 1964, with the first award being made in 1967.
He died in his beloved Caracas on 4 April 1969.
El último Solar (1920) (alternative title:Reinaldo Solar)
La trepadora (1925)
Doña Bárbara (1929)
Pobre negro (1937)
El forastero (1942)
Sobre la misma tierra (1943)
La brizna de paja en el viento (1952)
Una posición en la vida (1954)
El último patriota (1957),