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Juan Antonio Rios

Juan Antonio Rios Morales was a Chilean political figure, and President of Chile from 1942 to 1946, during the height of World War II. He died in office.

Rios was born at the Huichicura hacienda, near the town of Canete, a coal-mining village in the Arauco Province of southern Chile. He was the youngest son of Anselmo Rios, a rich landowner, and his third wife Lucinda Morales. His father (aged 69 to his young wife's 19 at marriage) died when he was very young so he and his three brothers were raised single-handedly by his mother. He completed his primary studies at the rural school of Canete, and his secondary studies first at the Liceo of Lebu and later at the one in Concepcion, and continued legal studies at the courses given at the annex of his school. Rios became a lawyer in 1914 with an exposition on the creation and development of the police in Chile.

A member of the conservative wing of the Radical Party since his high school days, he was elected local president of the youth branch of that party and later city councillor. During the presidential election of 1920 he campaigned for Arturo Alessandri, being responsible for the southern part of the country. He was rewarded by Alessandri with the appointment of Consul-general and Charge d'affaires to Panama. On October 21, 1921 he married Marta Ide, and together they had three sons: Juan, Carlos, and Fernando.

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