She Was One Of The Highest-Paid Radio Actresses In Argentina Before She Became The First Lady, And She Played A Massive Role In Ensuring Women Were Given The Right To Vote

Pink House Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons - pictured above is First Lady María Eva Duarte de Perón

One of Broadway’s most famous musical theater songs is “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the 1978 musical Evita. Chances are, you’ve heard that song referenced at least once!

Evita is an extremely famous musical that is still being performed all over the world. Do you know the story of the woman it’s based on, the former First Lady of Argentina, Eva Perón?

Eva was born in a small, poor village, Los Toldos, in May 1919. She was the youngest of five siblings and was born to an unmarried couple.

When she was 15-years-old, she decided to move away to Buenos Aires in 1934 to become a performer. She acted in plays, traveled with a theater company, appeared in a few films, and performed on the radio. By the 1940s, she was such a hit on the radio that she eventually became one of the country’s highest-paid radio actresses.

In 1944, a massive earthquake hit Argentina. At a fundraising gala, she met Colonel Juan Perón, the Secretary of Labour. They fell in love and were married in 1945.

That same year, Juan was taken and arrested by a group of his opponents in the government who were staging a coup. After Juan was released, he decided to enter the 1946 presidential election with Eva by his side, doing a lot of campaigning. 

Juan won the presidential election and was sworn in on June 5, 1946, making Eva the country’s new first lady, a job she was extremely passionate about. Eva, who also became known to the country’s working class as Evita, did a lot more work than what was typically required of a first lady and was very influential.

Some of the things she was most passionate about were giving justice and safety to the working class and women’s rights.

So in 1948, she founded her charity organization, the Eva Perón Foundation, with her own money. Eventually, the funds began to grow, and the money was used to help provide and establish jobs, hospitals, orphanages, etc.

Pink House Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – pictured above are President Juan Domingo Perón and First Lady María Eva Duarte de Perón

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2