Biography of Gregorio del Amo y González (1858-1941)

Intellectual, physician and Spanish patron born in Santoña (Santander) on August 18, 1858 and died in Los Angeles on May 14, 1979. He/She studied high school at the Institute Cardinal Cisneros of Madrid and, in 1872, approved the admission to the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University; moved to Uruguay and, four years later, in 1859, with the title of doctor in medicine, to Mexico; Finally, in 1887, was established in Los Angeles, where he/she was helped by Spanish Claretian Missionaries and by the powerful family Domínguez, installed in California since the end of the 18th century. Later, in 1890, Gregorio de el Amo married to María Susana Delfina Domínguez (1844-1931), fifth daughter of the wealthy Manuel Domínguez.

The couple had no children of her own; for this reason, they decided to adopt two children. The family fortune was rapidly increased thanks to their businesses, gathered at the of the master Estate Company; at the same time, he/she began a fruitful work of sponsorship for the benefit of the Complutense University of Madrid, the University of California and the University of Southern California (University of Southern California). Remote medicine since 1906, he/she entered the service of Spain as consul in San Francisco, a position which he/she held until 1912; However, the family residence remained the building known as Adobe, located in the Rancho San Pedro (today, a national monument and Museum).

In 1914, the marriage went to Santander to take charge of the inheritance of the family of the master; However, caught by the outbreak of the first world war, they remained in Spain for eight years, installed in Madrid and dump it in diplomatic and academic tasks for the benefit of Spain and United States. Returning to America in 1922, master he/she devoted himself to the care of their business in Santander and its properties in California, especially after the discovery of oil, which was 350 wells that kept productivity until the 1940s.

In remembrance of the aid received by the claretians, in 1920 he/she donated them a generous amount of money and the building which was to serve them seminar; the claretians, in short, the care of the family mansion, the Adobe building has presided over them. The possessions of the family extended the area called Redondo Beach, on which stands a Catholic Church entrusted to Santiago and built in memory of Juan José Domínguez and, ultimately, of all the Domínguez.

Undoubtedly, the great philanthropic company of el Amo de Gregorio and his wife was the 'of the master Foundation', born on May 14, 1929 with the purpose of strengthening ties and cultural relations between Spain and California. The Board of Directors, already contained the guiding of the three involved universities and several managers of the Estate master Company. In addition, donated a large sum to raise the residence for students in 1929, first of the buildings of the great project which was the University City of Madrid (October 12, 1930, was solemnly opened by Alfonso XIII).

The residence, built in the image of certain buildings of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), was destroyed during the Civil War; However, the Foundation continued alive thanks to a new building: the Jaime Del Amo higher school, receiving the name of one of the two sons of don Gregorio. As provided here, it is not surprising that, although appointed to the Complutense University, its management is in charge of the claretians. In California, the Foundation promoted the creation of the laboratory called La Cabaña, linked to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). On the other hand, the scholarships of the master, calls to support Spanish and Californian teachers wishing to move in one direction or another for scientific purposes were born on the same date.

In 1941, Gregorio de el Amo died and his remains were left in the chapel of the Claretian Seminary of Compton; However, the work of the Foundation of the master continued until its dissolution, which took place on 14 May 1979. Subsequently, their heritage was partitioned between the Complutense University (50%) and the two California universities (25% each); However, this did not mean the end of Gregorio de el Amo philanthropic work, because these funds are still devoting to scholarships for students and teachers who pursue identical end: strengthen links between Spain and California.


The previous lines are a summary of the articulo-homenaje of the Professor Carlos Seoane, "Gregorio de el Amo: an unknown patron", Gaceta Complutense (17 October 2000), great revision of the figure and the work of this philanthropist.