Biography of Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)

Colombian writer, maximum representative of his country in this field, awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982 for his literary works, especially Cien Años de soledad.


Gabriel García Márquez.

He was born on March 6, 1927 in the town of Aracataca (Magdalena) and died on April 17, 2014 en Mexico DF. He signed some articles with the pseudonym of Septimus. From his early childhood, he lived with his grandparents, Colonel Nicolás Márquez, veteran of the war of the thousand days, and Tranquilina Iguarán. The experiences of this early childhood in his hometown, a crowd of uncles and cousins crowded around the elder coronel, spiced with exaggerated accounts of the grandmother, printed an indelible mark on his memory, which ended up being part of his novel one hundred years of solitude. After the death of his grandfather (1936) he left to Zipaquirá to study, taking advantage of the benefits of a scholarship.

Once finished his Bachelor's degree and according to the will of his father, he enrolled at the National University of Bogotá with the intention of becoming a lawyer. The study of law bored him, while his vocation as a writer is strengthening day by day. He started as a reporter at the daily El Espectador, inventing a helicopter by the Salto de Tequendama tour.

Then came the stories with a series of interviews to a sailor who fell from the deck of a ship of the Colombian Navy, which was published with the title of the story of a castaway. He then travelled to Paris as a correspondent for El Espectador. One day they closed the newspaper and stood on the street, so he devoted himself only to write. Several months after I was fairly indebted and had to return back to their country. He settled in a guesthouse in the capital of the Republic.

In the wake of the events of April 9, 1948, after the murder of liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán and the consequent Bogotazo, most of his books and manuscripts were lost in a fire. This, along with the indefinite closure of the National University, made that García Márquez asked the University of Cartagena, where continued to be an irregular student and transfer without graduating.

In Cartagena, García Márquez enlisted with the writers that formed the Barranquilla group, occasion which took the opportunity to continue his collaborations in several national and foreign publications such as El Universal, El Heraldo, El Nacional, baseball cards and graphic Venezuela. Some critics, such as Jacques Gilard, argue that during 1952, Gabo, as they call their friends, sold encyclopedias in La Guajira.

In 1958, García Márquez was invited as a journalist to operation truth, campaign that his close friend Fidel Castro on the island of Cuba, organized to counter the bad image of American agencies. At the outset of the Cuban revolution in 1958 took party in favor of Fidel Castro. His sympathy for the Cuban leader and his regime have remained up to the present.

Apart from literature, García Márquez felt stronger an enormous attraction for cinema. He started as a critic in El Heraldo de Barranquilla and the audience of Santa Fe de Bogotá. Later his story in this village there are no thieves, he was taken to the cinema in Mexico. He then wrote the Golden Cockerel (based on a story by Juan Rulfo and written in the company of Carlos Fuentes). Another of his scripts brought to cinema was time to die (film made in Mexico and recently filmed in Colombia) and abduction (1984). Other films in which García Márquez had involvement are Harbinger, María of my heart and the widow of Montiel (based on his stories or scripts written by him). But his association with the seventh art is even greater since in 1986 it promoted the Foundation of the international school of cinema and Television from Havana (EICTV) which soon became one of the best schools of the world.

It received some awards at national and international level, such as the Colombian novel, the premio Chianciano in Italy Esso Prize, the doctorate honoris causa in lyrics of the Columbia from NYU, Premio Rómulo Gallegos in Venezuela and the Medal of the legion of Honor of France. But its highest award is the Nobel Prize which was awarded in 1982. The avalanche of commitments that ensued to the Nobel Prize, forced García Márquez to seek refuge in Cartagena.

In 1998 he left Colombia to reside in Mexico. After six years without visiting his native country, in 2004 he went to Cartagena to participate in the V Iberoamerican Forum.


His work La Hojarasca, which exposes the issue of violence as a symbolic element is published in 1955. In Paris, wrote the Colonel does not who you write (1958), that recounts individual concerns and village customs.

One day in 1965, when he traveled in his car between of Mexico City and Acapulco, came up with the idea of the novel which had been looking for for a long time and that established him as a Nobel literature prize in 1982.

He arrived his home and imprisoned for eighteen months in the room. When he left there, had in his hands a thousand three hundred pages manuscript and a debt, in the House of one thousand dollars. It appeared then posted one hundred years of solitude (1967). "Many years later face a firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía had to remember that afternoon...". So begins the most famous American novel, which has been translated into almost every language of the world and on which has been written more than about any other book of the American continent. The novel tells the story of Macondo, with surrealist style. The book is full of mythical symbols and is a kind of sacred Testament describing the metamorphosis that a people isolated and traditional suffers when it is invaded by modern technology, writing and reading. In his speech in Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize for literature, entitled the solitude of Latin America, García Márquez returned to the theme of loneliness and culture shock around the world, to reproach the Europeans lack of understanding and ignorance of the realities of the continent: "advances in navigation that have reduced so many distances [...], seem to have instead increased our cultural distance".

Gabriel García Márquez

But Gabriel García Márquez "Gabo" always that could insisted on its reporter status, and in 1999 appeared his journalistic work written between 1974 and 1995 with the title by the free.

Other García Márquez works are: the last voyage of the Ghost ship (1968), which suggests how the arrival of modernism generates violence. In the autumn of the Patriarch (1975) tells the most ambitious and complex episodes of a Latin American dictator; Love in the time of cholera (1985) deals with the theme of love in its various forms: the Platonic, the fraternal, the sexual and the marital, among others. Strange pilgrims (1992); Diatribe of love against a sitting man (1994), love and other demons (1994) and news of a kidnapping (1996), book where he resumed his original profession, journalism, to narrate one of the most critical in the recent history of Colombia, where the reality is often more implausible than fiction.

For a year it canceled all its commitments to undergo a treatment for lymphoma. Recovered from the disease reappeared in the Feria del Libro de Guadalajara (Mexico) in the year 2000 where announced for the year following the publication of the first volume of his memoirs: living to tell the tale, a book that begins with the life of the grandparents of the author and in 1955, year published his first book (the leaves) and moved to Europe as a correspondent for El Espectador. Finally, the Publishing House Mondadori published the work in the fall of 2002.

In 2004, ten years after his previous novel, García Márquez published memory of my melancholy whores, a love story narrated in the first person and full of humor and irony. Its protagonist is a 90 year old man who falls for a girl of 14. In 2010 he published I do not come to say a speech, work that brings together 22 texts throughout his life to be read in public, ranging from 1944 to 2007. The book includes the speech solitude of Latin America delivered by Márquez to receive the prize Nobel of literature. How I started to write, toast to the poetry, journalism: the best office in the world, and bottle to the sea for the God of the words, are some titles of speeches that included this work in which, in addition, García Márquez mentions his aversion to public speaking.


COLLAZOS, Óscar: García Márquez: loneliness and glory. His life and his work. Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 1983.

BENEDETTI M. et al: 9 sieges to García Márquez. Santiago de Chile, 1969.

VARGAS LLOSA, Mario: García Márquez, story of a Deicide. Barcelona, 1972.