Spanish politician and trade unionist. General Secretary of the General Union of workers (UGT), Member of the Socialist Labor Spanish party (PSOE) and President of the Government (1936-1937). He/She was born in Madrid, in 1869. The separation of his parents forces him to work very young. At age nine he/she begins learning of Plasterers, trade that would be his final profession. It joins the General Union of workers (UGT) and, four years later, to the workers Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) in 1890. His involvement in the Socialist movement was always linked to their trade union activity. In 1904 he/she was appointed labor member of the Institute of reforms social and, the following year, he/she was elected Councillor of the city of Madrid. Elected general Secretary of the General Workers Union in 1918, he/she will remain in office for twenty years. Its action will mark the history of the Socialist Union. During the years in which the first world war unfolded, he/she worked intensely on the strengthening of the trade union movement, which led him to have intercourse, often controversial, with the National Labour Confederation (CNT). He/She took part in the strike of 1917 Committee; He/She was arrested, tried and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment. Elected in the elections of February 1918, he/she was amnestied and released from prison. As Secretary general of the UGT, he/she attended the Berne Congress of the II International, in February 1919, and the first Congress of the Federation Trade Union International (FSI), held in Amsterdam in the months of July and August 1919. On his return he/she spoke against income at the third international. His intervention was decisive for the UGT reject, at its Congress in November 1922, all links with the Communists. During the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera was imposed as leader in fact of Spanish socialism. He/She agreed to participate in public office, by which, in 1924, was admitted to the Council of State, worker representative. Three years later, with his refusal to participate in the National Assembly, is the distance gradually Primo de Rivera. In 1930 supports the participation of the PSOE and UGT in the Republican movement, started the same year, personally, by Indalecio Prieto. He/She joined the Revolutionary Committee which prepared the advent of the second Republic, and was proclaimed once, in April 1931, Minister of labour. Elected President of the party in 1932 and the General Union of workers, after moving to this address in 1934 Besteiro, becomes the leader of the socialism, now radicalized toward more left-wing positions. After the defeat suffered in the events of October 1934, that earned the title of "The Spanish Lenin" to Largo Caballero, shown partisan resume the Alliance with Republicans, which caused him the loss of positions in the party, he/she resigned as President in December 1935. From now on, will be devoted to the direction of the Union and to reiterate its proposal for the unit with the Communists. Since the outbreak of the Civil War, took an active defense of the Republic, based on the trade union demonstration and worker militias. In September 1936 he/she presided over the formation of a Government of the Popular Front, completed, soon after, with the integration of the CNT. Also took charge of the portfolio of war. As a result of the events in Barcelona, in May 1937, the Communist Party, with the support of the Executive of the PSOE, requires its abandonment of the war Ministry. Long Knight resigns from the Presidency of the Government, and after the fall of Catalonia in January 1939, was exiled to France.
In Vichy it is arrested by the police and, later, he/she is interned in the German concentration camp in Orianenburg, which is released in 1945 by Soviet troops. On his return to France, the same year of its release, joined the PSOE and the UGT in exile, driven by Llopis, Trifón Gómez and of Francisco. He/She died in Paris in 1946. Throughout his life he/she wrote several works, but of these the best known is the entitled present and future of the General Union of the workers of Spain.