Antonio de Oliveira Salazar
Portuguese leader Antonio de Oliveira Salazar was born in a village near Lisbon in 1889. He studied law at Coimbra University, and became a professor of economics there. In 1926, he served as Finance Minister in the Portuguese government and two years later, was given dictatorial power over Portugal's economy. Salazar succeeded in bringing order out of chaos, and he became Premier in 1932. During World War II, he maintained a policy of Portuguese neutrality, but ensured that the country was friendly to the Allies.
After the war, Salazar instituted some domestic reforms. His later years in office were marked by the largely futile attempt to maintain the remnants of Portugal's overseas empire.