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Jorge Leal Amado de Faria (Itabuna, August 10, 1912-Salvador de Bahia, August 6, 2001) was a Brazilian writer, member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
He was born in the Hacienda de Auricídia, in the municipality of Itabuna, in the south of the state of Bahia. His father owned the hacienda. When he was a year old his family settled in the town of Ilhéus, on the coast of Bahia, where Jorge spent his childhood. He did secondary studies in the city of Salvador, capital of the state. In this period he began to work in newspapers and to participate in literary life and was one of the founders of the so-called Academia de los Rebeldes.
Jorge published his first novel, called El País del Carnaval, in 1931, at 18 years old. He married Matilde García Rosa two years later, and with her he had a daughter, Lila, who was born in 1933, the year in which he published his second novel, Cacao.
He graduated from the National School of Law in Rio de Janeiro in 1935. He was a communist militant, forced to go into exile in Argentina and Uruguay between 1941 and 1942, when he made a trip to Latin America. Upon his return to Brazil, he separated from Matilde García Rosa.
In 1945 he was elected member of the National Constituent Assembly by the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), being the most voted deputy of the state of São Paulo. As a deputy he was the author of the law that ensures the freedom of religious worship. In the same year she married the writer Zélia Gattai.
In 1947, the year in which João Jorge was born, his first child with Zélia, the party was declared illegal and its members were persecuted and imprisoned. Jorge had to go into exile in France, where he stayed until 1950. His first daughter, Lila, died in 1949. Between 1950 and 1952, Amado lived in Czechoslovakia, where his daughter Paloma was born.
Returning to Brazil in 1955, Jorge Amado distanced himself from political militancy, but without leaving the Communist Party. Since then, he has devoted himself entirely to literature. He was elected on April 6, 1961 to the Brazilian Academy of Letters. He received the title of doctor honoris causa by various universities. He also received the title Obá de Xangô in the Candomblé religion.
His work has been adapted to cinema, theater and television, and has also been the subject of several works of samba schools at the Brazilian Carnival. His books are translated into 49 languages and published in 55 countries. There are also publications in Braille and audio tapes recorded for the blind.
In 1987, the Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation was inaugurated in Largo do Pelourinho, in the city of Salvador de Bahía, which shelters and preserves its collection for researchers. The foundation also helps the development of cultural activities in the state of Bahia.
Jorge Amado died in the city of Salvador on August 6, 2001. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in the garden of his house on August 10, when he was 89.
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