Perón, Eva Duarte de (āˈvä dōärˈtā ħā pĕrōnˈ) [key], 1919–52, Argentine political leader. The second wife of Juan Perón, whom she married in 1945, she virtually co-governed the country during his first six years as president. A minor actress before she met Perón, Evita, as she was known, became active in politics and helped organize the mass demonstration of workers that secured his release (Oct., 1945) from prison. After Perón became president, she in effect ran the ministries of health and labor. She formed the Eva Perón Social Aid Foundation, which doled out money to the needy; and she militantly championed the causes of women, labor, and the poor. A fiery orator, she commanded an enormous political following. She was, however, opposed by the army, which blocked her vice presidential bid in 1951. After her death from cancer at the age of 33, the Perón regime declined.
See Eva Perón, My Mission in Life (tr. 1953); studies by J. Taylor (1981) and N. Fraswer and M. Navarro (1985).