Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and socialist politician, who served as the 28th president of Chile from 3 November 1970 until his suicide on 11 September 1973. He was the first Marxist to be elected president in a liberal democracy in Latin America.
Allende's involvement in Chilean politics spanned a period of nearly forty years, having covered the posts of senator, deputy and cabinet minister. As a life-long committed member of the Socialist Party of Chile, whose foundation he had actively contributed to, he unsuccessfully ran for the national presidency in the 1952, 1958, and 1964 elections. In 1970, he won the presidency as the candidate of the Popular Unity coalition, in a close three-way race. He was elected in a run-off by Congress as no candidate had gained a majority.
As president, Allende sought to nationalize major industries, expand education and improve the living standards of the working class. He clashed with the right-wing parties that controlled Congress and with the judiciary. On 11 September 1973, the military moved to oust Allende in a coup d'état supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.