Uruguayan leftist writer Eduardo Galeano dies at 74

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano speaks during the closing march to support the referendum to abolish an amnesty law for those involved in crimes against human rights during Uruguay's last dictatorship (1973-1984), in Montevideo on October 20, 2009. Galeano died in Montevideo on April 13, 2015 at the age of 74. AFP PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • He was known for chronicling the deep injustices of Latin America, but also for his love affair with the region's contrasts and culture, including a deep passion for football.
  • He went into exile when a dictatorship took hold in Uruguay in 1973 — first in Argentina, where he founded the literary review Crisis, and then in Spain.

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, an icon of the Latin American left, died Monday in Montevideo at age 74, hospital officials said.

Galeano, whose 1970 essay "Open Veins of Latin America" is considered by many leftists to be the seminal history of the region, was hospitalized last week.

He had been suffering from lung cancer.

Born September 3, 1940, Galeano had a career that spanned various decades and various genres, including journalism, fiction, essays and the drawings he used to illustrate works such as "The Book of Embraces," a collection of vignettes filled with politics and poetic prose.

He was known for chronicling the deep injustices of Latin America, but also for his love affair with the region's contrasts and culture, including a deep passion for football.

He went into exile when a dictatorship took hold in Uruguay in 1973 — first in Argentina, where he founded the literary review Crisis, and then in Spain.

He returned to Uruguay after democracy was restored in 1985.

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