Manuel Luis Quezon
Quezon, Manuel Luis
Born Aug. 19, 1878, in Baler; died Aug. 1, 1944, in Saranac Lake, USA. Philippine political leader and statesman. Leader of the Nationalist Party (from 1924).
Quezon played a prominent role in the negotiations with the USA (1934) that resulted in the Tydings-McDuffie Law, which granted autonomy to the Philippines. In 1935 he was elected president, the first head of the autonomous government. In 1936, Quezon proclaimed a program of “social justice”—a plan of reforms in workers’ and agricultural legislation; he also legalized the Communist Party. In 1939–40 he exhibited a tendency toward personal dictatorship, and he intensified the struggle against the workers’ and peasant movement. In 1942, after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Quezon moved to the USA, where he headed the Philippine government in exile. A province and the capital of the Philippines are named after him.