Born Sept. 4 (Aug. 23), 1877, in the region now administered by Berze village soviet, Dobele Raion, Latvian SSR; died 1942. Reactionary political figure of bourgeois Latvia.
Ulmanis, the son of a major landowner, studied at the Leipzig Agricultural Institute and the University of Nebraska; he was an agronomist by profession. He returned to Latvia in 1913. In 1917 he was a deputy commissioner of the bourgeois Provisional Government of Livonia Province. In April 1917 he helped organize and lead a counterrevolutionary party, the Latvian Farmers’ Union, and headed the Latvian bourgeoisie in the struggle against the October Revolution and Soviet power.
From November 1918 through June 1921, Ulmanis was president of the bourgeois Provisional Government of Latvia. With the help of German and, later, British and American imperialists, he crushed the revolutionary movement in Latvia. He served as prime minister in 1925-26 and 1931 and from March 1934 to June 1940 and as foreign minister in 1926 and 1931 and from 1934 to 1936. In May 1934 he staged a fascist coup and became dictator, appointing himself president of Latvia in April 1936. He established a terrorist dictatorship in the interests of the rural and urban bourgeoisie. In June 1940 he was removed from the post of president and, after the proclamation of Soviet power in Latvia, was exiled from the Latvian SSR.