ERNESTO "CHE" GUEVARA
Born June 14, 1928, Che Guevara studied medicine in his youth. While traveling through Latin America, he was disheartened by the poverty he witnessed. He concluded that monopoly capitalism, neocolonialism, and imperialism were to blame and decided that world revolution was the only solution to the problem.
He later met Fidel Castro and joined his movement to invade and overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The two year guerilla plan met with success, deposing Batista and installing Castro as head of the country. Guevara rose in the ranks and served as minister of industry before becoming a diplomat, a role which allowed him to meet world leaders to discuss Cuban socialism.
During this time he wrote a manual on guerrilla warfare and a memoir about the motorcycle journey he made across South America in his youth, which has been made in the film The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
Leaving Cuba in 1965 to incite revolutions in The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bolivia, Guevara was eventually captured and executed in 1967, at the age of 39. Many biographies have been written about him, and in 1999 Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, a dubious distinction as the list includes criminals, celebrities and a cartoon characterBart Simpson.