Rafael Trujillo

President of the Dominican Republic

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, nicknamed El Jefe (The Chief or The Boss), ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. He officially served as president from 1930 to 1938 and again from 1942 to 1952, otherwise ruling as an unelected military strongman.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Rafael Trujillo.

  • Theater Listings: Sept. 23 — 29
    NYTimes - Sep 23, 2011
  • Santo Domingo Journal; A Museum Of Repression Aims To Shock The Conscience
    NYTimes - Sep 13, 2011
  • The Listings
    NYTimes - Sep 09, 2011
  • The Listings
    NYTimes - Sep 02, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Rafael Trujillo.


1891 Birth Born on October 24, 1891.
1897 5 Years Old In 1897, at age six, Trujillo was registered in the school of Juan Hilario Meriño. … Read More


1913 21 Years Old Trujillo was married three times and kept other women as mistresses. On 13 August 1913, Trujillo married Aminta Ledesma Lachapelle.
1918 26 Years Old Trujillo joined the National Guard in 1918 and trained with the U.S. Marines. Seeing opportunity, Trujillo impressed the recruiters and won promotion from lieutenant to general and commander-in chief of the Army in only nine years. A rebellion (or coup d'état) against President Horacio Vásquez broke out in February 1930 in Santiago. … Read More


1927 35 Years Old On 30 March 1927, Trujillo married Bienvenida Ricardo Martínez, a girl from Monte Cristi and the daughter of Buenaventura Ricardo Heureaux. … Read More
1930 38 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He served as president from 1930 to 1938 and again from 1942 to 1952, ruling for the rest of the time as an unelected military strongman under figurehead presidents. … Read More
1931 39 Years Old On 16 August 1931, the first anniversary of his inauguration, Trujillo made the Dominican Party the nation's sole legal political party; however, the country had effectively become a one-party state with Trujillo's swearing-in. … Read More


1933 41 Years Old …  In 1933, and again in 1935, Trujillo met the Haitian President Sténio Vincent to settle the border issue. … Read More
1934 42 Years Old In 1934 Trujillo, who had promoted himself to generalissimo of the army, was up for re-election. … Read More
1935 43 Years Old He divorced Bienvenida in 1935 and married Martínez. … Read More
1937 45 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1937, Trujillo met Lina Lovatón Pittaluga, an upper-class debutante with whom he had two children, Yolanda in 1939, and Rafael, born on 20 June 1943. … Read More
1938 46 Years Old Trujillo was eligible to run again in 1938, but, citing the United States example of two presidential terms, he stated: "I voluntarily, and against the wishes of my people, refuse re-election to the high office." … Read More
Peynado increased the size of the electric "Dios y Trujillo" sign and died on 7 March 1940, with Troncoso serving out the rest of the term.
1941 49 Years Old In 1941, Lescot, who had received financial support from Trujillo, succeeded Vincent as President of Haiti. … Read More


1942 50 Years Old However, in 1942, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt having run for a third term in the United States, Trujillo ran for president again and was elected unopposed. … Read More
1944 52 Years Old Trujillo unsuccessfully tried to assassinate him in a 1944 plot, and then published their correspondence and discredited him. … Read More


1952 - 1956 3 More Events
1959 67 Years Old Trujillo kept Batista until August 1959 as a "virtual prisoner". … Read More
1960 68 Years Old 1 More Event
…  The assassination attempt, carried out on Friday, 24 June 1960, injured but did not kill the Venezuelan president.
After his assassination in 1961, logging resumed in the Dominican Republic. … Read More
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