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very long a good "A" winner great! best worrk he saw all year

In 1949 the most familiar scene in Argentina was the one played out almost daily

at the Ministry of Labor in Buenos Aires. There, under the glare of camera lights, a former

radio star and movie actress, now the most powerful woman in South America, would

enter her office past a crush of adoring, impoverished women and children. Evita Peron,

the wife of President Juan Peron, would sit at her desk and begin one of the great rituals

of Peronism, the political movement she and her husband created. It was a pageant that

sustained them in power. She would patiently listen to the stories of the poor, then reach

into her desk to pull out some money. Or she would turn to a minister and ask that a

house be built. She would caress filthy children.

She would kiss lepers, just as the saints

had done. To many Argentines, Evita Peron was a flesh-and-blood saint; later, 40,000 of

them would write to the pope attesting to her miracles.

She was born on May 7, 1919, in Los Toldos, and baptized Maria Eva, but

everyone called her Evita. Her father abandoned the family shortly after her birth. Fifteen

years of poverty followed and, in early 1935, the young Evita fled her stifling existence to

go to Buenos Aires. Perhaps, as some have said, she fell in love with a tango singer who

was passing through.

She wanted to be an actress, and in the next few years supported herself with bit

parts, photo sessions for titillating magazines and stints as an attractive judge of tango

competitions. She began frequenting the offices of a movie magazine, talking herself up

for mention in its pages. When, in 1939,