Who was Rómulo Gallegos?

   Rómulo Gallegos was a Venezuelan novelist, educator, and statesman. Born Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 2, 1884 - April 7, 1969.
   Gallegos' works include some of the finest novels in modern Spanish-American literature. His novels usually take place in the llanos, the vast tropical plains of Venezuela, and they depict a never-ending battle between civilization and barbarism. The most famous of his books are Doña Bárbara (1929) and Cantaclaro (1934).
   In his early life, Gallegos was a teacher. His first novel was El último Solar (1920), later revised and published as Reinaldo Solar (1930). Because he was opposed to the government of the Venezuelan dictator Juan Vicente Gomez, Gallegos went to Spain in voluntary exile in 1931 and stayed there until Gomez' death in 1935. For a time after his return to Venezuela he was minister of education. In 1947 he was elected president, but a military coup the next year removed him from office. During his years of political activity, Gallegos continued to write novels and to direct adaptations of his works for motion pictures.