Philosopher, Poet, and President of Costa Rica in 1974 Daniel Oduber Quiroz

Porfirio Ricardo José Luis Daniel Oduber Quiroz was a Costa Rican politician, President of Costa Rica from 1974 to 1978, lawyer, philosopher, poet, and essayist. Convinced social democrat, Oduber tried to apply the ideas of democratic socialism that he had learned in Europe and was closely linked to the Socialist International of which he was vice president.

Biographical synthesis Daniel Oduber Quiroz.

He was born in San José on August 25, 1921. Son of Porfirio Oduber Soto and Ana María Quiroz y Quiroz.

His paternal lineage came from the French who passed to the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, then, over several centuries, to Curaçao and Aruba, and in the nineteenth century to Venezuela. On the maternal side, his lineage descended from the Quiroz of Costa Rica, is the first cousin of Dr. Carlos Humberto Rodríguez Quiroz, IV Archbishop of San José, Costa Rica and second cousin of José Joaquín Trejo Fernández, President of Costa Rica (1966-1970).

Applied studies.

Registered in 1926 in the kindergarten of the “Dolorosa” church in the city of San José. Between 1928-1933 he studied primary education at the Buenaventura Corrales School. In 1934 he entered the “Colegio Seminario” where he remained until 1937. In 1938 he completed his last year of high school at the “Liceo de Costa Rica”, where he graduated as a Bachelor in 1938, obtaining a year later the diploma of “Bookkeeper” at the “Manuel Aragón School of Commerce”.

Alternating his studies with his professional activity, he studied Law and Notary Public from the University of Costa Rica, presenting his thesis on “The Right to Strike” in 1945. He studied Philosophy at McGill University in Canada and obtained the degree of Master of Art in 1948. Between 1950 and 1952 he attended the Sorbonne University, Paris, France, where he completed specialized studies in Law and Philosophy (a doctorate in philosophy that did not end up becoming involved in the politics of the forties). He was one of the first Central American civilian leaders to possess higher education.


In 1970, with Figueres again in the presidency, Oduber was appointed president of the PLN and the Legislative Assembly. He left this last task in 1973 to prepare his candidacy for the elections of the following year. Celebrated these on February 3, 1974, Oduber won the victory with 41.7% of the votes over the PUN candidate, Trejo Fernández, which in May took possession for four years.

Despite his previous position against the Cuban government (which had even led him to request an intervention by the United States in Cuba), in his mandate, he opted for a conciliatory policy towards this country, for which he demanded the normalization of consensual relations with the OAS members and the lifting of the blockade. Diplomatic and economic relations with the Soviet bloc continued (San José was then the only Central American capital with an embassy of the USSR) and in 1975 it lifted the ban on the Communist Party.

He applied a policy of defense of banana wealth against the monopoly of the American multinationals, maintained economic development without reforms and expanded labor legislation, all in pursuit of the social-democratic line initiated by Figueres.

In 1977 he ceased as president of the PLN and on May 8, 1978, he handed over the presidency of the Republic to the winner in the elections of February 5 of that year, Rodrigo Carazo Odio. Oduber had an honorary doctorate from Yale University and the Grand Cross of the Order of Malta and the Grand Cross of the Order of Elizabeth the Catholic (Spain), among other decorations.

He married in 1950.

Married on May 13, 1950, in Paris, France, to Marjorie Eliot Sypher. He had two children, Luis Adrián and Ana María Oduber Eliot.

President’s death

Daniel Oduber Quiroz.

He died on October 13, 1991, in Escazú. His remains rest in San José and his heart in Guanacaste, as a symbol of the love and dedication he had for that province.

Resonance Costa Rica
VIAGuillermo Agudelo
SOURCEOsmary Torres.
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