M'ba (Minko), (Gabriel) Léon (b. February 1902, Libreville, French Congo [now in Gabon] - d. Nov. 28, 1967, Paris, France), president of Gabon (1961-64, 1964-67). In his youth he served as local administrator for the French. His nationalistic tendencies disturbed the French colonial administration in the early 1930s and they exiled him from 1933 to 1946 to Oubangui-Chari (now the Central African Republic). Shortly after his return he formed the Mouvement Mixte Gabonais. In 1952 he was elected to the Territorial Assembly, and in 1956 he became mayor of the Gabon capital, Libreville. After the victory of his party (reorganized as the Bloc Démocratique Gabonais) in the 1957 elections, he was made vice president of the Government Council (the highest post then held by an African). In 1958 he became president of the council and in 1959 prime minister of the Republic of Gabon, which had opted to remain within the French community in the referendum of September 1958. When Gabon gained full independence in 1960 he became head of state. He imprisoned several members of his party who attacked him as being too pro-French. He was elected president in 1961 (his slogan was "The French elect de Gaulle and the Gabonese elect M'ba") and became increasingly paternalistic and authoritarian. In early 1964, just before an election, he unilaterally decided to establish a one-party regime; in the resulting military uprising he was momentarily captured by the Gabonese army. Invoking a military assistance treaty, he obtained the intervention of a French paratrooper detachment that restored him to power; in return, France was assured of continued access to Gabon's rich uranium deposits. He remained president until his death in Paris, where he had been under medical treatment since August 1966.
Mba Mokuy, Agapito (b. March 10, 1965), foreign minister of Equatorial Guinea (2012- ).
Mbabazi, (John Patrick) Amama (b. Jan. 16, 1949, Mpiro, Uganda), defense minister (2001-06) and prime minister (2011- ) of Uganda.
Mbadinuju, Chinwoke, byname Odera (b. June 14, 1945, Uli [now in Anambra state], Nigeria), governor of Anambra (1999-2003).
Mbakwe, (Chief) Sam(uel Onunaka) (b. c. 1922, Avutu village [now in Imo state], Nigeria - d. Jan. 6, 2004, Avutu), governor of Imo (1979-83, 1989-90). During the Nigerian Civil War, he was appointed administrator of Okigwe province by the Biafra government. He was elected as the first civilian governor of Imo state in 1979, a position he held till Dec. 31, 1983, when the government of Pres. Alhaji Shehu Shagari was overthrown in a military coup. He was known as the "weeping governor" when he took the plight of his people to the meetings of the Federal Executive Council in Lagos. At several meetings, unable to hold back his emotions, he wept over the dwindling fortunes of the Igbo. After the fall of the Third Republic, Mbakwe participated in the 1995 National Constitutional Conference. He later became state leader of the Nigeria People's Party (NPP). He was also member of the Social Democratic Party and the Congress for National Consensus before he was elected senator on the platform of the Democratic Party of Nigeria and later joined the All People's Party. He held many traditional titles including the Onurelammoha of Obowo as well as 68 other chieftaincy titles.
M'Baré, Ba Mamadou dit, Arabic Ba Mamadu al-mulaqqab Mubari (b. 1946, Waly Diantang, Gorgol region, Mauritania - d. Jan. 11, 2013, Paris, France), interim president of Mauritania (2009). He was president of the Senate from 2007 to his death. He was the first black head of state of the Arab-dominated country.
M'Bareck, Sghair Ould, standard Arabic Sughayr walad Mubarak (b. 1954, Néma, Mauritania), prime minister of Mauritania (2003-05).
Mbatshi Batshia, Simon (b. May 24, 1949), governor of Bas-Congo (2007-12).
Mbay, Parfait Anicet, foreign minister of the Central African Republic (2013).
Mbaye, Abdoul (b. April 13, 1953, Dakar, Senegal), prime minister of Senegal (2012-13). He is not to be confused with Abdoul Aziz Mbaye (b. Oct. 18, 1954, Dakar), culture minister of Senegal (2012- ).
Mbeki, Thabo (Mvuyelwa) (b. June 18, 1942, Idutywa, Transkei, South Africa), president of South Africa (1999-2008). He joined the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League in 1956, and in 1959 he participated in a student strike that caused his school to be closed. He was also active in the ANC after it was banned in South Africa in 1960. He served (1961) as secretary of the African Students Association, left South Africa illegally in 1962, and worked for the ANC in London (1967-70). He moved rapidly up in the ANC hierarchy, becoming assistant secretary to its Revolutionary Council in Lusaka, Zambia (1971), the youngest member of the national executive (1975), and political secretary to ANC president Oliver Tambo (1978). Though he once wrote that "modern capitalism has outlived its usefulness," he became identified with a more moderate position. During the 1970s he undertook missions for the ANC in Botswana, Swaziland, and Nigeria in order to work with black youth who had left South Africa. In the 1980s he played a key role in the discussions with South African businessmen in Lusaka in September 1985 and with other leading white South Africans in Dakar, Senegal, in July 1987, which paved the way toward South African president F.W. de Klerk's initiation of negotiations with the ANC in 1990. From 1990 Mbeki participated in those negotiations, which led to the adoption of a new interim constitution. In 1993 he was elected to succeed the ailing Tambo as ANC chairman. In 1994 he became first deputy president in the first democratically elected government of South Africa. He succeeded Nelson Mandela as ANC leader in 1997 and as president of South Africa in 1999 (reelected in 2004). In 2002-03 he was president of the African Union. In 2007 he lost the ANC leadership to Jacob Zuma. In 2008 he acceded to a request by the party to resign as president.
Mbene, Daniel (d. [in prison] September 1969), member of the Revolutionary Committee of Gabon (1964).
M'Bengue, Alioune Badara (b. Feb. 1, 1924 - d. Nov. 12, 1992), foreign minister of Senegal (1968).
Mbete, Baleka (Mmakota), also known (during former marriage) as Baleka Mbete-Kgositsile (b. Sept. 24, 1949, Durban, South Africa), speaker of the National Assembly (2004-08) and deputy president (2008-09) of South Africa.
Mbida, André-Marie (b. Jan. 1, 1917, Endingding village, Obala arrondissement, Cameroon - d. May 2, 1980, Paris, France), prime minister of French Cameroons (1957-58).
Mbog, Félix Tonye (b. May 14, 1934, Sodibanga, French Cameroons [now in Centre province, Cameroon]), foreign minister of Cameroon (1983-84).
Mboi, Ben, byname of Aloysius Benedictus Mboi (b. May 22, 1935, Ruteng, Flores island, Netherlands East Indies [now in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia]), governor of Nusa Tenggara Timur (1978-88).
Mbonimpa, Cyprien (b. Dec. 26, 1946), foreign minister of Burundi (1987-92).
Mbonyumutwa, Dominique (b. 1921 - d. July 26, 1986, Brussels, Belgium), president of Rwanda (1961).
M'Boua, Christophe (Valentino) (b. April 7, 1942, Addah, Abidjan département, Ivory Coast), foreign minister of Côte d'Ivoire (2000).
M'Bow, Amadou-Mahtar (b. March 20, 1921, Dakar, Senegal), director-general (1974-87) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). During World War II he became the first black technical sergeant in the history of the French Air Force. By 1950 he had established himself as a Marxist student leader, becoming president of the Federation of Black African Students in France. After Senegal achieved independence in 1960, M'Bow served as minister of education under Pres. Léopold Senghor. During the late 1960s he was a member of the National Assembly and also held the post of minister of youth and culture. In UNESCO M'Bow emerged as an outspoken critic of what he termed Eurocentrism. In the late 1960s he twice headed his country's delegations to UNESCO general conferences and was a member of the body's executive board, chairman of the group of African members, and head of the caucus of its 77 third world members. He was appointed in 1970 to the post of assistant director-general for education by then director-general René Maheu, whom he succeeded in 1974. His direct but conciliatory leadership style was affirmed by unanimous reelection in 1980. Under M'Bow's stewardship, power alignments within UNESCO shifted to reflect more closely the interests of the many third world and Soviet-satellite nations that had become members in the 1960s and 1970s. Alienated and angry Western nations - whose governments contributed most of the agency's total budget - leveled charges of mismanagement, centralization of power, and Communist bias, to an important degree against M'Bow himself. By late 1984, his ability to mend cracks in UNESCO's foundations appeared tenuous at best; the U.S. withdrew from the organization, and the U.K. threatened to withdraw a year later.
Mbu, Matthew (Tawo) (b. Nov. 20, 1929, Okundi [now in Cross River state], Nigeria - d. Feb. 6, 2012, London, England), foreign minister of Nigeria (1993). He was commissioner for Nigeria in the United Kingdom in 1955-58.
Mbuende, Kaire (b. Nov. 28, 1953, Windhoek, South West Africa [now Namibia]), executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community (1994-99).
Mbumb II Muteb, or Mbumba Muteba, original name Daniel Tshombe (d. 1984), ruler of Ruund (Luunda) (1973-84).
Mbusa Nyamwisi, Antipas (b. Nov. 15, 1949), foreign minister of Congo (Kinshasa) (2007-08).
McAleese, Mary (Patricia), née Leneghan, Irish Máire (Pádraigín) Mhic Giolla Íosa, née Ní Lionnacháin (b. June 27, 1951, Ardoyne, Belfast, Northern Ireland), president of Ireland (1997-2011). She was the surprise presidential nominee of the strongly nationalist governing party Fianna Fáil and its centre-right coalition partner, the Progressive Democrats. She swept to victory by a record margin to become the first Northern Irish citizen to fill the largely ceremonial position. A respected academic with a firm legal training, she won the election on a promise to carry on the high-profile crusading job begun by former president Mary Robinson, who swept away the old image of the presidency as a preserve of retired male politicians. McAleese is not easily pigeon-holed, being a curious mix of old-fashioned Catholicism and forward-looking feminism. She came out publicly on the Catholic Church's side in the Republic's abortion amendment and divorce referenda. Yet she has also supported a liberalization of the laws regarding homosexuality and has argued vociferously for a stronger role for women in the Church. She pledged at her inauguration to work for a "millennium gift" of harmony in the divided island. She said the country would "insist that we have seen the last of violence." More than 3,200 people had been killed in 28 years of conflict in Northern Ireland, where the British and Irish governments were co-sponsoring peace talks. Leaked Irish foreign office memos during the campaign suggested she was sympathetic to Northern Irish Republican and anti-British politics. This fuelled many a media talk-show but did little to diminish her widespread appeal. She was entitled to run for the presidency because the Irish constitution claims jurisdiction over Northern Ireland, but ironically she was not allowed a vote herself. In 2004 she was reelected unopposed.
McAuliffe, Terry, byname of Terence Richard McAuliffe (b. 1957, Syracuse, N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic National Committee (2001-05).
McBride, John (b. 1854, Wayne county, Ohio - d. [struck by a runaway horse] Oct. 9, 1917, Globe, Ariz.), president of the American Federation of Labor (1894-95).
McBride, Sir Richard (b. Dec. 15, 1870, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada - d. Aug. 6, 1917, London, England), premier of British Columbia (1903-15). After making an unsuccessful run for the Canadian parliament in 1896, he entered the British Columbian legislature in 1898 and was appointed minister of mines in 1900. Differing from his colleagues on a matter of policy, he resigned from the government in the autumn of 1901. In 1902 he was chosen leader of the opposition, and he became premier of the province in June 1903 - "the youngest premier in the Empire." The introduction of party lines in provincial politics followed, McBride becoming the head of the first Conservative government of British Columbia. He was returned in the general election of October 1903, and again in 1907, 1909, and 1912. As premier he coped with the rapid growth of population and industry in British Columbia. His commitment to extending the Pacific Great Eastern Railway put the province considerably in debt. He resigned in 1915 because of ill health and served as agent general for British Columbia in London until his death. He was knighted in 1912.
McCabe, Thomas B(ayard) (b. July 11, 1893, Whaleyville, Md. - d. May 27, 1982, Swarthmore, Pa.), chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1948-51).
McCain, John (Sidney, III) (b. Aug. 29, 1936, Coco Solo Air Base, Panama Canal Zone [now in Panama]), U.S. politician. Serving in the Vietnam War, his plane was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and he remained a prisoner until 1973. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and 1984 and then to the Senate in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010. In 2000 he first ran for the Republican presidential nomination but lost to George W. Bush. Running again in 2008, he practically sealed the nomination in February by taking a clear lead in the "Super Tuesday" contests and by the subsequent withdrawal of his chief rival Mitt Romney. He reached the necessary number of delegates in March. In the November election, however, he lost to Democrat Barack Obama.
McCain, Margaret Norrie, née Norrie (b. Oct. 1, 1934, Amos, Quebec), lieutenant governor of New Brunswick (1994-97).
McCallum, Scott (b. May 2, 1950, Fond du Lac, Wis.), governor of Wisconsin (2001-03).
McCarthy, Eugene J(oseph) (b. March 29, 1916, Watkins, Minn. - d. Dec. 10, 2005, Washington, D.C.), U.S. politician. In 1948 he was elected on Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ticket to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he remained for 10 years. He was elected to the Senate in 1958 and reelected in 1964. He established a liberal voting record but, despite his service on the Senate's Finance and Foreign Relations committees, remained a relatively unknown figure nationally until Nov. 30, 1967, when he announced his intention to challenge Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson in the Democratic state presidential primaries. Although in 1964 he had supported the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which gave the president broad powers to wage war in Vietnam, McCarthy had become an outspoken critic of the war. At first his challenge was not taken seriously, but he made an unexpectedly strong showing in the New Hampshire primary on March 12, 1968, and Johnson announced his withdrawal from the race on March 31. McCarthy went on to sweep three primaries but then lost four of the next five to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Following Kennedy's assassination, McCarthy lost the nomination at the convention in Chicago to Vice Pres. Hubert H. Humphrey. In 1970 McCarthy did not seek reelection to the Senate. He conducted a lacklustre campaign for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination, which was won by Sen. George S. McGovern. Four years later he made a much more vigorous attempt to win the presidency as an independent, but he won only about 1% of the vote. In 1980 he endorsed Ronald Reagan for the presidency, and in 1982 he made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for senator from Minnesota. He ran for president on the Consumer Party ticket in 1988, winning some 30,000 votes (0.03%), and made another quixotic attempt at the Democratic nomination for president in 1992.
McCarthy, Joseph R(aymond), byname Joe McCarthy (b. Nov. 14, 1908, Grand Chute, near Appleton, Wis. - d. May 2, 1957, Bethesda, Md.), U.S. politician. In 1946 he was elected to the Senate following a stunning upset victory over Sen. Robert M. La Follette, Jr., in the Republican primary. He was an undistinguished senator until Feb. 9, 1950, when he charged, in a speech at Wheeling, W.Va., that 205 Communists had infiltrated the State Department. Upon subsequently testifying before a special subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, he proved unable to produce the name of a single "card-carrying Communist" in any government department. Nevertheless, he instigated a nationwide, militant anti-Communist "crusade." He was reelected in 1952 and obtained the chairmanship of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate and of its permanent subcommittee on investigations. He questioned innumerable witnesses about their suspected Communist affiliations, though he failed to make a plausible case against anyone. His increasingly irresponsible attacks came to include Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower and other Republican and Democratic leaders. His influence waned in 1954 as a result of the sensational, nationally televised hearing on his charges of subversion by Army officers and civilian officials. This exposure of his brutal and truculent interrogative tactics discredited him in the public eye. The Republicans lost control of the Senate in the midterm elections that November, and he was replaced as chairman of the investigating committee. On December 2, the Senate formally condemned him on a vote of 67-22 for conduct "contrary to Senate traditions," and he was largely ignored by his colleagues and by the media thereafter, though some of the atmosphere of forced conformity which marked the era of McCarthyism continued to be felt.
McCartney, J(ames) A(lexander) G(eorge) S(mith) (b. June 30, 1945, Grand Turk island, Turks and Caicos Islands - d. [plane crash] May 9, 1980, Vineland, N.J.), chief minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands (1976-80).
McCaughey, (John) Davis (b. July 12, 1914, Belfast, Northern Ireland - d. March 25, 2005, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), governor of Victoria (1986-92).
McClean, Maxine (Pamela Ometa), foreign minister of Barbados (2008- ).
McCleary, (William) Boyd (b. March 30, 1949, Belfast, Northern Ireland), governor of the British Virgin Islands (2010- ). He was British high commissioner to Malaysia in 2006-10.
McClellan, George B(rinton) (b. Dec. 3, 1826, Philadelphia, Pa. - d. Oct. 29, 1885, Orange, N.J.), U.S. politician. Although a states' rights Democrat, he was nevertheless a staunch Unionist, and, a month after the outbreak of the American Civil War (April 1861), he was commissioned in the regular army and placed in command of the Department of the Ohio. By July 13 the Confederate forces in western Virginia were defeated under his direction, and he had established a reputation as the "Young Napoleon of the West." After the Union reverse at the First Battle of Bull Run the same month, he was placed in command of the troops protecting the capital, a force that became known as the Army of the Potomac, and also charged with the destruction of the enemy's forces in northern and eastern Virginia. In November he succeeded Gen. Winfield Scott as commanding general of the U.S. Army. But despite his remarkable organizing abilities and brilliant success in whipping the army into a fighting unit with high morale, he refused to take the offensive against the enemy that fall, insisting that he could not advance until he had properly trained and organized a large army. In March 1862 he was relieved as commanding general. In the Peninsular Campaign (April 4-July 1), he was again reluctant to pursue the enemy, overestimating the number of troops opposing him. The exasperated Pres. Abraham Lincoln finally removed him from his command in November. In 1864 McClellan was nominated for the presidency by the Democratic Party, though he repudiated its platform, which denounced the war as a failure. He resigned his army commission on election day. Lincoln won by 212 electoral votes to 21 for McClellan. After spending some years in Europe, he served as chief engineer of the New York City Department of Docks (1870-72) and one term as governor of New Jersey (1878-81).
McCloy, John J(ay) (b. March 31, 1895, Philadelphia, Pa. - d. March 11, 1989, Stamford, Conn.), U.S. diplomat. He served in World War I and in the occupation forces in Germany after that war. In October 1940 he was appointed expert consultant to the secretary of war, and in April 1941, assistant secretary of war (until November 1945). In the latter position, McCloy helped to secure congressional approval of the Lend-Lease Act and oversaw the internment of Japanese-Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was also one of the few civilians privy to the knowledge that the government intended to use the atomic bomb against Japan to end World War II; he argued that the Japanese should receive an advance warning, but was overruled. From 1947 to 1949 he was president of the World Bank. In 1949, he was appointed first civilian U.S. high commissioner for occupied West Germany, his most visible post, which he held until 1952. He also acted as chief Economic Cooperation Administration representative for Germany and U.S. representative on the three-power Allied Council. McCloy was instrumental in creating a civilian government following a four-year military rule and in overseeing the contractual agreements that ended the U.S. occupation in 1955. He was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (1953-70), served as chief disarmament adviser to Pres. John F. Kennedy (1961), and was a member of the Warren Commission appointed in 1963 to investigate Kennedy's assassination. In 1979 he advised Pres. Jimmy Carter to admit the shah of Iran into the U.S. for medical treatment, a move that sparked the Tehran hostage crisis. Because of his longtime government service he was dubbed the "unofficial chairman of the Establishment."
McClure, Herbert Joseph (b. Dec. 29, 1917 - d. Sept. 21, 1983), mayor of London, Ontario (1968-71).
McColl, Sir John (Chalmers) (b. April 17, 1952), lieutenant governor of Jersey (2011- ); knighted 2008.
McComie, Val(erie Theodore) (b. April 1, 1920, Trinidad - d. May 5, 2007), acting secretary-general of the Organization of American States (1984). He was assistant secretary-general of the OAS from 1980 to 1990 and earlier served as Barbados' ambassador to the United States (1969-74) and Venezuela (1974-77).
McCone, John A(lex) (b. Jan. 4, 1902, San Francisco, Calif. - d. Feb. 14, 1991, Pebble Beach, Calif.), director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1961-65). He was appointed to the Air Policy Commission by Pres. Harry S. Truman in 1947. The following year he was named a special deputy to James V. Forrestal, the secretary of defense, and in 1950-51 he was undersecretary of the Air Force. During his tenure as head of the Atomic Energy Commission (1958-61) under Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower, McCone initiated the "Atoms for Peace" program and sought to reach agreement with the U.S.S.R. on a nuclear test-ban treaty. Although a Republican, McCone was drafted by Pres. John F. Kennedy to head the CIA after the departure of Allen Dulles, who had engineered the abortive 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by U.S.-backed opponents of Fidel Castro. In this post McCone was credited with being the first to provide vital information that the Soviet Union was planning to place nuclear offensive missiles in Cuba. Shortly thereafter, his prediction was confirmed by photographs taken during a U-2 reconnaissance mission, and a confrontation between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. - termed the Cuban missile crisis - emerged (October 1962). After Kennedy's assassination in 1963, McCone served under Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, but he felt undervalued and returned to the private sector. He strongly opposed the Vietnam war, considering it one the U.S. could not win. In 1987 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
McConnell of Glenscorrodale, Jack (Wilson) McConnell, Baron (b. June 30, 1960, Irvine, Scotland), finance minister (1999-2000), external affairs minister (2000-01), and first minister (2001-07) of Scotland. He was made a life peer in 2010.
McCormack, John W(illiam) (b. Dec. 21, 1891, Boston, Mass. - d. Nov. 22, 1980, Dedham, Mass.), U.S. politician. His firm loyalty to the Democratic Party won him election as a delegate to the Massachusetts constitutional convention at the age of 25; he then served for two years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and three years in the Senate. After losing his 1926 bid to become a member of the U.S. House, he won in 1928 and for the next 42 years remained a permanent fixture in Congress. His strong party allegiance cemented his friendship with two powerful Texas Democrats, John N. Garner and Sam Rayburn, and with very little seniority, McCormack was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. Although he was approached on several occasions to run for mayor of Boston or for the U.S. Senate, McCormack always declined, saying "I have loved the House." In 1940 he became House majority leader, remaining in that post (except for two intervals in 1947-49 and 1953-55 when the Republicans controlled the House, during which he was minority whip) until 1962 when he succeeded Rayburn as speaker of the House. During his tenure, McCormack earned a reputation as a skillful debater who opposed Communism, defended the war in Vietnam, and backed such social legislation as civil rights bills, antipoverty programs, housing laws, Social Security, job safety regulations, and wage-and-hour laws. When Lyndon Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, McCormack, as speaker, stood next in the line of succession to the presidency. In 1970 he came under fire when two of his closest associates, Martin Sweig and Nathan Voloshen, were indicted for influence peddling. He was the first House speaker in more than a century to retire voluntarily (1971).
McCoy, James Russell (b. Sept. 4, 1845, Pitcairn Island - buried Feb. 14, 1924, Pitcairn Island), chief magistrate (1870-72, 1878-79, 1883, 1886-89, 1904-06) and president of the Council (1893-96, 1898-1904) of Pitcairn Island; son of Matthew McCoy.
McCoy, Janet J(enkins) (b. July 13, 1916, Saginaw, Mich. - d. Aug. 4, 1995, Oregon), high commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (1981-87). She was selected as one of the first officer candidates in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II and served as a second and first lieutenant. She was a California press spokesman for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns in 1976 and 1980, also holding a press position in his gubernatorial campaign in 1966 as well as in campaigns of Nelson A. Rockefeller and Richard M. Nixon. She was the last high commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands before it was dissolved in 1987. In 1988 she became assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for territorial and international affairs, but retired soon after.
McCoy, Matthew (b. 1819, Pitcairn Island - d. Jan. 31, 1853, Pitcairn Island), chief magistrate of Pitcairn Island (1843, 1853).
McCoy, Matthew Edmond (b. June 2, 1868, Pitcairn Island - buried Dec. 30, 1929, Pitcairn Island), chief magistrate of Pitcairn Island (1909); son of James Russell McCoy.
McCready, Allan (b. Sept. 1, 1916, Kawakawa, New Zealand - d. Aug. 8, 2003, Wellington, New Zealand), defense minister of New Zealand (1972, 1975-78).
McCready, Connie, byname of Constance McCready, née Averill (b. Aug. 10, 1921, Pendleton, Ore. - d. Dec. 22, 2000, Portland, Ore.), mayor of Portland (1979-80).
McCreevy, Charlie, Irish Cathal Mac Riabhaigh (b. Sept. 30, 1949, Sallins, County Kildare, Ireland), finance minister of Ireland (1997-2004). He was Ireland's EU commissioner in 2004-10, responsible for the internal market and services.
McCrory, Pat(rick Lloyd) (b. Oct. 17, 1956, Columbus, Ohio), mayor of Charlotte (1995-2009) and governor of North Carolina (2013- ).
McCully, Murray (Stuart) (b. Feb. 19, 1953, Whangarei, New Zealand), foreign minister of New Zealand (2008- ).
McCurtain, Cornelius (b. March 5, 1803, Takuawa, Oklafalayah District, Mississippi Territory, U.S. - d. March 5, 1871), chief of Moshulatubbee District (1850-54).
McCurtain, Edmund (Aaron) (b. March 4 or June 4, 1842, Fort Coffee, Indian Territory [now in Oklahoma], U.S. - d. Nov. 9 or 11, 1890, Skullyville, Indian Territory), principal chief of the Choctaw Nation (1884-86); son of Cornelius McCurtain.
McCurtain, Green(wood) (b. Nov. 28, 1848, Skullyville, Indian Territory [now in Oklahoma], U.S. - d. Dec. 28, 1910, Kinta, Okla.), principal chief of the Choctaw Nation (1896-1900, 1902-06); son of Cornelius McCurtain.
McCurtain, Jackson F(razier) (b. March 4, 1830, Mississippi, U.S. - d. Nov. 14, 1885), principal chief of the Choctaw Nation (1880-84); son of Cornelius McCurtain.
McCusker, Malcolm (James) (b. Aug. 6, 1938, Perth, Western Australia), governor of Western Australia (2011- ).
McDonald, Piers (b. Aug. 4, 1955, Kingston, Ont.), government leader of Yukon Territory (1996-2000).
McDougall, Barbara (Jean), née Leamen (b. Nov. 12, 1937, Toronto, Ont.), foreign minister of Canada (1991-93).
McElroy, Neil (Hosler) (b. Oct. 30, 1904, Berea, Ohio - d. Nov. 30, 1972, Cincinnati, Ohio), U.S. secretary of defense (1957-59). On Aug. 7, 1957, he was nominated to succeed Charles E. Wilson upon the latter's retirement from Dwight D. Eisenhower's cabinet. He announced his opinion that the first problem of the Defense Department was "budgetary." He was sworn into office on Oct. 9, 1957, and within three weeks had restored many of his predecessor's "economy cuts" in defense spending. On October 18, in the face of mounting national concern over Soviet launching of the first Earth satellite October 4, McElroy assumed direct control over the three armed services' separate missiles programs. In 1958 McElroy wholly supported President Eisenhower's plan to reorganize and streamline the U.S. Defense Department but denied that the proposal would in any manner make him a "czar." The Pentagon reform bill was later passed by Congress. On Sept. 2, 1958, McElroy flatly asserted that the U.S. led the U.S.S.R. in "overall comparative military strength." However, in January 1959 he became the first official to proclaim the "missile gap," disclosing that the Soviet Union was expected to develop a 3-to-1 superiority over the U.S. in intercontinental ballistic missiles in the early 1960s. The issue was to preoccupy national debate for years to come. McElroy resigned in December 1959 to return to private business (he was president of the Procter & Gamble company).
McEntee, Peter Donovan (b. June 27, 1920 - d. July 30, 2002), governor of Belize (1976-80).
McEwen, Jock (Malcolm) (b. 1915, Rangitane area, New Zealand - d. May 2010, New Zealand), resident commissioner of Niue (1953-56).
McEwen, Sir John (b. March 29, 1900, Chiltern, Victoria [Australia] - d. Nov. 21, 1980, Melbourne, Vic.), prime minister of Australia (1967-68). He entered politics in 1934 as a member of the Victoria state parliament. He rapidly advanced to membership in the federal parliament and to the post of minister of the interior. In 1940 he was successively external affairs minister and air minister. Three years later he became deputy leader of the Country Party, and he was its leader from 1958 to 1971. Although his party remained a minority in government, he was for many years (1958-71) deputy prime minister (an official post from 1968) and held the vital ministerial portfolios of commerce and agriculture (1949-56) and trade (1956-63); in the latter post he was recognized as a statesman of great ability and integrity. He was also a noted opponent of British entry into the European Economic Community. He was prime minister for three weeks in the interim following the death of Prime Minister Harold Holt in 1967. McEwen was knighted in 1971.
McFarlane, Robert C(arl), byname Bud McFarlane (b. July 12, 1937, Washington, D.C.), U.S. politician. As a promising young officer in the Marines, he was sent to study international relations at the prestigious Institut de Hautes Études in Geneva. That was a springboard to a White House fellowship in 1971-72, and he soon caught the eye of two important mentors, Henry Kissinger and Lieut.Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who served successively as national security advisors to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Kissinger, impressed by McFarlane's capacity for long working hours and quiet but adroit dealings with Congress, kept him on until 1975 as his military assistant. But after two more years in Washington as special assistant to Scowcroft, McFarlane's career came momentarily unstuck; he was thought to have strayed too far from strictly military concerns, and the Marines reassigned him to Okinawa. Bored, and unhappy with Pres. Jimmy Carter's foreign policies, he resigned his commission. By then, however, he was a firmly established figure in the power network, and he soon joined the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 1981, with the Republicans back in the White House, McFarlane reentered the mainstream, serving as counselor at the State Department and then from January 1982 as Pres. Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant for national security affairs until he was named chief U.S. negotiator in the Middle East in July 1983. Three months later, in October, Reagan made him his national security advisor. He resigned his post in 1985. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal, he pleaded guilty in 1988 to withholding information from Congress and in 1989 was sentenced to two years' probation and 200 hours of community service and fined $20,000. He was pardoned by Pres. George Bush on Dec. 24, 1992.
McGarvie, Richard (Elgin) (b. May 21, 1926, Colac, Victoria, Australia - d. May 24, 2003, Melbourne, Victoria), governor of Victoria (1992-97). He joined the Australian navy in 1944 and trained at HMAS Cerberus, but did not see active service before the war ended. After his discharge he studied law, becoming a Queen's Counsel at the age of 37. He also became an author, an active member of the Labor Party, university lecturer, and the chancellor of Latrobe University for more than a decade. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1976 by Rupert Hamer's Liberal government and served as a judge until he was appointed governor of Victoria in 1992 by Labor premier Joan Kirner. In later years he was known for his support of an Australian republic.
McGibbon, Pauline Mills, née Mills (b. Oct. 20, 1910, Sarnia, Ont. - d. Dec. 14, 2001, Toronto, Ont.), lieutenant governor of Ontario (1974-80).
McGilligan, Patrick (b. April 12, 1889, Coleraine, Ireland [now in Northern Ireland] - d. Nov. 15, 1979), foreign minister (1927-32) and finance minister (1948-51) of Ireland. He was also minister for industry and commerce (1924-32) and attorney general (1954-57).
McGonigal, Pearl, née Kuhlman (b. June 10, 1929, Melville, Sask.), lieutenant governor of Manitoba (1981-86).
McGovern, George S(tanley) (b. July 19, 1922, Avon, S.D. - d. Oct. 21, 2012, Sioux Falls, S.D.), U.S. politician. He was active in Democratic politics, beginning in 1948, becoming executive secretary of the South Dakota Democratic Party in 1953. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956 but was defeated for a Senate seat in 1960. He served for two years as the director of the Food for Peace Program under Pres. John F. Kennedy. In 1962 he ran again for the Senate and won; he was reelected in 1968. He was one of the leading opponents to the United States' military involvement in Indochina, though his principal legislative effort in the late 1960s was devoted to eliminating hunger and malnutrition in America. As chairman of a Commission on Party Structure and Delegate Selection prior to the Democratic National Convention in 1972, McGovern helped enact party reforms that gave increased representation to minority groups at the convention. Supported by these groups, he won the presidential nomination but alienated many of the more traditional elements in the party. McGovern, whose campaign got off to a bad start with the decision to drop his vice-presidential running mate Sen. Thomas Eagleton and to name Sargent Shriver in his place, advocated an immediate end to the Vietnam War and a broad program of liberal social and economic reforms at home, but he was unable to unify the party sufficiently to offer an effective challenge to the incumbent Republican president, Richard M. Nixon; with 38% of the vote, he carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He was reelected to the Senate in 1974, but lost his seat in 1980 to Republican James Abdnor. He declared himself a candidate for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination, but withdrew early after a third-place finish in the Massachusetts primary.
McGrath, J(ames) Howard (b. Nov. 28, 1903, Woonsocket, R.I. - d. Sept. 2, 1966, Narragansett, R.I.), U.S. politician. He was governor of Rhode Island from 1941 to 1945. Appointed U.S. solicitor general in 1945, he served until the next year, when he was elected U.S. senator from Rhode Island. From 1947 to 1949 he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. From 1949 to 1952, he was attorney general of the U.S. In 1950 he figured prominently in government moves against Communists in the U.S. In March, he spoke against the release of the government's loyalty files to the Senate committee investigating communism in the U.S., on the grounds that innocent persons might be injured. Later in the year he declared that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had adequate knowledge of all important Communists in the U.S., and criticized Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin for the latter's charges of communism in government offices, declaring McCarthy's "witch hunts and frantic name-calling" endangered American liberties. Pres. Harry Truman asked for McGrath's resignation in 1952 after McGrath had dismissed the administration's special investigator of corruption, Newbold Morris, when Morris insisted on circulating a detailed financial questionnaire among top federal officials. A month earlier, Harold E. Stassen, who was attempting to get the Republican presidential nomination, had charged that McGrath had made himself "a millionaire" since taking office. In 1956 he was campaign manager for Sen. Estes Kefauver who was making what turned out to be an unsuccessful try for the presidential nomination. In 1960 he made a vain attempt to get the Democratic nomination for senator from Rhode Island.
McGreevey, Jim, byname of James Edward McGreevey (b. Aug. 6, 1957, Jersey City, N.J.), governor of New Jersey (2002-04). He served as a Middlesex County assistant prosecutor (1982-83) and was appointed by Gov. Thomas Kean as executive director of the State Parole Board (1985-87). In 1989 he was elected to the Assembly, where he voted for Gov. Jim Florio's $2.8 billion tax increase in 1990; he lost his Assembly seat in a 1991 primary challenge from Woodbridge Mayor Joseph DeMarino. But McGreevey then challenged DeMarino's mayoral reelection bid that same year; he won and then easily won reelection in 1995 and 1999. In 1993 he was elected state senator; in New Jersey, as in France, politicians can and often do serve as mayors and legislators at the same time. As mayor, he was elected to his last term in 1999 with 80% of the vote. In the state Senate he sponsored a budget cap, changes in ethical standards, a pollution prevention law, and a requirement that health insurance cover mammograms. In 1997 he first ran for governor. He beat Rob Andrews in the Democratic primary 39%-37%. In the general election he came up just short against Christine Todd Whitman, who won 47%-46%. That showing made him the natural nominee four years later, when he won the primary against Elliot Greenspan 96%-4% and then defeated Republican Bret Schundler 56%-42%. He was embarrassed when two of his appointees, state police superintendent Joseph Santiago and homeland security adviser Golan Cipel, were forced to resign and also when Amiri Baraka, whom he named as state poet laureate, published a poem in which he suggested that Jews were behind the World Trade Center attack. On Aug. 12, 2004, he announced his resignation, effective November 15, after disclosing he was a "gay American" who had an extramarital affair with another man. The resignation was apparently prompted when Cipel threatened him with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
McGuinty, Dalton (James Patrick) (b. July 19, 1955, Ottawa, Ont.), premier of Ontario (2003-13).
McHenry, Donald F(ranchot) (b. Oct. 13, 1936, St. Louis, Mo.), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1979-81). He joined the State Department in 1963 as a junior officer at the Office of United Nations Political Affairs. Ten years later he left government service, following the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and Pres. Richard Nixon's decision to make Henry Kissinger secretary of state. With Jimmy Carter's election as president, McHenry returned to the State Department and the UN. He was given a number of delicate and highly visible assignments, including acting as a U.S. troubleshooter in Namibia and Angola. When UN ambassador Andrew Young resigned in August 1979, Carter chose McHenry, who was Young's deputy, as successor. While Young and McHenry shared certain basic political attitudes, their personalities could hardly be more dissimilar. Where Young tended to a certain flamboyance of style and rhetoric, McHenry was a quiet professional, a diplomat with a diplomat's patience. As ambassador, he pressed the U.S. case against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan before the Security Council and helped push through a General Assembly resolution condemning the Soviet action. Despite his solid reputation as a professional, McHenry was unable to avoid controversy. In March 1980 the vote he cast for a UN resolution opposing Israel's policy of creating Jewish settlements in the West Bank raised a storm of protest in the U.S. and Israel. The administration was on record as opposing the policy but, out of consideration for Israeli sensibilities, had never before voted in favour of such a resolution. In the aftermath, Carter blamed poor communications within the administration for the "mistake." However that may have been, some critics charged that McHenry's vote was in keeping with his personal attitude.
Mchunu, Senzo (Edward) (b. April 1958, eNhlwathi, KwaHlabisa area, Umkhanyakude district, Natal [now KwaZulu-Natal], South Africa), premier of KwaZulu-Natal (2013- ).
McIntosh, Cameron Irwin (b. July 1, 1926 - d. Sept. 24, 1988), lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan (1978-83).
McIntosh, Toga (Gayewea) (b. 1942?), foreign minister of Liberia (2010-12).
McIntyre, Sir (Meredith) Alister (b. March 29, 1932), secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (1974-77); knighted 1992.
McKell, Sir William John (b. Sept. 26, 1891, Pambula, New South Wales [Australia] - d. Jan. 11, 1985, Sydney, N.S.W.), governor-general of Australia (1947-53). He became a Labor Party member of the N.S.W. legislative assembly in 1917 and served as minister of justice (1920-22) in the state government. He was a member of the N.S.W. Labor governments of 1925-27 and 1930-32 and was elected party leader in 1939 during Labor's seven years in opposition. He became premier when Labor won the 1941 election and remained in office when his government was returned in 1944. McKell's appointment as governor-general in 1947 while an active politician was controversial, but he always maintained the strict impartiality that befitted the monarch's representative in Australia. He was knighted in 1951.
McKiernan, John S(ammon) (b. Oct. 15, 1911, Providence, R.I. - d. March 9, 1997, Warwick, R.I.), governor of Rhode Island (1950-51).
McKinley, William (b. Jan. 29, 1843, Niles, Ohio - d. Sept. 14, 1901, Buffalo, N.Y.), president of the United States (1897-1901). During the U.S. Civil War (1861-65) he served under Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, who made him his aide-de-camp and subsequently encouraged his political career. In 1869 he entered public life as county prosecuting attorney. Elected to Congress, where he served for 14 years (1877-91), he became particularly well known for his support of high tariffs to protect U.S. industry from foreign competition. He was defeated for reelection in 1890, but he had won the admiration of Mark Hanna, a wealthy Ohio industrialist who was active in the Republican Party. With the support of Hanna he was elected governor of Ohio and served two terms (1892-96), while Hanna laid plans to win the Republican presidential nomination for him in 1896. McKinley won the nomination easily on a platform stressing high protective tariffs and the maintenance of the gold standard. He defeated the Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan by an electoral vote of 271 to 176. After the mysterious sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in the harbour at Havana (Feb. 15, 1898), sentiment in the U.S. increasingly demanded armed intervention against Spain. Despite evidence that Spain was prepared to make major concessions, McKinley referred the issue to Congress, which authorized him (April 20, 1898) to intervene with armed force to drive the Spanish out of Cuba. In the short war that followed, the U.S. defeated Spanish forces in Cuba and on the seas. He was renominated by the Republicans without opposition and, in a period of prosperity, was returned to office by a large majority in the election of 1900. He was fatally shot on Sept. 6, 1901, by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist.
McKinnon, Don(ald Charles) (b. Feb. 27, 1939, London, England), foreign minister of New Zealand (1990-99). He was elected to Parliament for the newly formed Albany seat in November 1978. Parliamentary select committees he served on between 1978 and 1990 include Public Expenditure, Health and Welfare, Social Services, Foreign Affairs, and Defence. He became junior government whip in October 1980, senior whip in February 1982, and deputy leader of the National Party in September 1987 when he also became the opposition spokesperson on health and defense. Sworn in as deputy prime minister and foreign minister on Nov. 2, 1990, he was also chairman of the Cabinet Social and Family Policy Committee and sat on the Cabinet Strategy Committee and Cabinet External Relations, Defence and Security Committee. He was also appointed minister of Pacific Island affairs in October 1991, a member of the Privy Council in March 1992, and Leader of the House in March 1993. In 2000-08 he was secretary-general of the Commonwealth.
McLaughlin, Alden (McNee, Jr.) (b. Sept. 6, 1961, George Town, Cayman Islands), premier of the Cayman Islands (2013- ).
McLaughlin, Audrey (Marlene), née Brown (b. Nov. 7, 1936, Dutton, Ont.), Canadian politician. In Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, she became a political organizer for the New Democratic Party (NDP) and managed the election campaign of Roger Kimmerly for justice minister of the Yukon Territory. Well known as a backroom political organizer, she ran for the Whitehorse City Council but lost (1982). In 1987 she was elected MP for the Yukon in a by-election called to fill a vacated seat. In the House of Commons she was her party's critic for Northern Development, Tourism, the constitution, and Revenue Canada. On Dec. 2, 1989, she was elected leader of the federal NDP. She thus became the first woman in Canada to lead a major political party. Her spirited and conciliatory acceptance speech signaled her leadership style. Unpretentious and not bombastic, McLaughlin defined her leadership in terms of consensus making and team building. For the next six years she led the party through a tumultuous time during which the NDP formed the provincial governments in Ontario in 1990, under the leadership of Bob Rae, and in British Columbia in 1991, under Michael Harcourt. The NDP returned to government under Roy Romanow in Saskatchewan. But Canadians, distressed by nine years of government under Conservative Brian Mulroney, turned to the Liberals in the 1993 general election. As a result, only nine NDP MPs were elected, three less than that required for official party status in the House of Commons. She stepped down as leader in October 1995 and did not seek reelection as MP in 1997. She went on to become president of the Socialist International Women and special representative for the government of the Yukon on circumpolar affairs.
McLaughlin, John (Edward) (b. June 15, 1942, McKeesport, Pa.), acting CIA director (2004).
McLean, Dan(iel) (b. Jan. 4, 1868, Halton county, Ont. - d. March 2, 1954, Winnipeg, Man.), mayor of Winnipeg (1928-29).
McLean, Joseph A(lexander) (b. April 16, 1917, Juneau, Alaska - d. July 5, 2012, Camas, Wash.), mayor of Juneau (1969-73).
McLeish, Henry (Baird) (b. June 15, 1948, Methil, Fife, Scotland), first minister of Scotland (2000-01).
McLeod, Bob, byname of Robert R. McLeod (b. Sept. 19, 1952, Fort Providence, N.W.T.), premier of the Northwest Territories (2011- ).
McLoughlin (Doyle), Eduardo (Francisco), McLoughlin also spelled Mac Loughlin (b. 1918 - d. 1998), interior minister (1970) and foreign minister (1972-73) of Argentina. He was also ambassador to the U.K. (1966-70).
McLoughlin, John (b. Oct. 19, 1784, Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec - d. Sept. 3, 1857, Oregon City, Ore.), governor of the District of Columbia (British Columbia) (1825-38, 1839-45).
McLucas, John L(uther) (b. Aug. 22, 1920, Fayetteville, N.C. - d. Dec. 1, 2002, Alexandria, Va.), U.S. administrator. His career in aviation and space spanned many years in both government and the private sector. He worked at the Defense Department in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and was named assistant secretary-general for scientific affairs at NATO headquarters in Paris. As president of Mitre Corp. - a nonprofit corporation founded to work on national defense problems - in the late 1960s, he fostered business connections with several government agencies. Appointed as undersecretary of the Air Force in 1969, he served during the Nixon and Ford administrations as Air Force secretary (1973-75) and then as head of the Federal Aviation Administration (1975-77). He also held various senior positions at Communications Satellite Corp., which was created by Congress in 1962 and later was acquired by Lockheed Martin. He retired in 1985 as executive vice president. Lastly, he was board chairman of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, which develops communications projects and gives grants to scholars in space-related sciences.
McMahon, Sir (Arthur) Henry (b. Nov. 28, 1862, Simla [now in Himachal Pradesh], India - d. Dec. 29, 1949, London), British high commissioner of Egypt (1915-17); knighted 1906.
McMahon, Sir William (b. Feb. 23, 1908, Sydney, N.S.W. - d. March 31, 1988, Sydney), prime minister of Australia (1971-72). He served in the House of Representatives for Lowe (New South Wales) from 1949 to 1982. A member of every cabinet from 1951 to 1972, he was minister of labour and national service (1958-66), treasurer (1966-69), and foreign minister (1969-71). He served as deputy leader of the Liberal Party from 1966 to 1971. In 1968 he lost his bid to become party leader and, therefore, prime minister, in part because of opposition from the Country Party (the coalition's junior partner). He became party leader and prime minister in March 1971 after an internal shake-up forced John Gorton to step down. As prime minister, McMahon supported the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam, and advocated stronger ties with other Southeast Asian nations. His criticism of the Labor Party's sending a delegation to China was undercut by news of U.S. Pres. Richard Nixon's coming trip. Labor accused him of following the lead of the U.S. too closely in foreign policy. He was unable to overcome opposition from the Country Party leadership and from rivals within his own party, and in the elections of late 1972 the crumbling coalition was defeated by the Labor Party led by Gough Whitlam. McMahon was replaced as party leader immediately after the election, and he did not hold cabinet office after the Liberals regained power in 1975, although he remained in parliament until his retirement in 1982. He was knighted in 1977.
McManus, John (Andrew) (b. May 20, 1955, Whitehaven, Cumbria, England), administrator of the British Indian Ocean Territory (2011-13). He was British ambassador to Guinea in 2004-08.
McMath, Sidney S(anders), byname Sid McMath (b. June 14, 1912, near Magnolia, Ark. - d. Oct. 4, 2003, Little Rock, Ark.), governor of Arkansas (1949-53). He became a prosecutor in Hot Springs and won election to his first of two terms as governor in 1948. "He was a young, progressive governor who had cleaned up Hot Springs and done real good things for Arkansas, real tolerant in race, and tried to do a lot for education and roads," said Cal Ledbetter, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The year McMath left office, however, a commission was investigating allegations of scandals in the state Highway Department during the McMath administration. Grand juries returned indictments against three members of McMath's administration. Juries acquitted two of them, and a judge threw out the charges against the third. Nothing ever directly linked McMath to any wrongdoing, but McMath spent 50 years living down the allegations. In his book Promises Kept, released in 2003, he chronicled a dozen years of public service that began with his World War II military service in the South Pacific and ended with his 1952 defeat for a third term as governor in the midst of the scandal. "The public remembers the charges, but the exonerations are forgotten," he said in a 2002 interview. In 1954, he made an unsuccessful attempt to oust Sen. John L. McClellan, a Democrat. Eight years later, he ran again for governor but lost to Gov. Orval E. Faubus.
McMurray, W(illiam) Grant (b. July 12, 1945, Toronto, Ont.), president (1996-2004) of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (from 2001 Community of Christ).
McNair, Robert E(vander) (b. Dec. 14, 1923, Cades, S.C. - d. Nov. 17, 2007, Charleston, S.C.), governor of South Carolina (1965-71). A Democrat, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1951 and served as lieutenant governor from 1963 until he became governor after the resignation of Donald Russell. Known as one of the first "New South" governors who helped bring business and industry to the state, he also was known for his help in smoothing the path to integration in the state. However, one of the most tragic chapters in South Carolina's civil rights movement happened during his governorship, when three black students were killed protesting a segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg, an event known as the "Orangeburg Massacre" (Feb. 8, 1968). At the time, McNair called it one of the saddest days in the state's history. He was also heavily involved in education opportunities and helped develop Francis Marion University.
McNamara, Robert S(trange) (b. June 9, 1916, San Francisco, Calif. - d. July 6, 2009, Washington, D.C.), U.S. defense secretary (1961-68) and president of the World Bank (1968-81).
McNicoll, Sir Walter Ramsay (b. May 27, 1877, South Melbourne, Victoria [Australia] - d. Dec. 24, 1947, Sydney, N.S.W.), administrator of New Guinea (1934-42); knighted 1937.
Mcwayizeni Zulu ka Nkashiyana, Israel (b. March 3, 1931, Nongoma, South Africa - d. Sept. 7, 1999, Johannesburg, South Africa), South African politician. The prince was an uncle and close ally of the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini. He served as regent (1968-71) before Zwelithini was crowned king, and remained highly influential until 1994, when South Africa elected its first democratic government. Since then his public profile diminished considerably. The prince's support for the African National Congress made him many enemies among the Zulus, the majority of whom support the nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party led by Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. There were several reports of attempts on Mcwayizeni's life since he joined the ANC in 1990. The ANC and Inkatha were at loggerheads for years and their ongoing conflict in KwaZulu-Natal province claimed thousands of lives.
McWherter, Ned Ray (b. Oct. 15, 1930, Palmersville, Tenn. - d. April 4, 2011, Nashville, Tenn.), governor of Tennessee (1987-95).
Mdivani, Polikarp (Gurgenovich) (Georgian Polikarpe Gurgenis dze Mdivani), byname Budu Mdivani (b. 1877 - d. [executed] 1937), Georgian member of the Union Council of Transcaucasia (1922) and chairman of the Revolutionary Committee (1921-22) and of the Council of Ministers (1923-24) of the Georgian S.S.R.
Mdlalose, Frank (Themba) (b. Nov. 29, 1931, Nquthu, Natal [now in KwaZulu-Natal], South Africa), premier of KwaZulu-Natal (1994-97). In 1998-2002 he was South African ambassador to Egypt.
Meade (Kuribreña), José Antonio (b. Feb. 27, 1969, Mexico City, Mexico), foreign minister of Mexico (2012- ).
Meade, Reuben (Theodore) (b. March 7, 1954), chief minister (1991-96, 2009-11) and premier (2011- ) of Montserrat.
Meany, (William) George (b. Aug. 16, 1894, New York City - d. Jan. 10, 1980, Washington, D.C.), U.S. labour leader. He became secretary-treasurer of the New York Building Trades Council in 1923, president of the New York State Federation of Labor in 1934, and served (1940-52) as secretary-treasurer of the national American Federation of Labor (AFL) before becoming its president in 1952. Meany's greatest accomplishment was the 1955 merger of two competitive and dissimilar organizations: the AFL, which organized crafts, and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which organized workers by industry. As president of the unified AFL-CIO (1955-79), Meany never hesitated to promote his conservative views: he criticized a succession of presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter for their economic and foreign policies; he adamantly opposed Communism and helped lead (1977) the U.S. out of the International Labour Organization when it refused to criticize repressive labour policies in Communist countries; and he hawkishly supported U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam when it was not in vogue to do so. In 1957 he expelled the Teamsters Union from the AFL-CIO on the grounds that its leaders, notably Dave Beck and Jimmy Hoffa, were corrupt, but critics asserted that Meany took action only when the public was aroused. Meany was also taken to task for his foot-dragging on racial integration, but he supported a provision for equal job opportunities that was included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His later disputes with Walter Reuther, former CIO president and president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW), resulted in the withdrawal (1968) of the UAW from the AFL-CIO. On Nov. 15, 1979, the nation's grand old man of organized labour retired after 12 successive terms as AFL-CIO president.
Mebazaa, Fouad, Arabic in full Muhammad Fu´ad al-Mibaza` (b. June 15, 1933, Tunis, Tunisia), interim president of Tunisia (2011). He has been speaker of parliament since 1997. He was also mayor of Tunis (1969-73) and ambassador to Morocco (1986-87).
Mébiame, Léon (b. Sept. 1, 1934, Libreville, Gabon), prime minister of Gabon (1975-90).
Mecham, Evan (b. May 12, 1924, Duchesne, Utah - d. Feb. 21, 2008, Phoenix, Ariz.), governor of Arizona (1987-88). He did not only make racist comments, ridicule and mock homosexuals and women, but he also illegally transferred public money to his own purposes. Found guilty of obstructing justice and misappropriating state funds, Mecham was the first U.S. governor impeached and removed from office since 1929. He unsuccessfully ran for governor in 1990 and for the U.S. Senate in 1992.
Mechem, Edwin L(eard) (b. July 2, 1912, Alamogordo, N.M. - d. Nov. 27, 2002, Albuquerque, N.M.), governor of New Mexico (1951-55, 1957-59, 1961-62); nephew of Merritt C. Mechem. A Republican known as "Big Ed" in his office-seeking days, he served as a judge for more than 30 years and continued to work at home until his death. He is the state's only four-term governor (New Mexico governors were elected to two-year terms when he served). He first tried his hand at politics at a time when the state's Republican Party had difficulty even finding candidates. He won a state House seat in 1946. Four years later, he upset Democrat John Miles to become New Mexico's first Republican governor in 20 years. He resigned as governor in November 1962 to complete the U.S. Senate term of Democrat Dennis Chavez, who had died. Mechem lost his bid to retain the seat in 1964. In 1970 he was appointed as a U.S. district judge by Pres. Richard Nixon, who called Mechem "Mr. Republican." Mechem took senior status as a judge in 1982, on his 70th birthday. Among his rulings, Judge Mechem found age discrimination at the predecessor to Sandia National Laboratories and sex discrimination at the Albuquerque Police Department. He also ruled that handicapped children in Albuquerque were being denied free and appropriate public education; that the Socorro County Jail had been indifferent to the medical needs of a prisoner who died in their custody; and that state game and fish laws were not valid on Indian lands.
Mechem, Merritt C(ramer) (b. Oct. 10, 1870, Ottawa, Kan. - d. May 24, 1946, Albuquerque, N.M.), governor of New Mexico (1921-23).
Méchet, Marie Joseph Félix (b. Feb. 9, 1870, Paris - d. 19...), commissioner of Niger (1918-19).
Meciar, Vladimír (b. July 26, 1942, Zvolen, Slovakia), prime minister of Slovakia (1990-91, 1992-94, 1994-98). He served in various posts in the pro-Communist Union of Slovak Youth and apparently backed Alexander Dubcek during the "Prague Spring" of 1968. His opposition to the Communist hardliners cost him his party membership in 1969, and he slipped into relative obscurity for the next two decades. He reemerged as a prominent member of Public Against Violence, an anti-Communist opposition group, and became interim minister of the interior following the 1989 "Velvet Revolution." In the 1990 elections, Public Against Violence won a clear victory in Slovakia, and he became Slovak prime minister. He was ousted from this post in 1991, in part owing to accusations of having collaborated with the secret police during the Communist era. Instead of diminishing his power, however, this reversal boosted his popularity among Slovaks who viewed their former premier as a martyr. Out of office but riding a crest of popular acclaim, he then formed the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). Seeing Slovak nationalism as his path to power, he pledged to stand up to Prague and its fast-paced program of free-market reforms. In the 1992 elections, the HZDS finished first and Meciar again became the Slovak prime minister. He immediately entered into negotiations with Czech Prime Minister Václav Klaus over Slovakia's role in the federation. Klaus made clear that Slovakia had to choose between partnership in the rapid free-market reform movement or complete independence. Bound by his campaign pledge, Meciar chose the latter, and on Jan. 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia ended its 74-year existence and dissolved into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. He resigned in March 1994 after a dispute with Pres. Michal Kovác over Meciar's handling of the privatization programme, but he returned to power after the October 1994 elections. Seen as autocratic, he finally lost power in the 1998 elections and unsuccessfully ran for president in 1999 and 2004.
Meckel, (Johannes-)Markus (b. Aug. 18, 1952, Müncheberg, Brandenburg, Germany), foreign minister of East Germany (1990).
Medelci, Mourad (b. April 30, 1943, Tlemcen, Algeria), finance minister (2001-02, 2005-07) and foreign minister (2007-13) of Algeria.
Medgyessy, Péter (b. Oct. 19, 1942, Budapest, Hungary), finance minister (1987, 1996-98) and prime minister (2002-04) of Hungary.
Médici, Emílio Garrastazu (b. Dec. 4, 1905, Bagé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil - d. Oct. 9, 1985, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), president of Brazil (1969-74). He led the country's phenomenal "economic miracle" by instituting such measures as incentives to those who invested in underdeveloped areas, the promotion of exports, and huge investments in electric power production, road construction, and port facilities. During his tenure as president, the country recorded an average annual growth rate of better than 9%. Médici, who was propelled from the military to the presidency when the then president, Gen. Artur da Costa e Silva, became ill, ruled the country with an iron hand. His dictatorial government reportedly killed or tortured some 170 government opponents. He left office in 1974 after naming his successor, Gen. Ernesto Geisel, but continued to advise military and political leaders throughout his life.
Medici, Giuseppe (b. Oct. 24, 1907, Sassuolo, Italy - d. Aug. 21, 2000, near Modena, Italy), Italian politician. He played a prominent political role in the 1950s and '60s. As a member of the then dominant Christian Democrats (DC), he was part of the Italian delegation negotiating details of the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of war-ravaged Europe. He was a member of the Italian lower house of parliament for five legislatures and a senator since 1972. Between 1954 and 1973 Medici headed seven ministries, including foreign affairs (1972-73), agriculture, industry, and the treasury. He was also a member of the Italian delegation to the United Nations.
Medina (Sánchez), Danilo (b. Nov. 10, 1951, Arroyo Cano, Benefactor [now San Juan de la Maguana] province, Dominican Republic), president of the Dominican Republic (2012- ). He was an unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2000.
Medina (y Gaona), Hilario (b. 1893, León, Guanajuato, Mexico - d. 1964), foreign minister of Mexico (1919-20).
Medoyev, Dmitry (Nikolayevich) (b. May 15, 1960), foreign minister of South Ossetia (1994-96). In 2009 he became ambassador to Russia.
Medvedev, Dmitry (Anatolyevich) (b. Sept. 14, 1965, Leningrad, Russian S.F.S.R. [now St. Petersburg, Russia]), president (2008-12) and prime minister (2012- ) of Russia. In 2005-08 he was a first deputy prime minister.
Medvedyev, Yukhym (Hryhorovych) (b. April 1, 1886 - d. [executed] May 11, 1938), chairman of the Central Executive Committee of (Communist) Ukraine (1917-18).
Medzhidov, Mukhtar (Murtuzaliyevich) (b. May 14, 1962, Urakhi, Dagestan A.S.S.R., Russian S.F.S.R.), prime minister of Dagestan (2013).
Meese, Edwin, III (b. Dec. 2, 1931, Oakland, Calif.), U.S. politician. He was legal affairs secretary when Ronald Reagan was governor of California and later served as his chief of staff in the statehouse. He served as director of the 1980 Reagan presidential campaign and quickly emerged as boss of that operation. There never was any doubt that he would play the same role in the Reagan administration, and he served as counselor to the president from 1981 to 1985. Jokingly referred to as "President Meese," he disclaimed such a role for himself, insisting that Reagan made the decisions. But when reporters asked the president an impromptu question, it sometimes was Meese who answered or advised Reagan that he did not have to answer. When U.S. fighter planes shot down two Libyan jets, Meese waited five and a half hours to wake the president and inform him of the incident. It was said that Meese thought like Reagan, and it was he who cut through complex issues, reducing them to a series of options for the president to consider. At times he was criticized for being overly protective in shielding Reagan from differences of opinion within the staff and for being a conservative ideologue. In 1985 he became attorney general. In that role he strongly criticized liberal Supreme Court rulings for straying from the "original intent of the founders." Questions concerning his finances and his handling of the Iran-contra affair led to his resignation in 1988.
Meeuwen, Eduardus Johannes Petrus van (b. Sept. 12, 1802, 's-Hertogenbosch, Batavian Republic [now in Netherlands] - d. Oct. 8, 1873, 's-Hertogenbosch), governor (1846-50) and king's commissioner (1850-56) of Limburg.
Megarif, Muhammad al-, Arabic in full Muhammad Yusuf al-Maqrif (b. 1940, Benghazi, Libya), chairman of the General National Congress of Libya (2012-13).
Mégret, Bruno (André Alexandre) (b. April 4, 1949, Paris, France), French politician. An adviser to Gaullist economic cooperation minister Robert Galley in 1979-81, he was a prospective Gaullist candidate for parliament. He veered to the National Front and sat as a parliamentary deputy in 1986-88 when proportional representation gave the party 35 seats in the National Assembly. A return to the first-past-the-post system later kept the Front out of parliament. The dapper ideologue launched a rebellion against party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen in 1998. He was elected president of what he called a renovated National Front - and what Le Pen dismissed as a meaningless and illegal gathering of coup-mongers. The result was that France had two National Fronts, each claiming to be the genuine article. Mégret rallied a majority of party officials to his strategy of seeking tactical alliances with other right-wing forces, which had kept Le Pen at arm's length for his blustery rhetoric and racist quips such as calling Nazi gas ovens "a detail" in history. Mégret boasted of being the author of the Front's manifesto, which urges repatriating millions of immigrants and reserving social benefits and jobs for native-born French people. While Le Pen revels in Nazi-style theatrics in front of a crowd, Mégret is a bland speaker and a cold intellectual who quietly worked behind the scenes for years to set the stage for his coup against Le Pen. Their rivalry became an open wound when Mégret challenged Le Pen's decision to name his own wife to lead the Front slate in the 1999 European elections if he was barred from running himself by an assault conviction for manhandling a Socialist candidate. In the end, Le Pen was allowed to run, but Mégret had crossed his Rubicon and created a new party, the National Republican Movement. In 2008 he announced he would work abroad for a French company and withdraw from politics, though he nominally remained party president.
Meguid, (Ahmed) Esmat Abdel, Arabic Ahmad `Asmat `Abd al-Majid (b. March 22, 1923, Alexandria, Egypt), foreign minister of Egypt (1984-91) and secretary-general of the Arab League (1991-2001).
Mehaffey, Joseph C(owles) (b. Nov. 20, 1889, Lima, Ohio - d. Feb. 18, 1963), governor of the Panama Canal Zone (1944-48). He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers in June 1911. His early assignments (between June and November 1911) were to the District Engineer's Office in Rock Island, Ill., Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans, La. In the fall of 1911, he was sent for the first time to the Panama Canal Zone, where he remained until June 1912, at which time he entered the District Engineer's Office in Pittsburgh. He became first lieutenant in October 1913. In May 1914 he was named assistant engineer of the Eastern Department; in 1915 he served in Alaska with the Board of Road Commissioners. From October 1917 to May 1919 he was again on duty in the Office of the Chief of Engineers in Washington. In July he was promoted to the rank of major. He returned to the Panama Canal Zone in December 1929 as assistant maintenance engineer. He was back in the United States to take courses at the Command and General Staff School in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; he graduated in June 1935; then for the third time was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Engineers in Washington, D.C. In September 1941 he once again was assigned to the Panama Canal Zone as maintenance engineer, serving in that position until 1941. He became a brigadier general in June 1942 and was appointed Panama Canal Zone governor in 1944. In 1945, Congress appropriated $1.5 million and directed Mehaffey to report what changes would be necessary to modernize operations of the canal. In December 1947, he recommended the construction of a sea-level canal, running approximately along the same route as the present one. This matter was still under discussion when Mehaffey finished his four years as governor in 1948. He retired on Nov. 30, 1949.
Mehmedic, Besim (b. Oct. 16, 1955, Zenica [now in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina]), premier of Sarajevo canton (2009-10).
Mehmet V Resat (b. Nov. 2, 1844, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey] - d. July 3, 1918, Constantinople), ruler of the Ottoman Empire (1909-18); son of Abdülmecit I. During the rule of his brother Abdülhamit II, he was mostly kept in seclusion, which only ended with the grant of the constitution in 1908; he became ruler after his brother was forced to abdicate the following year. A kind and gentle man, educated in traditional Islamic subjects and Persian literature, he showed a keen interest in Ottoman and Islamic history; but he was weak and lacked the ability to govern, and so was an acceptable choice for the Young Turks and their liberal-nationalist organization, the Committee of Union and Progress, to which he surrendered all authority. At the suggestion of the committee, he went on a tour of Thrace and visited Albania (1911), trying to convince the rebels there to give up their struggle. In the two Balkan Wars during 1912-13, however, the Ottomans lost almost all their European possessions, and Tripoli had been lost in the war with Italy (1911-12). He is credited with having been opposed to the pro-German policy of Young Turk leader Enver Pasa, but if so, he was unable to take any effective measures against it. The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and, as caliph, he declared holy war and invited all Muslims, especially those under the rule of the Allies, to rally to the support of Ottomans. German Emperor Wilhelm II awarded him the Iron Cross and made him a field marshal. By the time of Mehmet's death, most of the empire had fallen to the Allies, and six months later Constantinople was under military occupation.
Mehmet VI Vahidettin (b. Feb. 2, 1861, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey] - d. May 16, 1926, San Remo, Italy), ruler of the Ottoman Empire (1918-22); son of Abdülmecit I. In 1916 the suicide of Yusuf Izzettin left him as heir to the throne and he succeeded in July 1918, during World War I. He had the cunning of his elder brother Abdülhamit II and followed his example by assuming personal control of the government, depriving Enver Pasa of his title of generalissimo. Enver's nationalist-liberal Committee of Union and Progress collapsed after the Armistice of Mudros (October 30) and the establishment of an Allied military administration in Constantinople (December 8). Mehmet, opposed to all nationalist ideologies and anxious to perpetuate the Ottoman dynasty, acceded to the demands of the Allies. On December 21 he dissolved parliament. But the nationalists, organizing in Anatolia under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, sought his support in their struggle for territorial integrity and national independence, and after negotiations, Mehmet agreed to elections, which were held late in 1919 and won by the nationalists. The Allies, alarmed at the prospect of Turkish unity, extended their area of occupation in Constantinople and arrested and exiled nationalists. Mehmet again dissolved the parliament (April 11, 1920), and the nationalists set up a provisional government in Ankara. He accepted the Treaty of Sèvres (Aug. 10, 1920), which reduced the empire to Turkey itself and served to strengthen the nationalist cause. Henceforth he was "a caliph in a cage" awaiting the result of the struggle between the Greeks and the Kemalist Turks. After the defeat of the Greeks in 1922, the nationalists were in solid control of Turkey, and on November 1 their Grand National Assembly abolished the empire; 16 days later Mehmet fled on a British battleship to Malta. On November 18 he was also derecognized as caliph by the Assembly. He later settled in San Remo, continuing to claim that he was the rightful caliph.
Mehta, Chhabildas (Pragjibhai) (b. Nov. 4, 1925, Mahuva, Bombay province [now in Gujarat state], India - d. Nov. 29, 2008, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India), chief minister of Gujarat (1994-95).
Mehta, Jivraj (b. 1886, Saurashtra, Amreli district [now in Gujarat], India - d. 1977), chief minister of Gujarat (1960-63).
Meidani, Rexhep (Qemal) (b. Aug. 17, 1944, Tiranë, Albania), president of Albania (1997-2002). He became a member of an emergency presidential council soon after communism was toppled in Albania and was chosen chairman of the election commission. He said proudly that he was never a member of the once all-powerful communist party and nor were his brothers or sisters. He was elected Socialist secretary-general at a reformist congress in August 1996 and became the party's central figure while Fatos Nano was in jail on corruption charges. He was elected president of Albania after only a year in politics. His Socialists and their allies won a landslide victory in June 29, 1997, general elections, ousting Sali Berisha's Democratic Party from power after five years. The elections, prepared by a Socialist-led national unity government, were held as part of a deal which Meidani and other opposition leaders negotiated with Berisha in March. Meidani, who was credited with keeping its feuding factions in check, resigned from the party when he moved to the presidential palace. "I call on all Albanians to help me realize my mission on the difficult road of normalizing the life of the country and its institutions," he said. "I call on all Albanian immigrants wherever they are to come back and contribute to the reconstruction of Albania." The Socialists planned to give more powers to the prime minister and to reduce those of the head of state which grew dramatically under Berisha.
Meidell, Birger (Øvind) (b. Feb. 4, 1882 - d. Dec. 29, 1958), Norwegian politician. He was one of the acting councillors of state in 1940-41 during the German occupation.
Meier, Josi (Johanna) (b. Aug. 31, 1926, Dagmersellen, Luzern, Switzerland - d. Nov. 4, 2006, Luzern, Luzern), president of the Council of States of Switzerland (1991-92).
Meier, Theo(phil) (b. June 21, 1919, Basel, Switzerland - d. May 30, 2010, Lausen, Basel-Land, Switzerland), president of the government of Basel-Land (1970-71, 1974-75, 1977-78, 1982-83).
Meierovics, Zigfrids (Anna) (b. Feb. 5 [Jan. 24, O.S.], 1887, Durbe, Russia [now in Latvia] - d. [automobile accident] Aug. 22, 1925, Brizule, Latvia), prime minister (1921-23, 1923-24) and foreign minister (1918-24, 1924-25) of Latvia.
Meighen, Arthur (b. June 16, 1874, Blanshard Township, near Anderson, Ont. - d. Aug. 5, 1960, Toronto, Ont.), prime minister of Canada (1920-21, 1926). Elected to parliament as a Conservative in 1908 from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, he attracted attention for his administrative and debating ability. In 1913 he became solicitor general in Robert (later Sir Robert) Borden's government, and in 1917 secretary of state and minister of mines. When the Conservatives and some Liberals formed a wartime Union Government in October 1917, he became minister of the interior. In 1920 he succeeded Borden as leader of the Conservative Party and became Canada's youngest prime minister. In 1921 he waged a successful campaign against renewal of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. Convinced that the chief threat to Canada's national existence stemmed from the economic power of the U.S., he was a staunch defender of a protective tariff system. His government was defeated in the 1921 elections. He lost his seat for Portage la Prairie but was able to reenter parliament in a by-election and became leader of the opposition. In the 1925 elections he won back his old constituency. No party held a majority in the new parliament, and following the resignation of W.L. Mackenzie King of the Liberal Party in 1926 Meighen was asked to form a government. But it was almost immediately defeated in the House of Commons and the subsequent general election resulted in a clear majority for the Liberals. He left politics temporarily but returned as minister without portfolio (1932-35) and senator (1932-42). In 1941 he was again asked to become leader of the Conservative Party. He accepted reluctantly, but after an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the House of Commons the following year, he retired from public life.
Meijer, Wim (b. Aug. 16, 1939, Harkstede, Groningen, Netherlands), queen's commissioner of Drenthe (1989-93).
Meiji-tenno, original name Mutsuhito Sachinomiya (b. Nov. 3, 1852, Kyoto, Japan - d. July 30, 1912, Tokyo, Japan), emperor of Japan (1867-1912). The second son of the emperor Komei, Mutsuhito was declared crown prince in 1860 and raised to the throne upon the death of his father in 1867. In 1868 he was officially crowned, and the name Meiji ("Enlightened Rule") was chosen for the era of his reign; this also became his posthumous name. In January 1868 the emperor was "restored" as active head of state after nearly 1,000 years of rule by civil and military governors. During 1868 and 1869 the Tokugawa shogunate was destroyed and the new imperial government moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. Unlike Komei, he supported the increasing popular demand for modernization of Japan along Western lines that had developed as a result of the country's resumption of contact with other nations after a 250-year period of isolation. In April 1868 he took the "Charter Oath of Five Principles," which laid the foundation for westernization. Among the reforms which he formally ordered, though not necessarily initiated, were the abolition of the feudal system of land tenure and the creation of new systems of education and military conscription during 1871-73, the adoption of the cabinet system of government in 1885, and the introduction of a constitution (the Meiji Constitution) in 1889. Japan's international status was assured with the successful completion of wars against China (1894-95) and Russia (1904-05). Taiwan was acquired in 1895 and Korea in 1910. Meiji personally epitomized the adoption of Western practices on a base of Japanese culture; he wore Western clothes and ate Western-style food but also managed to compose some 100,000 poems in the traditional Japanese style during his lifetime.
Meinhof, Ulrike (Marie) (b. Oct. 7, 1934, Oldenburg, Germany - d. May 9, 1976, Stuttgart, West Germany), West German anarchist. Meinhof's parents both died early, leaving Ulrike and her sister Weinke in the care of Renate Riemeck, a friend of their mother's. Riemeck was a devoted socialist, and a profound influence on Meinhof. Meinhof married Klaus Rainer Röhl, publisher of the left-wing magazine konkret. After a few years Meinhof became konkret's editor. She was disillusioned both by the materialistic character of society in West Germany and by the neo-imperialism of Soviet foreign policy. She drifted away from Röhl, and towards the radical fringe of the student movement. The suppression of that movement in France and West Germany in 1968 led her, in conjunction with Andreas Baader, to found the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction) of anarchists. The group was held responsible for several murders, bombings, and bank raids in West Germany. Meinhof herself planned an operation which rescued Baader from imprisonment on May 14, 1970. However, although the group was popularly named "Baader-Meinhof gang," Meinhof was not, as was often assumed, one of the leaders of the gang. She was arrested on June 15, 1972, but the process of collecting evidence and the need to build a specially protected courthouse led to a delay of three years before she was brought to trial on the major charges of murder and attempted murder. She grew increasingly depressed as the other gang members ostracized her. When the trial reached its eleventh month of hearing, she hung herself in her cell. When she was found dead, radical students questioned the official suicide verdict, staging demonstrations in which she was regarded as a left-wing martyr, much as had been Rosa Luxemburg to an earlier generation.
Meir, Golda, original name Goldie Mabovitch, later known as Goldie Myerson (1917-47), Golda Myerson (1947-56), and Golda Mayer (1956) (b. May 3, 1898, Kiev, Russia [now in Ukraine] - d. Dec. 8, 1978, Jerusalem), prime minister of Israel (1969-74). In 1906 her family emigrated to Milwaukee, Wis., where she became a leader in the Milwaukee Labor Zionist Party. She and her husband, Morris Myerson, emigrated to Palestine in 1921 and lived on a kibbutz for two years. She became the secretary (1928-32) of the Women's Labour Council of the Histadrut (General Federation of Labour), and a member of Histadrut's executive committee (1934 until World War II). She emerged as a leading figure in the Zionist movement and became head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency. In 1948, she was a signatory of Israel's independence declaration and was appointed minister to Moscow. She was elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in 1949 and served until 1974. In the post of minister of labour (1949-56), she vigorously supported the policy of unrestricted Jewish immigration to Israel. As foreign minister (1956-66), she promoted a policy of assistance to the new African states. In 1956 she Hebraized her married name to Meir. Shortly after retiring from the Foreign Ministry, she became secretary-general of the Mapai party. After Israel's victory in the Six-Day War (June 1967) against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, she helped merge Mapai with two dissident parties into the Israel Labour Party. Following Prime Minister Levi Eshkol's death in 1969, Meir, the compromise candidate, became prime minister. Her efforts at forging a peace with the Arab states were halted by the outbreak of the fourth Arab-Israeli war (called the Yom Kippur War) in October 1973. Israel's lack of readiness for the war stunned the nation, and she resigned in April 1974.
Meira, Albino Gonçalves (b. March 10, 1850, Pilar, Paraíba, Brazil - d. June 10, 1908, Recife, Brazil), acting governor of Pernambuco (1890).
Meister, Erhard (b. April 17, 1948), president of the government of Schaffhausen (2004, 2007, 2010).
Mejía (Domínguez), (Rafael) Hipólito (b. Feb. 22, 1941, Gurabo, near Santiago, Dominican Republic), president of the Dominican Republic (2000-04). He served as agriculture secretary from 1978 to 1982 under Pres. Antonio Guzmán. He was vice president of the Revolutionary Party for years. In 1990, he was the vice presidential running mate of the legendary José Peña Gómez, a black shunned by most of the white elite and widely believed to have lost the 1994 election to fraud. Mejía ran successfully for president in 2000. He called himself a man of the people and won many hearts with a TV ad declaring: "I'm no jerk!" He comes from the republic's light-skinned, landowning elite. But he belongs to the left-leaning Revolutionary Party that had long enjoyed the strongest following in the country. Mejía's informality delighted those weary of aloof rulers citing economic statistics while ordinary people struggle to live on an average of $2,000 a year. Mejía, who billed himself as "The Hope of the People," capitalized on the resentment of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans who felt left out of a boom in which the economy grew 40% in four years. He promised to spend more on social programs and small community-level public works projects. He did create popular aid programs for single mothers and rural housing, but ultimately he presided over an economic downturn, which he blamed on a world recession. Inflation hit 42% in 2003, poverty deepened, and rolling power outages crippled the country. In the 2004 election he was trounced by Leonel Fernández. He again ran unsuccessfully in 2012, losing to Danilo Medina, the runner-up in 2000.
Mejía (y Gutiérrez de Lara), Liborio (José Apolinar) (b. July 28, 1792, Rionegro, New Granada [now in Colombia] - d. [executed] Sept. 3, 1816, Bogotá, New Granada [now in Colombia]), acting president of New Granada (1816).
Mejía (Vélez de Caballero), María Emma (b. Sept. 27, 1953, Medellín, Colombia), foreign minister of Colombia (1996-98) and secretary-general of the Union of South American Nations (2011-12).
Mejía Victores, Óscar Humberto (b. Dec. 9, 1930, Guatemala City), president of Guatemala (1983-86). He joined the army at age 18, took special courses in the U.S.-ruled Panama Canal Zone in 1955, and attended the Superior Military School in Mexico in 1960. By June 1980 he had reached the rank of brigadier general and was posted to the headquarters of the General Justo Rufino Barrios military zone in Guatemala City. Subsequently, he was appointed inspector general of the Army and was made first vice-minister of defense and, later, minister of defense under Brig.Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt's administration. In a palace coup on Aug. 8, 1983, Mejía overthrew Ríos Montt's regime and declared himself chief of state of Guatemala. He would later explain that he led the coup to stop Ríos Montt's weekly televised religious sermons. Unlike his evangelical Christian predecessor, Mejía was a fervent Roman Catholic and a member of the "old guard" - a supporter of former president Fernando Romeo Lucas García, whose government had been toppled in March 1982. Mejía was described by local politicians as a "pure" military man, politically unsophisticated and clumsy at public relations. He was a strong anti-Communist, highly critical of the Nicaraguan government, and spoke out on several occasions against the Contadora peace-seeking proposals. Relations with the U.S. remained uneasy after a brief honeymoon period. In November 1983 the U.S. suspended $10,250,000 of arms sales to Guatemala as well as $53 million in development and economic aid that had been scheduled for fiscal 1984. Concern over the violation of human rights mounted, and Mejía appeared hard-pressed in retaining control of a divided and corrupt army. In 1985 he allowed elections for a civilian government, ending more than three decades of almost uninterrupted military rule.
Méker, Maurice (b. Aug. 3, 1913 - d. Aug. 23, 1987), governor of French Somaliland (1957-58).
Meksi, Aleksandër (Gabriel) (b. March 8, 1939, Tiranë, Albania), prime minister of Albania (1992-97).
Melancia, Carlos (Montez) (b. 1927), governor of Macau (1987-90). He launched a host of large-scale infrastructure projects and improved social welfare. Forced to resign in 1990 over allegations of corruption, he was later acquitted of all charges.
Melbourne (of Kilmore), William Lamb, (2nd) Viscount, Lord Melbourne, Baron of Kilmore, Baron Melbourne of Melbourne (b. March 15, 1779, London - d. Nov. 24, 1848, Brocket, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England), British prime minister (1834, 1835-41).
Melek, Abdurrahman (b. 1896, Antakya, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey] - d. Jan. 13, 1978, Ankara, Turkey), prime minister of Hatay (1938-39).
Melen, Ferit (b. 1906, Van, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey] - d. Sept. 3, 1988, Ankara, Turkey), Turkish politician. He entered government at the local level in 1931 and became auditor in the Ministry of Finance (1933-43) and director general of revenue (1944-50) before he was elected to parliament from Van as a member of the Republican People's Party (RPP) in 1950. He was finance minister in 1962-65. In 1964 he became a senator. As the RPP moved to the left, he and 47 of his conservative colleagues resigned from the party in 1967 to form the National Reliance Party, which later became part of the Republican Reliance Party. In 1971 the army ousted the democratically elected government of Süleyman Demirel and installed a "controlled democracy." Turkey was then ruled by a coalition government (including ministers from the National Reliance Party, the Justice Party, and the RPP) which was too weak to interfere with the army's brutal campaign against terrorists and other political opposition. Melen served as defense minister (1971-72) and prime minister (1972-73), and, under a coalition government headed by Demirel, was defense minister for a second time (1975-77). In 1986 he was among the founders of the Independence Democratic Party, which stressed closer Turkish ties to the United States and the Western world.
Meles Zenawi, original name Legesse Zenawi (b. May 9, 1955, Adua, Ethiopia - d. Aug. 20, 2012), Ethiopian politician. In 1974 he helped set up the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigre, committed to fighting the Soviet-supported Marxist regime. Together with a small band of fellow Marxist students, Meles later launched the Tigre People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which from its small beginnings succeeded within 10 years in establishing control over the greater part of the province of Tigre despite opposition by the huge Ethiopian Army lavishly equipped with Soviet tanks, artillery, weapons, and aircraft. The TPLF widened its front in January 1989 by entering into an alliance with a mainly Amhara movement, the Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (EPDM), to form the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The regime of Pres. Mengistu Haile Mariam collapsed in 1991, and Meles became interim president. Because of their early commitment to Marxism, Meles and his comrades had difficulty in reconciling their ideology with the Soviet Union's support for their enemy, the Mengistu regime. At one point they sought to resolve their dilemma by citing as their model the Albanian regime, because it maintained its Marxist ideology despite its hostility toward Moscow. But by the time the EPRDF was formed, Meles had become converted to parliamentary democracy. What was remarkable about the EPRDF was that it emerged victorious from an armed struggle but did not immediately take over power for itself; instead, it shared power with a wide cross section of representatives from the principal ethnic communities and political parties during a transition period while a democratic constitution was being negotiated. The new constitution came in 1995, and Meles then became prime minister, being reelected in 2000, 2005, and 2010. He died in office.
Melescanu, Teodor Viorel (b. March 10, 1941, Brad, Hunedoara county, Romania), foreign minister (1992-96) and defense minister (2007-08) of Romania.
Melgar (Andrade), Rafael E(ustacio) (b. 1887, Yanhuitlán, Oaxaca, Mexico - d. March 21, 1959, Mexico City, Mexico), governor of Quintana Roo (1935-40).
Melgar Castro, Juan Alberto (b. June 26, 1930, Marcala, Honduras - d. Dec. 2, 1987, San Pedro Sula, Honduras), president of Honduras (1975-78). He was chief of the armed forces and took power in 1975, overthrowing Gen. Oswaldo López Arellano. He in turn was ousted by the joint chiefs of staff in 1978.
Melgarejo Lanzoni, Rubén (Darío) (b. Feb. 15, 1962, Asunción, Paraguay), foreign minister of Paraguay (1996-98).
Melikyan, Arman (b. 1963, Yerevan, Armenian S.S.R.), foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh (2004-05).
Melin, Ingvar S(elimson) (b. June 29, 1932, Pedersöre, Finland - d. June 10, 2011, Helsinki, Finland), defense minister of Finland (1975-76).
Méline, (Félix) Jules (b. May 20, 1838, Remiremont, Vosges, France - d. Dec. 21, 1925, Paris), prime minister of France (1896-98).
Melis, Mario (b. June 10, 1921, Arbatax, Sardegna, Italy - d. Nov. 1, 2003, Nuoro, Sardegna), president of Sardegna (1982, 1984-89).
Melkumyan, Naira (Rafaelovna) (b. 1953, Yerevan, Armenian S.S.R.), foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh (1997-2002).
Meller, Stefan (b. July 4, 1942, Lyon, France - d. Feb. 4, 2008, Warsaw, Poland), foreign minister of Poland (2005-06). He was also ambassador to France (1996-2001) and Russia (2002-05).
S.V. de Mello
Mello, Sérgio Vieira de (b. March 15, 1948, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - d. Aug. 19, 2003, Baghdad, Iraq), UN administrator of Kosovo (1999) and East Timor (1999-2002) and UN high commissioner for human rights (2002-03). In 2003 he became special UN representative to Iraq. On August 19 a car bomb blast hit his office on the second floor of the UN headquarters in Baghdad; he was trapped under the rubble and used his mobile phone to summon help but the rescue workers could not save him in time.
Mello e Silva, Roberto Requião de (b. March 5, 1941, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil), governor of Paraná (1991-94, 2003-10).
Mello e Silva
Melo, Cristóvão de (b. c. 1650 - d. 1737), viceroy of Portuguese India (1723).
Melo, Flaviano Flavio Baptista de (b. Nov. 27, 1949, Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil), governor of Acre (1987-89).
Melo, Geraldo José da Câmara Ferreira de (b. March 19, 1930), governor of Rio Grande do Norte (1987-91).
Melo, José Guedes Brandão de (b. Oct. 30, 1846 - d. ...), governor of Cape Verde (1891-96).
Melo, Leônidas de Castro (b. Aug. 15, 1897, Barras, Piauí, Brazil - d. May 25, 1981, Teresina, Piauí), governor of Piauí (1935-45).
Melo, Oswaldo Trigueiro de Albuquerque (b. Jan. 2, 1905, Alagoa Grande, Paraíba, Brazil - d. Nov. 20, 1989, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), governor of Paraíba (1947-51).
Melo, Ubaldo Bezerra de (b. May 17, 1894, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil - d. ...), governor of Rio Grande do Norte (1946-47).
Meloni, Assunta, byname Tina Meloni (b. April 21, 1951, San Marino), captain-regent of San Marino (2008-09).
Membe, Bernard (Kamillius) (b. Nov. 9, 1953), foreign minister of Tanzania (2007- ).
Memet, (R.H. Muhammad) Yogie Suardi (b. May 16, 1929, Cirebon, Netherlands East Indies [now in Jawa Barat, Indonesia]), governor of Jawa Barat (1985-93) and interior minister of Indonesia (1993-98).
Men, Mikhail (Aleksandrovich) (b. Nov. 12, 1960, Semkhoz, Moscow oblast, Russian S.F.S.R.), governor of Ivanovo oblast (2005-13). In 2013 he became Russian minister of construction, housing, and communal services.
Men Zhizhong (b. 1888, Jilin province, China - d. 1960, Hong Kong), chairman of the government of Ningxia (1928-29).
Menagharishvili, Irakli, Russian Irakli (Afinogenovich) Menagarishvili (b. 1951, Tbilisi, Georgian S.S.R.), foreign minister of Georgia (1995-2003).
Menche de Loisne, Charles (Louis Constant), governor of Martinique (1870-71).
Menderes, (Ali) Adnan (Ertekin) (b. 1899, Aydin, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey] - d. Sept. 17, 1961, Imrali, Turkey), prime minister (1950-60) and foreign minister (1955) of Turkey. An associate of Kemal Atatürk, he entered parliament in 1930 and was for many years a member of Atatürk's Republican People's Party (RPP). In 1945 he was expelled from the RPP, which had broken drastically with many social and cultural traditions of the past and had introduced a rigidly controlled state economy, and in 1946 he joined with Celal Bayar and others in forming the Democrat Party (DP), which was more tolerant of traditional ways of life and encouraged private enterprise. When the party won a sweeping victory in the 1950 elections he became prime minister. During his first years of office he carried out a program of economic development, but it became obvious that his reforms were leading to severe inflation. He maintained his popularity with the peasantry, and the DP was returned to power in the 1954 elections. But he faced mounting criticism, of which he was always intolerant. Censorship of the press and other measures were imposed, and local elections were rigged. Although he won the 1957 elections, the opposition to him was intensifying, and on May 27, 1960, the military, which saw itself as the guardians of Kemalist ideals and felt that the Atatürk reforms were being directly challenged, deposed him in a coup. He and many other DP leaders were arrested and held on Yassiada island, where they were put on trial in October 1960. Accused of violating the constitution, embezzling state funds, and corruption, among other charges, he was sentenced to death and, following a suicide attempt, was hanged.
Mendes, Amazonino Armando (b. Nov. 16, 1939, Eirunepé, Amazonas, Brazil), governor of Amazonas (1987-90, 1995-2003).
Mendes, Francisco, nom de guerre Chico Té (b. Feb. 7, 1939, Enxudé, Portuguese Guinea [now Guinea-Bissau] - d. [car crash] July 7, 1978, near Bafatá, Guinea-Bissau), prime minister of Guinea-Bissau (1973-78).
Mendes de Magalhães, José Alfredo (b. April 20, 1870, Valença do Minho, northern Portugal - d. Oct. 26, 1957, Porto, Portugal), education minister of Portugal (1917-19, 1926-28).
Mendès-France, Pierre (Isaac Isidore) (b. Jan. 11, 1907, Paris - d. Oct. 18, 1982, Paris), prime minister and foreign minister of France (1954-55). In 1932 he was elected deputy for the Eure département as a Radical Socialist, at 25 the youngest member in the National Assembly. He became mayor of Louviers (1935-40, 1945-58) and in 1938 was undersecretary of state for finance under Léon Blum. After being imprisoned by the Vichy government, he escaped in June 1941, and served under Gen. Charles de Gaulle as commissioner for finance (1943-44) and then as minister of national economy (1944-45). A deputy again from June 1946, he was called upon for the first time to form a cabinet in June 1953, but failed by 13 votes to gain the Assembly's approval. Shortly after the disastrous French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954, he became premier on the pledge that he would end France's involvement in Indochina within a month. He fulfilled his promise at the revitalized Geneva conferences; it was not a triumph for France, but it brought to an end an unpopular and apparently unwinnable war. After this high point, however, he lost popularity again when he granted autonomy to Tunisia and when he allowed a free vote in the Assembly on the European Defense Community, which defeated the proposal. After his fall from power in February 1955 he allied himself with Socialists and some Gaullists in a Republican Front, one of whose aims was to negotiate with the Algerian rebels. He was briefly minister without portfolio in Guy Mollet's government (1956), resigning after Mollet sent Robert Lacoste to be governor-general of Algeria instead of the liberal Gen. Georges Catroux. In 1958 he opposed de Gaulle's accession to power and lost his seat in the Assembly. He returned to it from Grenoble in 1967, as head of the small Unified Socialist Party, but lost the seat again in 1968. In 1969 he was named by presidential candidate Gaston Defferre as his prospective prime minister, but Defferre received only 5% of the vote.
Méndez (Manfredini), Aparicio (b. Aug. 24, 1904, Rivera, Uruguay - d. June 26, 1988, Montevideo, Uruguay), president of Uruguay (1976-81). He was minister of public health in 1961-64 and played a prominent role in the National Party. He was named to the Council of State in 1973 and was appointed president by the armed forces after the overthrow of Pres. Juan María Bordaberry. One of his first acts as president was to issue a sweeping decree prohibiting thousands of political figures from being elected or holding public office for 15 years. His government was widely accused of the illegal detention and torture of political prisoners in its campaign against the left-wing Tupamaro guerrillas. However, the real power to make decisions resided not with the president's office but with the National Security Council, dominated by senior generals and the commanders of the armed services. In 1977 he announced that elections would be held in 1981, although he indicated that economic recovery took precedence over political liberties. A proposed constitution designed to increase the powers of the armed forces was rejected by the voters in a plebiscite on Nov. 30, 1980. He then declared the political plan of 1977 null and void. In 1981 he was replaced by another president appointed by the military.
Méndez Montenegro, Julio César (b. Nov. 23, 1915, Guatemala City - d. April 30, 1996), president of Guatemala (1966-70). When his brother Mario, a presidential candidate, was shot on Oct. 31, 1965, he took his place on the ticket and was elected. He was a puppet of the military, which launched a campaign of repression that saw 10,000 civilians assassinated during Méndez's presidency. He later served as Guatemalan ambassador to Mexico.
Mendonça, Roberto Carlos Vasco Carneiro de (b. 1894 - d. 1946, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), governor of Ceará (1931-34), Pará (1935), and Maranhão (1936).
Mendoza (Poveda), Carlos, member of the Council of State of Ecuador (2000).
Mendoza Azurdia, Óscar (Alberto) (b. June 4, 1917, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala), chairman of the military junta of Guatemala (1957).
Mendoza Durán, César (b. Sept. 11, 1918, Santiago, Chile - d. Sept. 13, 1996, Santiago), Chilean junta member (1973-85).
Menelik II, also spelled Menilek, baptismal name Sahle Mariam (b. Aug. 17, 1844, Ankober, Shewa [now in Ethiopia] - d. Dec. 12, 1913, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), emperor of Ethiopia (1889-1913). He was the son of Haile Melekot, king of Shewa. In 1855 Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia invaded Shewa. Early in the subsequent campaigns, Haile Melekot died; Sahle Mariam succeeded him but was captured and taken to the emperor's mountain stronghold, Amba Magdala. He escaped in 1865, returned to Shewa, and declared himself king again. On the death of Tewodros in 1868, Sahle Mariam was one of three claimants to the imperial throne but had to submit first to Tekle Giyorgis (1868-71) and Yohannes IV (1871-89). By the time of Yohannes' death, Sahle Mariam was the strongest man in Ethiopia and was finally able to assume the position of emperor. He signed the Treaty of Wichale (Uccialli) with Italy in 1889, under which the Italian presence in Eritrea was recognized. But the bilingual text of the treaty led to disagreements when the Italians interpreted Article XVII as giving Italy a protectorate over Ethiopia. In 1893 Menelik renounced the whole treaty. The Italian governor of Eritrea risked a major confrontation, and the Italian army was defeated by the Ethiopians in the Battle of Adowa (March 1, 1896). A settlement afterwards acknowledged the full independence of Ethiopia, but the Italians were allowed to retain Eritrea. After Adowa, Ethiopia was at once accepted by the European powers as a real political force. Later he initiated modern education, improved public health, introduced a national currency, and constructed telephone and telegraph systems and a railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, the newly built capital in Shewa.
Menem (Akil), Carlos Saúl (b. July 2, 1930, Anillaco, La Rioja province, Argentina), president of Argentina (1989-99). In 1956 he joined the Peronist (Partido Justicialista) movement and was imprisoned briefly for the first time after participating in a revolt that aimed to restore the ousted Juan Perón to the presidency. He won the post of president of the Peronist organization in La Rioja province in 1963 and in 1973 was elected provincial governor, a post he held until 1976, when he was first imprisoned and then sent into internal exile by the military regime that took over from Perón's widow, Isabel. Reentering active politics after 1981, he was returned to the governorship of La Rioja in 1983 and was able to extend his support base within the Peronists. He won the Peronist presidential nomination on July 9, 1988, and the coveted presidency of Argentina in the elections of May 14, 1989, amid the worst economic crisis in the history of Argentina. He took office early, on July 8. Departing from Peronista orthodoxy, he adopted a neoliberal economic policy and succeeded in overcoming hyperinflation and attracting foreign investment. Cultivating a flamboyant image, he enjoyed great popularity despite various corruption scandals and controversial pardons of convicted human-rights violators from the period of military rule (1976-83). He was reelected in 1995, and during his second term economic conditions began to worsen, with recession setting in by 1998, widespread poverty, and a ballooning foreign debt. He unsuccessfully sought to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term in 1999. He ran again in 2003 and led in the first round but, seeing little chances of winning the runoff, withdrew and let Néstor Kirchner be elected by default.
Menéndez, Mario Benjamín (b. April 3, 1930), Argentine military governor of the Falkland Islands (1982).
Menéndez Park, Gonzalo (b. Sept. 15, 1944), foreign minister of Guatemala (1991-93).
Menezes, Fradique (Melo Bandeira) de (b. March 21, 1942, Água Telha, Mé-Zóchi district, São Tomé), foreign minister (1986-87) and president (2001-03, 2003-11) of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Meng Enyuan (b. 1856, Tanggu, Zhili [now in Tianjin municipality], China - d. 1933, Tianjin), military governor of Jilin (1913-17, 1918-19).
Meng Xuenong (b. August 1949, Penglai, Shandong, China), mayor of Beijing (2003) and governor of Shanxi (2007-08).
Mengin du Valdailly, Étienne Henri, du Valdailly also spelled Duval d'Ailly (b. Feb. 4, 1778, Rouen [now in Seine-Maritime département], France - d. July 13, 1865, Versailles, France), governor of Île Bourbon (1830-32) and Martinique (1840-44).
Mengistu Haile Mariam (b. 1937, Kefa province [by other accounts May 27, 1941, Addis Ababa], Ethiopia), Ethiopian head of state (1977-91). As a major in the army, he joined a group of discontented junior officers and enlisted men who plotted the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie I. In June 1974 he was made chairman of a committee of revolutionary soldiers called the Derg. The emperor was arrested in September, and he became a vice-chairman of the Provisional Military Administrative Council (PMAC; also commonly known as the Derg). In November, he ordered the assassination of the PMAC's moderate chairman, Aman Mikael Andom. In 1975 the monarchy was officially abolished. Following a bloody power struggle within the PMAC, Mengistu, now a lieutenant colonel, emerged as chairman in 1977. He crushed armed opponents of his radical programs among the civilian populace and, with Soviet military aid, forced the withdrawal of Somali forces from the disputed Ogaden area. He was also chairman of the Organization of African Unity in 1983-84. He oversaw the establishment of the Workers' Party of Ethiopia in 1984 and, dropping his military rank, was elected by a new national legislature as civilian president in 1987. The agricultural economy was ruined by the forced collectivization of farms and mass relocation of people and the country was afflicted by a series of the worst-ever droughts and famines, which he mainly ignored. The northern regions of Tigray and Eritrea were in rebellion, and finally the Soviet Union withdrew support, whereupon he experienced an overnight conversion to free-market economics (1990). In 1991 he summarily resigned and fled to Zimbabwe, where Pres. Robert Mugabe, an old friend and erstwhile ideological kin, offered him a bolthole. In December 2006 an Ethiopian court convicted him of genocide; in January 2007 he was sentenced to life imprisonment and in May 2008 to death.
Menicucci, Pier Marino (b. Sept. 15, 1958), captain-regent of San Marino (2003).
Menon, C(helat) Achutha (b. Jan. 13, 1913, Pudukkad [now in Kerala], India - d. Aug. 16, 1991, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), chief minister of Kerala (1969-70, 1970-77).
Menzies, Sir Robert Gordon (b. Dec. 20, 1894, Jeparit, Victoria - d. May 16, 1978, Melbourne, Victoria), prime minister (1939-41, 1949-66) and foreign minister (1960-61) of Australia. He was elected to the Victoria Legislative Council in 1928 and to the Legislative Assembly in 1929. He was minister without portfolio (1928-29) and attorney general, minister for railways, and deputy premier (1932-34) of Victoria. He entered the federal parliament for Kooyong in 1934, serving as attorney general and minister for industry (1934-39) under Joseph Lyons; after Lyons' death, he was elected leader of the United Australia Party and became prime minister. He initiated Australia's mobilization for World War II, but various controversies forced his resignation in 1941. Facing political oblivion, he instead organized the Liberal Party in 1944 and regained power in 1949, in coalition with the Country Party. He worked to attract capital for industrial development and presided over rapid growth during the 1950s. He also moved into health-care and family-benefit programs and expanded education, especially at the tertiary level. His general pro-British sentiments found expression in his controversial support of Britain's intervention in the Suez in 1956. But he also believed in the United States as the bulwark of Australian security and allied Australia with the U.S. in the ANZUS pact (1951) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (1954) and sent troops to Korea and Vietnam. His anti-Communism was expressed in an attempt to dissolve the Australian Communist Party, but this failed in a referendum in 1951. After the longest continuous ministry in Australian history, he retired in 1966. He was knighted in 1963 and was named Lord Warden of Cinque Ports in 1965.
Mera Figueroa, Julio (Ignacio) (b. May 18, 1940 - d. May 4, 2002, Buenos Aires, Argentina), interior minister of Argentina (1989-91).
Merabishvili, Vano, byname of Ivane Merabishvili (b. April 15, 1968), interior minister (2004-12) and prime minister (2012) of Georgia.
Merafhe, Mompati (Sebogodi) (b. June 6, 1936, Serowe, Bechuanaland [now Botswana]), foreign minister (1994-2008) and vice president (2008-12) of Botswana.
Merbah, Kasdi (Arabic Qasdi Mirbah), original name Abdallah Khalef (b. April 16, 1938, Beni Yenni, Kabylie, Algeria - d. Aug. 21, 1993, Bordj El Bahri, near Algiers, Algeria), prime minister of Algeria (1988-89). He was a guerrilla leader in Algeria's independence war, and was director of the military security (political police) from 1962 to 1979. He held several ministerial posts (heavy industry, agriculture, and health) before heading the government. He was fired in 1989 by Pres. Chadli Bendjedid for not instituting political reforms with greater speed. In October 1990 he resigned from the central committee of the National Liberation Front and in November founded the Algerian Movement for Justice and Development. He was shot dead together with his son, brother, driver, and bodyguard outside his home. Three people were charged with the murder in September 1993, one of whom was said to be a militant member of the Islamic Salvation Front.
Mercado Jarrín, (Luis) Edgardo (b. Sept. 19, 1919, Barranco, Peru - d. June 18, 2012), foreign minister (1968-72) and prime minister (1973-75) of Peru.
Mercier, Honoré (b. Oct. 15, 1840, Saint-Athanase, Iberville county, Lower Canada [now Quebec] - d. Oct. 30, 1894, Montreal, Quebec, Canada), premier of Quebec (1887-91). He became the editor of the Conservative Le Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe and supported the Conservative administration and the interests of Quebec. But he vigorously opposed the scheme of Canadian confederation on the ground that it would prove fatal to the French-Canadians, and in 1866 he left the Conservative Party. In 1871 he helped form the Parti National (National Party). In 1872 he was elected for two years a member of the House of Commons for the county of Rouville and in 1879 he entered the legislative assembly of Quebec and served briefly as solicitor general. On the retirement of Henri Joly from the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1883, he was chosen as his successor. His prominent role in the Quebec agitation on behalf of French-speaking Louis Riel, executed in 1885 as leader of the Northwest Rebellion, helped him win the provincial election of October 1886, and he became premier and attorney general in January 1887. He succeeded in passing the Jesuits' Estates Act (1888), a measure to compensate the Society of Jesus for the loss of properties confiscated by the British crown when the society was suppressed by the pope in 1773 (it was reestablished in 1814). While on a visit to Rome in 1891, Mercier was created a Roman count by Pope Leo XIII. The same year he was dismissed by the lieutenant governor because of allegations that railway subsidies had been diverted to political use. In 1892 his party was hopelessly defeated, although he retained his seat. He was brought to trial but acquitted.
Mercouri, Melina, original name Maria Amalia (Stamateos) Merkouris (b. Oct. 18, 1925, Athens, Greece - d. March 6, 1994, New York City), Greek politician. Although she came from a politically prominent family - her grandfather Spyros was longtime mayor of Athens and her father Stamatis was a cabinet minister and later a left-wing politician - she first achieved an international reputation as an actress. She was abroad when in 1967 a military coup brought a handful of army colonels to power in Greece. She fought tirelessly against the junta, stimulating opposition against it in Europe and the United States. In 1971 she published an autobiography, defiantly named I Was Born Greek, after she was deprived of her citizenship. She returned to Greece after the collapse of the dictatorship in 1974 and promptly joined Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok). She ran unsuccessfully that year for deputy from the same Piraeus district that had made her famous in the 1960 film Never on Sunday, but she was elected in 1977. Reelected in 1981 when Pasok won a general election, she was appointed by Papandreou to be his minister for culture. Her informal style and young jeans-clad advisers shocked tradition-conscious Greeks. Many leading artists and intellectuals were granted official support and funding for the first time during her tenure. One of her major efforts was an attempt to persuade the British government to return the Elgin Marbles, a priceless marble statuary which was removed from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin during 1803-12 and had been housed in the British Museum since 1816. She served in the post until 1989, when the Socialists lost power, but was reappointed after their electoral victory in 1993. She died in office.
Merdzo, Josip (b. Feb. 17, 1962, Mostar [now in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina]), premier of Herzegovina-Neretva (1999-2000, 2000-01).
Meredov, Rashid (b. 1960), foreign minister (2001- ) and deputy prime minister (2003-05) of Turkmenistan.
Merentes (Díaz), Nelson (José) (b. May 6, 1954), finance minister of Venezuela (2001-02, 2004-07, 2013- ).
Meri, Lennart (Georg) (b. March 29, 1929, Tallinn, Estonia - d. March 14, 2006, Tallinn), president of Estonia (1992-2001). In 1940 his father, Georg Meri, was named Estonia's first ambassador to the U.S., but while the family was preparing to leave the country, Estonia was invaded and annexed by the Soviet Union. The elder Meri, a committed nationalist, was arrested and placed in a labour camp in Moscow, while Lennart, his mother, and brother were sent into exile in Siberia. After the war the family was reunited in Soviet Estonia. In 1990, Meri entered politics when he was named foreign minister after Estonia's first free elections. Estonia gained its independence in 1991, and he was appointed ambassador to Finland in April 1992. He decided to run for president later that year as head of the nationalist coalition party Isamaa (Fatherland), whose priority was to preserve Estonian culture. During the campaign, allegations surfaced that his father, who died in 1983, had served as an informant for the secret police; Meri vigorously denied the charges. Meri placed second in the elections, but no one candidate earned a majority, and the parliament, dominated by parties aligned with Meri's, elected him president. He was reelected in 1996. Among the people, he was a beloved, charismatic father figure, whose dry humor and razor-sharp wit only added to his charm. Government officials, however, were often wary of him because of his scathing attacks on unethical practices and corrupt civil servants. He was widely credited for remaining tough with Russian president Boris Yeltsin in negotiations on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia in 1994. He also pushed for rapid integration with Western Europe.
Meridor, Dan (b. 1947, Jerusalem), Israeli politician. As part of the moderate wing of the Likud party, he was a member of the Knesset from 1984 and was justice minister from 1988 to 1992. He was acting finance minister for four months in 1990. When he became finance minister in 1996, markets reacted favourably; analysts described his economic philosophy as liberal, serious, and non-interventionist. He resigned in 1997 because of policy differences with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In 1999 he formed the Centre Party, which in 2001 joined Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's coalition government with Meridor becoming minister without portfolio. In 2002 he rejoined the Likud party.
Merino (Lucero), (Martha) Beatriz (b. 1947), prime minister of Peru (2003).
Merino Castro, José Toribio (b. Dec. 14, 1915, La Serena, Chile - d. Aug. 30, 1996, Viña del Mar, Chile), Chilean junta member. Along with Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Admiral Merino, the navy commander, led the 1973 coup that ousted Pres. Salvador Allende; Merino thereafter was an integral member of the military junta that ruled until 1990.
Merino Fernández, Aarón (b. March 20, 1906, Ixcaquixtla, Puebla, Mexico - d. 1976), governor of Quintana Roo (1958-64) and Puebla (1966-69).
Merkel, Angela (Dorothea), née Kasner (b. July 17, 1954, Hamburg, West Germany), chancellor of Germany (2005- ). She moved with her family to East Germany when she was barely a few months old. She joined the democratic opposition in East Germany in 1989, at first in a party called Democratic Awakening (DA), becoming its press secretary in February 1990. Following the free elections of March, she became spokeswoman for East Germany's only democratic government. She moved to the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in August. In December she was elected with a direct mandate (as opposed to party-list mandate) as a deputy to the first Bundestag of the reunited Germany. Chancellor Helmut Kohl made her minister of family affairs, senior citizens, women, and youth (1991-94) and minister of environment, conservation, and reactor safety (1994-98). She was also a deputy chairwoman (1991-98) and then the general secretary (1998-2000) of the CDU, and in April 2000 was elected chairwoman. In 2002 she was passed over for the nomination as the centre-right's chancellor candidate in favour of Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Edmund Stoiber, who failed to unseat the Social Democratic (SPD)-Green government. After the election she managed to take over the leadership of the CDU/CSU parliamentary party from Friedrich Merz. When Chancellor Gerhard Schröder suddenly called for early elections in 2005, the CDU/CSU quickly agreed on Merkel as chancellor candidate. The excellent poll ratings of her party stood in contrast to her personal ones, which were consistently lower than Schröder's. In the end the CDU/CSU won only by a razor-thin margin over the SPD and formed a "grand coalition" with the latter. Merkel became Germany's first woman chancellor. She was in favour of improving relations with the United States and opposed to Turkish membership in the European Union. After the 2009 elections she was able to form a government with the CDU/CSU's traditional coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party.
Merkulov, Aleksandr (Viktorovich) (b. Sept. 6, 1954, Ordzhonikidze, North Ossetian A.S.S.R., Russian S.F.S.R. [now Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia-Alania, Russia]), prime minister of North Ossetia-Alania (2005-06) and Kabardino-Balkariya (2009-11). On Nov. 30, 2005, he was injured when his car crashed into a tree on the Kavkaz Highway in Kabardino-Balkariya; his deputy temporarily assumed his duties on December 1.
Merkulov, Gennady (Konstantinovich) (b. May 12, 1940), head of the administration of Ryazan oblast (1994-96).
Merkushkin, Nikolay (Ivanovich) (b. Feb. 5, 1951), chairman of the State Council (1995) and head of the republic (1995-2012) of Mordovia and governor of Samara oblast (2012- ).
Merkys, Antanas (b. Feb. 1 [Jan. 20, O.S.], 1887, Bajorai, near Skapiskis, Russia [now in Lithuania] - d. March 5, 1955, Malenky settlement, Vladimir oblast, Russian S.F.S.R.), Lithuanian politician. He served in the Russian Army during World War I (1914-18). In 1919 he entered the army of the newly independent Lithuania. A member of the right-wing Nationalist League, he served as Lithuanian defense minister (1920, 1926-27), governor of the Memel Territory (1927-32), and mayor of Kaunas (1933-39). Merkys became prime minister of Lithuania, leading an authoritarian Nationalist League government, in November 1939, but soon after the Soviets occupied Lithuania he was arrested by the NKVD (June 17, 1940) and deported to the U.S.S.R.
Merlet, Victor (Emmanuel), acting governor-delegate (1905-06) and lieutenant governor (1916-17) of Oubangui-Chari and administrator of Chad (1915-17).
Merlin, Martial (Henri) (b. Jan. 20, 1860, Paris - d. May 8, 1935, Clichy, Seine [now in Hauts-de-Seine], France), governor of Guadeloupe (1901-03) and Senegal (1907-08) and governor-general of French Congo/French Equatorial Africa (1908-17), Madagascar (1917-18), French West Africa (1907-08 [acting], 1919-23), and French Indochina (1923-25).
Merlot, Joseph (Jules) (b. Sept. 14, 1885, Seraing, Belgium - d. Jan. 31, 1959), interior minister of Belgium (1938-39, 1946).
Mermoud, Jean-Claude (b. Aug. 8, 1952, Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland - d. Sept. 6, 2011), president of the Council of State of Vaud (2003).
Mero, Muhammad Mustafa, Arabic Muhammad Mustafa Miru (b. 1941, Tal, near Damascus, Syria), prime minister of Syria (2000-03).
Mérode, (Philippe) Félix (Balthazar Othon Ghislain), comte de (b. April 13, 1791, Maastricht [now in Netherlands] - d. Feb. 7, 1857, Brussels, Belgium), member of the Provisional Government of Belgium (1830-31).
Mérode-Westerloo, Hendrik de, French in full Henri Charles Marie Ghislain, comte de Mérode, marquis de Westerloo, prince de Rubempré et de Grimberghe (b. Dec. 28, 1856, Paris, France - d. July 13, 1908, Lausanne, Switzerland), foreign minister (1892-95) and chairman of the Senate (1903-08) of Belgium.
Merrill, Steve, byname of Stephen E. Merrill (b. June 21, 1946, Norwich, Conn.), governor of New Hampshire (1993-97). He served four years in the Air Force and worked for two years as Gov. John Sununu's counsel. In 1985 Sununu appointed him attorney general, and he served in that post until 1989. If Sununu could be dismissive of others and angry, Merrill seemed sunny and open; but his convictions were strong and he did not bend under pressure. He had four opponents in the September 1992 Republican primary and won with 53%. In the general election, he faced an articulate and attractive advocate of a broad-based statewide tax, State Representative Deborah "Arnie" Arnesen. She campaigned cheerfully as the "Tax Lady" and called for a 6% state income tax. She won her primary easily, but only 33% of New Hampshire voters are registered Democrats, and her message did not sell as well with the others. Merrill called for further government spending cuts and for the sale of some of the state's recently closed military bases. New Hampshire's basic convictions held, and Merrill won 56%-40%. In office Merrill lowered the business profits, telecommunications, and real estate transfer taxes and eliminated the savings bank and corporate franchise taxes altogether. He pushed through workmen's compensation reform, which lowered those rates 20%. He proposed banking, health care, and education reforms based more on free market principles than on government precepts. By July 1994 his job approval was 76%, and he won the primary with 88%, the highest winning percentage at least since 1932. In November he beat state senator Wayne King 70%-26%. In his second term (New Hampshire and Vermont are the last states with two-year gubernatorial terms) he called for replacing welfare with job placement and community work programs.
Merriman, John X(avier) (b. March 15, 1841, Street, Somerset, England - d. Aug. 1, 1926, near Stellenbosch, Cape province [now in Western Cape], South Africa), prime minister of Cape Colony (1908-10).
Merta, I Gusti Putu (b. Jan. 10, 1913, Desa Pemecutan, Denpasar, Bali, Netherlands East Indies [now Indonesia] - d. Nov. 19, 1992), governor of Bali (1965-67).
Mertlík, Pavel (b. May 7, 1961, Havlíckuv Brod, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]), finance minister of the Czech Republic (1999-2001).
Merwart, Émile (Joseph) (b. June 4, 1869, Lemberg, Austria-Hungary [now Lviv, Ukraine] - d. Sept. 7, 1960, Paris), lieutenant governor of Oubangui-Chari (1906-09) and governor of Dahomey (1911-12) and Guadeloupe (1913-17).
Merwin, John David (b. Sept. 26, 1921, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands - d. March 17, 2013, Ohio), governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands (1958-61).
Merz, Hans-Rudolf (b. Nov. 10, 1942, Herisau, Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, Switzerland), finance minister (2004-10) and president (2009) of Switzerland.
Merzagora, Cesare (b. Nov. 9, 1898, Milan, Italy - d. May 1, 1991, Rome, Italy), acting president of Italy (1964). He was president of the Senate from 1953 to 1967.
Mesa (Gisbert), Carlos (Diego) (b. Aug. 12, 1953, La Paz, Bolivia), vice president (2002-03) and president (2003-05) of Bolivia. In September 2003, government proposals to export the country's natural gas to the U.S. through Chile - Bolivia's enemy since it won Bolivian territory in a war more than a century before - triggered violent protests. Vice President Mesa became increasingly unhappy with the government's handling of the unrest. He withdrew his support from the leadership, and when Pres. Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada resigned, Mesa took his place. One of his first acts was to respond to indigenous demands for greater representation. He created a new cabinet position, that of minister for indigenous and ethnic people, and appointed an Indian from eastern Bolivia to the post. In June 2004, he won overwhelming backing in a referendum on the future of the country's huge gas resources, which sought to steer a path between popular demands for a greater share of the gas profits and foreign companies' terms for their help extracting the gas. But it was not long before radical leaders were taking to the streets again, many unsatisfied with the terms of the new "hydrocarbons" law. Amid waves of protest, in March 2005 an exasperated Mesa for the first time announced his resignation, saying protests had left the country ungovernable and he had "reached a limit." But he still recorded a significant level of support and a day later Congress rejected his resignation. Still, within days the protesters were back, demanding nationalization of the gas - something Mesa said would be unworkable. On June 6, he again submitted his resignation; this time Congress accepted.
Mesic, Stipe, byname of Stjepan Mesic (b. Dec. 24, 1934, Orahovica, Yugoslavia [now in Croatia]), president of Croatia (2000-10). He was the last president (1991) of the collective presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and served as prime minister (1990) and president of the Sabor (1992-94) of Croatia before breaking with Pres. Franjo Tudjman in 1994. He then formed the Croatian Independent Democrats (HND) before joining the Croatian People's Party (HNS). He won the 2000 presidential elections as candidate of the four smaller parties in the government coalition - his HNS, the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), the Liberal Party (LS), and the Istrian Democratic Parliament (IDS). He was reelected in 2005.
Mesic, Zlatko (b. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), acting premier of Sarajevo canton (2010-11).
Meskill, Thomas J(oseph) (b. Jan. 30, 1928, New Britain, Conn. - d. Oct. 29, 2007, Boynton Beach, Fla.), governor of Connecticut (1971-75). A Republican, he first ran for office in 1958, when he made an unsuccessful bid for the state Senate. In 1960 he ran for mayor of his hometown and lost by 115 votes. He won in 1962 by 5,500 votes, only to be ousted from the job by 25 votes in 1964. Undaunted, he ran that fall for Congress, but was done in by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide win over Republican Barry Goldwater. He was elected in 1966, defeating incumbent 6th District representative Bernard Grabowski, and won reelection in 1968. In 1970 he was elected governor, besting U.S. Rep. Emilio "Mim" Daddario by 80,000 votes. When he entered office, the state had a $260 million deficit. By 1973, the state treasury had a surplus of $65 million. During Meskill's tenure, the Department of Environmental Protection was established and a state lottery system was instituted as Meskill's alternative to a state income tax. In 1975, Pres. Gerald Ford named him a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and he served until 1993. During his last year on the bench, Meskill was chief judge.
Messmer, Pierre (b. March 20, 1916, Vincennes, near Paris - d. Aug. 29, 2007, Paris), governor of Mauritania (1952-54) and Ivory Coast (1954-56), high commissioner of French Cameroons (1956-58), French Equatorial Africa (1958), and French West Africa (1958-59), prime minister of France (1972-74), and president of the Regional Council of Lorraine (1978-79).
Messner, Tony, byname of Anthony John Messner (b. 1939), administrator of Norfolk Island (1997-2003).
Messner, Zbigniew (b. March 13, 1929, Stryj, Poland [now Stryi, Lviv oblast, western Ukraine]), deputy prime minister (1983-85) and prime minister (1985-88) of Poland.
Mester, Philippe de (b. Nov. 23, 1955, Calais, France), prefect of Mayotte (2001-02).
Mestiri, Mahmoud, Arabic Mahmud al-Mastiri (b. Dec. 25, 1929, Tunis, Tunisia - d. June 28, 2006, Tunis), foreign minister of Tunisia (1987-88).
Mestre, Ramón (Bautista) (b. Aug. 21, 1937, General Cabrera, San Juan, Argentina - d. March 5, 2003, Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina), governor of Córdoba (1995-99), federal interventor in Corrientes (1999-2001), and interior minister of Argentina (2001). He was mayor of Córdoba city in 1983-91.
Meta, Ilir (Rexhep) (b. March 24, 1969, Skrapar, Albania), prime minister (1999-2002) and foreign minister (2002-03, 2009-10) of Albania. As prime minister he oversaw economic growth and construction of new roads while keeping inflation down, winning praise from the International Monetary Fund. But he resigned after months of quarreling with leaders of his Socialist Party crippled his efforts to deal with economic problems and dangerous power shortages caused by a harsh winter. In September 2004 he announced his resignation from the Socialist Party to found the new Socialist Movement for Integration. This entered a coalition with the Democratic Party in 2009, and he became deputy prime minister and foreign minister; in 2010 he took the post of economy minister. In April 2013 he left the coalition and allied his party with the Socialist Party; their alliance won elections in June and he was elected speaker of the new parliament in September.
Metaxas, Ioannis (Panagou) (b. April 12, 1871, Ithaca, Greece - d. Jan. 29, 1941, Athens, Greece), prime minister of Greece (1936-41). He graduated from the officers' school in 1890 and first saw active service in the Greco-Turkish war of 1897. Thereafter he was sent to Germany for higher military training, returning with a brilliant reputation in 1903. He joined the general staff in 1912, distinguished himself during the Balkan Wars (1912-13), and was promoted colonel and appointed chief of staff in 1913. During World War I he advised to maintain neutrality, opposing the plans of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos for the conquest of western Anatolia and correctly predicting the military catastrophe that resulted in 1922. He was promoted to general in 1916 and remained chief of staff until 1917, when he left the country after the deposition of King Konstantinos. He was tried for treason in absentia in 1920 but after the restoration of Konstantinos in the same year he returned to Greece with the king and he was pardoned in 1921. With the fall of the monarchy in 1923, he again temporarily left Greece, but returned and held ministerial office under the republic in 1928. During the next seven years he would not accept office, leading a small royalist party. After the monarchy's restoration in 1935 King Georgios II first appointed him minister of war, then prime minister in April 1936. On Aug. 4, 1936, he assumed dictatorial powers with the king's approval. His Fourth of August Regime, while oppressing left-wing opposition, was efficient in economic, defense, and foreign policy. Though it was outwardly similar to other fascist governments, Britain and France issued a territorial guarantee to Greece in 1939. In 1940 the Greek army was able to drive out Italian invaders. He died in office a few months before Germany overran Greece.
Métayer, Buteur (b. 1970? - d. June 8, 2005, Gonaïves, Haiti), president of Artibonite (2004). A former ally of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, he turned on the president after his brother, gang leader Amiot Métayer, was assassinated in September 2003. He accused Aristide of ordering the killing to silence his brother and stop him publishing damaging information about the Haitian leader. His Cannibal Army gang started a rebellion which was joined by ex-soldiers and toppled Aristide in February 2004. In the course of this rebellion, Métayer declared the separation of Artibonite province from Haiti, but this did not last; French troops arrived in Gonaïves on March 19 and the rebels agreed to lay down their arms.
Metcalfe (of Fern Hill), Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, (1st) Baron, (2nd) Baronet (b. Jan. 30, 1785, Calcutta [now Kolkata], India - d. Sept. 5, 1846, Malshanger, Hampshire, England), British colonial administrator. In 1803 he became personal secretary to the governor-general of India, Lord Wellesley. In the Third Maratha War (between the British and the Marathas of southwestern India) he was political assistant to Gen. Gerard Lake, and in 1808 he was sent as envoy to Ranjit Singh in Lahore to secure Sikh support against the French threat to India and acquiescence in British protection of the Sikh states east of the Sutlej River. He then served as resident in Gwalior (1810), Delhi (1811-19), and Hyderabad (1820-22), succeeding to the baronetcy on his father's death in 1822. He became a member of the Supreme Council in 1827, its president during Lord Bentinck's long tours upcountry, and, in March 1835, acting governor-general, on Bentinck's departure. He freed the press in India, made English the official language, and abolished transit duties. But the British government refused to have an East India Company official as governor-general and appointed Lord Auckland to the post. Metcalfe was made lieutenant governor of the North-Western Provinces in 1836, but resigned in 1838 after he was denied the governorship of Madras. In 1839 he was appointed governor of Jamaica, where he eased the transition after the emancipation of blacks. He resigned in 1842 and the following year accepted the governor-generalship of Canada, but he did not have the experience for understanding democratic party politics and he earned a diehard reputation. In 1845 he resigned for health reasons and was raised to the peerage, his titles becoming extinct on his death.
Metcalfe, Richard L(ee) (b. Oct. 11, 1861 - d. March 31, 1954, Omaha, Neb.), governor of the Panama Canal Zone (1913-14) and mayor of Omaha (1930-33).
Metefara, Marcel, foreign minister of the Central African Republic (1999-2001).
Meti, Lauofo, original name (until title of Lauofo conferred in 1963) Mac Raphael Meredith (b. Nov. 15, 1929, Apia, Western Samoa [now Samoa] - d. Sept. 27, 2008, New Zealand), foreign minister of Western Samoa (1982-84).
Metrikin, Rafail (Aleksandrovich) (b. 1943, Tashkent, Uzbek S.S.R.), prime minister of Kalmykia (1999).
Metzler(-Arnold), Ruth, née Arnold (b. May 23, 1964, Willisau, Luzern, Switzerland), justice minister (1999-2003) and vice president (2003) of Switzerland. In 2003 she became only the third federal councillor in Swiss history to be defeated for reelection.
Meyer, (Gustav) Alfred (Julius) (b. Oct. 5, 1891, Göttingen, Germany - d. [suicide] May 1945), Reichsstatthalter of Schaumburg-Lippe (1933-45).
Meyer, Laurenz (Donatus Karl) (b. Feb. 15, 1948, Salzkotten, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany), German politician; general secretary of the Christian Democratic Union (2000-05).
Meyer, Piet, acting premier of Western Cape (2002).
Meyers, Franz (b. July 31, 1908, München-Gladbach, Prussia [now Mönchengladbach, Nordrhein-Westfalen], Germany - d. Jan. 27, 2002, Mönchengladbach), minister-president of Nordrhein-Westfalen (1958-66).
Mezentsev, Dmitry (Fyodorovich) (b. Aug. 18, 1959, Leningrad, Russian S.F.S.R. [now St. Petersburg, Russia]), governor of Irkutsk oblast (2009-12) and secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (2012- ).
Mézodé, (Georges) Agba Otikpo, foreign minister of the Central African Republic (2001-03).
Mezouar, Salaheddine (b. Dec. 11, 1953, Meknes, Morocco), finance minister (2007-12) and foreign minister (2013- ) of Morocco.