Óscar Carmona

António Óscar Fragoso Carmona BTO ComC GCA ComSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔniu ˈɔʃkaɾ fɾɐˈɡozu kaɾˈmonɐ]; 24 November 1869 – 18 April 1951) was a Portuguese Army officer and politician who served as the 96th Prime Minister of Portugal from 1926 to 1928 and 11th President of Portugal from 1926 until his death in 1951. He also served as the Minister of War in late 1923 and in 1926, and he also served two times as a Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1926.

Óscar Carmona

President of Portugal
In office
29 November 1926 – 18 April 1951
Prime MinisterJosé Vicente de Freitas
Artur Ivens Ferraz
Domingos Oliveira
António de Oliveira Salazar
Preceded byManuel Gomes da Costa
Succeeded byFrancisco Craveiro Lopes
Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
9 July 1926 – 18 April 1928
DeputyAbílio Passos e Sousa
Preceded byManuel Gomes da Costa
Succeeded byJosé Vicente de Freitas
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
4 September 1926 – 24 September 1926
Preceded byBettencourt Rodrigues
Succeeded byBettencourt Rodrigues
In office
3 June 1926 – 6 July 1926
Prime MinisterJosé Mendes Cabeçadas
Manuel Gomes da Costa
Preceded byArmando da Gama Ochoa
Succeeded byMartinho Nobre de Melo
Minister of War
In office
9 July 1926 – 16 November 1926
Preceded byManuel Gomes da Costa
Succeeded byAbílio Passos e Sousa
In office
15 November 1923 – 18 December 1923
Prime MinisterAntónio Ginestal Machado
Preceded byAntónio Maria da Silva
Succeeded byAntónio Ribeiro de Carvalho
Personal details
António Óscar Fragoso Carmona

(1869-11-24)24 November 1869
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died18 April 1951(1951-04-18) (aged 81)
Lisbon, Portuguese Republic
Political partyNational Union (1932–1951)
Spouse(s)Maria do Carmo da Silva
ChildrenCesaltina Amélia
António Adérito
Maria Inês
Alma materPortuguese Military Academy
ProfessionArmy officer
AwardsOrder of Christ
Order of Aviz
Order of St. James of the Sword
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Portugal
Branch/service Portuguese Army
Years of service1889–1951
CommandsPortuguese Army 4th Division (1922–1925)

Political originEdit

Carmona was a republican and a freemason and was a quick adherent to the proclamation of the Portuguese First Republic on 5 October 1910. He was, however, never a sympathizer of the democratic form of government, and – as he would later confess in an interview to António Ferro – he only voted for the first time at the National Plebiscite of 1933. During the First Republic, he briefly served as War Minister in the government of António Ginestal Machado in 1923. Unlike the popular marshal Gomes da Costa, Carmona had not seen action in World War I.


Óscar Carmona by Henrique Medina

Carmona was very active in the 28th May coup d'état of 1926 that overthrew the First Republic. The first Council President, the commandant José Mendes Cabeçadas, a democratic sympathizer supported by the last republican president, Bernardino Machado, was succeeded in June by Manuel de Oliveira Gomes da Costa. Carmona, who had been the Minister for Foreign Affairs between 3 June and 6 July, was the leader of the most conservative and authoritarian wing of the military regime, which considered the more moderate Gomes da Costa a liability. On 9 July, he led a countercoup together with general João José Sinel de Cordes, named himself President, and immediately assumed dictatorial powers. He was formally elected to the office in 1928, as the only candidate.

In 1928 Carmona appointed António de Oliveira Salazar as Minister of Finance. Impressed by Salazar's charisma and qualities, Carmona nominated Salazar as Prime Minister in 1932, and largely turned over control of the government to him.

In 1933, a new constitution officially established the "Estado Novo". On paper, the new document codified the dictatorial powers Carmona had exercised since 1928. However, in practice he was now little more than a figurehead; Salazar held the real power. On paper, the president's power to dismiss Salazar was the only check on his power. However, Carmona mostly allowed Salazar a free hand. He was re-elected without opposition in 1935 and 1942 for seven-year terms. In 1935, he signed the law that forbade Freemasonry in Portugal reluctantly, due to his own Freemason past.

Although the democratic opposition was allowed to contest elections after World War II, Carmona was not on friendly terms with it. When the opposition demanded that the elections be delayed in order to give them more time to organize, Carmona turned them down.

However, there were widespread rumors that Carmona supported the failed military uprising in 1947, which was led by general José Marques Godinho to overthrow Salazar, under the condition that he would remain as President of the Republic. Probably to end these rumors, Carmona finally accepted the title of Marshal.

In 1949, Carmona, 79 years old, sought his fourth term as president. For the first time, he actually faced an opponent in General José Norton de Matos. However, after the regime refused to allow Matos to actually run a campaign, he pulled out of the race on 12 February, handing Carmona another term.

Carmona died two years later, in 1951, after 24 years as the President of the Republic. He was buried in the Church of Santa Engrácia, National Pantheon, in Lisbon.

Personal lifeEdit

He was born to Alvaro Rosario Teixeira Carmona, a Portuguese Naval officer from Felgueiras, based in Brazil and part of the Portuguese Military Attache's staff in Brazil. In January 1914, Carmona married Maria do Carmo Ferreira da Silva (Chaves, 28 September 1878 – 13 March 1956), daughter of Germano da Silva and wife Engrácia de Jesus. With this marriage, he legitimized their three children.

He is the grand-uncle of the former Mayor of Lisbon Carmona Rodrigues (2004–2007). He is also cousin of Brazilian President Augusto Tasso Fragoso.[1]



Carmona wrote a book of rules for the Cavalry School in 1913.


The town of Uíge, Angola, used to be called Carmona after him.[4] It had that name until 1975 when the Portuguese Overseas Province of Angola became independent. He was also portrayed in the Angolan escudo banknote issue of 1972.[5]


  1. ^ Augusto Tasso Fragoso
  2. ^ a b c d e "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  3. ^ Jefatura del Estado: "DECRETO nombrando Caballero de la Orden Imperial de las Flechas Rojas, otorgádole el Gran Collar, a S. E. el Presidente de la República Portuguesa, General Antonio Oscar de Fragoso Carmona" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado núm. 139, de 19 de mayo de 1939. p. 2719. ISSN 0212-033X.
  4. ^ Angola-Carmona (Viagem ao Passado)-Kandando Angola on YouTube, a film of Carmona, Portuguese Angola (before 1975)
  5. ^ Angola - Banco de Angola 24.11.1972 "Marechal Carmona" Issue Bank Note Museum

External linksEdit

Preceded by
King of Sweden
Gustaf V
The oldest current head of state
October 29, 1950 - April 18, 1951
Succeeded by
President of Finland
Juho Kusti Paasikivi
Political offices
Preceded by
Manuel Gomes da Costa
Prime Minister of Portugal
Succeeded by
José Vicente de Freitas
Preceded by
Gomes da Costa
President of Portugal
Succeeded by
António de Oliveira Salazar (interim)