Lacerda in 1962
|2nd Governor of Guanabara|
5 December 1960 – 11 October 1965
|Preceded by||José Sette Câmara|
|Succeeded by||Raphael Magalhães|
|Federal Deputy for the Federal District|
15 March 1955 – 14 April 1960
30 April 1914|
Vassouras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
21 May 1977 (aged 63)|
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Alma mater||National Faculty of Law|
Journalist (Columnist of Correio da Manhã)|
Publisher (Owner of Tribuna da Imprensa and Nova Fronteira)
He started his journalism career at Diário de Notícias (English: Daily News) in 1929. In 1949 he founded the newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa (English: Press Tribune).
Starting his political career in 1947, Lacerda was elected to the legislative chamber (city council) of the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 1950, he was elected a National Democratic Union representative for the state of Rio in the Chamber of Deputies. He became well known for his uncompromising opposition of the government of President Getúlio Vargas and even demanded the overthrow of Vargas.
He survived an assassination attempt in August 1954, which became known as the crime of Rua Tonelero. It is widely believed by historians to have been made by men acting under the orders of Gregório Fortunato, O Anjo Negro (Portuguese for "The Black Angel"), a black man, who was the head of Vargas' personal bodyguards. Brazilian Air Force Major Rubens Vaz was killed in the attempt, and Lacerda was slightly injured. That sparked a political crisis that culminated with the suicide of Vargas.
Lacerda was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies later in 1954, with more votes than any other candidate. He also opposed the government of President Juscelino Kubitschek.
Lacerda was elected governor of Guanabara State, comprising Rio, in 1960. His administration was praised by the US government and the IMF for his efforts to solve some chronic problems of Rio such as water services, public transportation and housing. As part of this drive, Lacerda ordered areas of the city - often areas targeted by developers - to be cleared of the inhabitants. Over this period, up to 140,000 people were evicted, mostly from the three favelas on the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, located near the beaches of the city’s south zone.
An opinionated and controversial politician, Lacerda was involved in the crisis of the resignation of President Jânio Quadros in 1961 and conspired against the presidency of João Goulart. Hoping to be elected president in the 1965 elections, Lacerda initially supported the military coup d'état of 1964 and was nominated the UDN candidate. Since the military was not willing to give up power, the 1965 elections were cancelled, and Lacerda definitely fell from the military's favor. In 1968, his efforts to restore democracy in Brazil made him ally with his old enemies, Kubitschek and Goulart, and Lacerda was arrested for a brief period and stripped of his right to run for political office for ten years. Then, he retired from politics and resumed his journalism and publishing career. In 1977, he died suddenly in Rio de Janeiro from a heart attack.
He is also mentioned in the book, "Child of the Dark", The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus.