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Francisco Craveiro Lopes

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Francisco Higino Craveiro Lopes (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɾɐ̃ˈsiʃku iˈʒinu kɾɐˈvɐjɾu ˈlɔpɨʃ]), GCTE, ComC, GCA, (12 April 1894 – 2 September 1964) was a Portuguese politician and military man. Decorated with the Order of the Bath and the Royal Victorian Chain, he was the 12th President of the Portuguese Republic between 1951 and 1958.

Francisco Craveiro Lopes
General Francisco Higino Craveiro Lopes, Presidente de Portugal.tif
12th President of Portugal
In office
9 August 1951 – 9 August 1958
Prime MinisterAntónio de Oliveira Salazar
Preceded byÓscar Carmona
Succeeded byAmérico Tomás
Interim Governor-General of the Portuguese India
In office
17 September 1936 – 12 July 1938
PresidentÓscar Carmona
Preceded byJoão Carlos Craveiro Lopes
Succeeded byJosé Ricardo Pereira Cabral
Personal details
Francisco Higino Craveiro Lopes

(1894-04-12)12 April 1894
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died2 September 1964(1964-09-02) (aged 70)
Lisbon, Portuguese Republic
Political partyNational Union
Spouse(s)Berta da Costa Ribeiro Arthur
ProfessionAir force officer
AwardsOrder of Christ
Order of Aviz
Order of the Tower and Sword
Order of the Bath
Royal Victorian Chain
Military service
Branch/servicePortuguese Air Force
Years of service1911–1964
RankMarshal of the air force

Early life and careerEdit

Born in Lisbon, he was a son of João Carlos Craveiro Lopes, Portuguese army general and 122nd Governor-General of Portuguese India (1929–1936) and his wife Júlia Clotilde Cristiano Salinas.

He concluded his Colégio Militar studies by 1911, having then entered the Escola Politécnica de Lisboa, in the same year he joined a cavalry regiment. He succeeded his father as the 123rd General Governor of Portuguese India (1936–1938).[1]


Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar chose Craveiro Lopes as the regime's presidential candidate in 1951 to succeed the late Óscar Carmona. As the electoral system was heavily rigged in favour of Salazar's National Union, this made Craveiro Lopes' election a foregone conclusion. He was elected unopposed after the only other candidate withdrew before election day.

Under the Constitution, the president was vested with near-dictatorial powers. In practice, Carmona had mostly turned over the government to Salazar. However, unlike Carmona, Craveiro Lopes was not content to be a mere puppet. He did not, however, go as far as to dismiss Salazar; for all intents and purposes, the president's power to remove Salazar from office was the only check on Salazar's power.

Nevertheless, Salazar picked the seemingly more pliant naval minister, Américo Tomás, as the regime's candidate in 1958. The Democratic Opposition then invited Craveiro Lopes to be their candidate, but he knew he stood no chance of winning and refused. The regime, however, as compensation promoted him to Marshal. He was involved in the failed military attempt to overthrow Salazar, in 1961, led by the Defence Minister, general Júlio Botelho Moniz.

He died in Lisbon on 2 September 1964.


He married Berta Ribeiro Artur (Lisbon, Pena, 15 October 1899 – Lisbon, Santa Maria de Belém, 5 July 1958), natural daughter of Engineer Sezinando Ribeiro Artur (Lisbon, 1875 – Lourenço Marques, 1918) by Maria Clara Pereira, by whom he had four children.


  1. ^ AJAX Club Bologna. "Goa 1510-1961".
Political offices
Preceded by
Óscar Carmona
President of Portugal

Succeeded by
Américo Tomás