León María Guerrero III

León María Ignacio Agapito Guerrero y Francisco, KGCR (March 24, 1915 – June 24, 1982), better known simply as Leon Ma. Guerrero III, was a Filipino diplomat and novelist, and was one of the foremost Filipino nationalists of his era. A partner in the law practice of senator Claro M. Recto, he became Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs during the Magsaysay administration. His then controversial advocacy of Asia for the Asians and espousal of a realistic re-examination of relations with the United States are now commonly accepted as being ahead of their time.

León María Guerrero III
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Kingdom
In office
PresidentRamon Magsaysay
Carlos P. Garcia
Preceded byJosé E. Romero
Succeeded byMelquiades J. Gamboa
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to Spain
In office
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to India
In office
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to Mexico
In office
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to Yugoslavia
In office
Personal details
León María Ignacio Agapito Guerrero y Francisco

24 March 1915
Ermita, Manila, Philippine Islands
Died24 June 1982(1982-06-24) (aged 67)
Manila, Philippines
Spouse(s)Anita Escaño Corominas
Margaret Rose Burke
Alma materAteneo de Manila University
Philippine Law School
ProfessionDiplomat, Lawyer, Writer

Early lifeEdit

Leoni, as his family called him, was born on 24 March 1915 in Ermita, Manila to one of the nation's most prominent families.[1][2][3][4] His parents were Dr. Alfredo León Guerrero and Filomena Francisco, the first Filipino woman pharmacist. His sister, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, would also be grow up to be a journalist and one of the most preeminent figures in Philippine letters.

His paternal grandfather was León María Guerrero y Leogardo, a distinguished botanist, Malolos Congress delegate and member of the first Philippine Assembly. His maternal grandfather was Gabriel Beato Francisco, a journalist who had been manager of El Comercio, the foremost mercantile newspaper during the Spanish regime.

In 1938, he married Anita Corominas of Cebu. She was the daughter of Don Jose Corominas and Doña Paz Escaño. Her maternal grandparents were Don Fernando Escaño and Doña Agustina Faelnar. Her niece was married to the son of José E. Romero, the first Philippine ambassador to the Court of St. James's.

Later lifeEdit

On retirement he was the country's senior career diplomat, having served as ambassador in London, Madrid, New Delhi, Mexico City and Belgrade. On June 19, 1982, only a few days before he died, he received the, Gawad Mabini, the highest award in the Philippine Foreign Service.

He held the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Knights of Rizal. Among his many works are internationally acclaimed translations of José Rizal's Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo. He also wrote the biography of Rizal: The First Filipino.


  • Twilight in Tokyo 1946
  • Passion and Death of the USAFFE 1947
  • Report from Europe 1951
  • Alternatives for Asians 1957
  • An Asian on Asia 1958
  • The First Filipino 1962 (Awarded first prize in the Rizal Biography Contest under the auspices of the José Rizal National Centennial Commission.)
  • El Si y El No. 1963. (Winner of the Premio Zobel)
  • Las Dos Muertes de General Aguinaldo (1964)
  • Two Friars in Exodus (A Contribution to Studies in Philippine Church History) 1969
  • The Philippine Revolution by Apolinario Mabini 1969
  • Today Began Yesterday 1975
  • We Filipinos (Posthumous anthology of his writings) 1984


  • Noli Me Tangere, by José Rizal 1961
  • El Filibusterismo, by José Rizal 1962

Honors and AwardsEdit


  1. ^ Guerrero, León Maria III (1963). The First Filipino: A Biography of Jose Rizal. Manila: National Historical Institute of The Philippines.
  2. ^ Nakpil, Carmen Guerrero (December 2006). Myself, Elsewhere. San Juan, Manila: Circe Communications Inc. p. 191. ISBN 978-971-93760-0-2.
  3. ^ Fernandez, E. (2017). The Diplomat-Scholar: A Biography of Leon Ma. Guerrero. ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute. ISBN 978-981-47-6222-9
  4. ^ Guerrero, D. (2010). LMG. The Leon Ma. Guerrero Anthology. Guerrero Publishing. ISBN 978-971-94828-0-2
  5. ^ "Our Story". Knights of Rizal.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)