José Ortega y Gasset, 1883 - 1955

portrait of Jose Ortega y Gasset
1920 press portrait

Born: 9 May 1883, Madrid, Spain
Died: 18 October 1955, Madrid, Spain

Ortega y Gasset was the son of the director of a newspaper, El Imparcial, owned by his mother's family. Educated first by Jesuits at Málaga, he then went to a Basque college, took his PhD in philosophy at Madrid, and spent several years at universities in Germany (Leipzig, Nuremberg, Berlin, Köln, and Marburg). He returned to Madrid as a professor and began publishing his essays in El Sol, including the work that became The Revolt of the Masses. He opposed the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, took a seat in parliament after the overthrow of King Alfonso XIII in 1931, and was the civil governor of Madrid during the Second Republic. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he fled to Argentina, returning to Europe in 1945 and to Madrid in 1948, where he founded the Institute of Humanities at which he lectured. His lectures on philosophy, society, and art became the bulk of his written work. The quotes have, of course, been translated into English.

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