Juan Antonio Samaranch

Juan Antonio Samaranch bigraphy, stories - Sports administrator, diplomat

Juan Antonio Samaranch : biography

17 July 1920 – 21 April 2010

Don Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquis of Samaranch, Grandee of Spain (17 July 1920 – 21 April 2010), known in Catalan as Joan Antoni Samaranch i Torelló, l’Enciclopèdia. Barcelona: Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana. (), was a Catalan Spanish sports administrator who served as the seventh President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001.Obituary The Times, 22 April 2010.Obituary The Guardian, 22 April 2010. – The Independent Obituary – 22 April 2010 (By Martin Childs) Samaranch served the second longest term as the head of the IOC, the longest being that of Pierre de Coubertin (29 years).

Business and political career

After the defeat of the Republic in 1939, Samaranch studied commerce at IESE Business School in Barcelona. He had a short career as a sports journalist for La Prensa, which ended in his dismissal in 1943 for criticizing the supporters of Real Madrid C.F. after that club’s 11–1 defeat of FC Barcelona, and then joined his family’s textile business. He joined the board of La Caixa, Spain’s largest savings bank, in 1984, and served as President of the board from 1987 to 1999. He remained as honorary president from his retirement in 1999 to his death.

Samaranch served on the municipal government of Barcelona, with responsibility for sports, from 1955 to 1962. He was a procurador (member of the lower house) of the Cortes Españolas during the last decade of the Franco regime, from 1964 until the restoration of democracy in 1977. From 1967 to 1971, he also served as "national delegate" (minister) for sports, and from 1973 to 1977 he was the president of the diputación (governing council) of the Province of Barcelona. He was appointed Spanish ambassador to the Soviet Union and Mongolia in 1977, immediately after the restoration of diplomatic relations between the countries: this post helped him to gain the support of the Soviet bloc countries in the election to the presidency of the IOC, held in Moscow in 1980.

chef de mission

Honours and awards

  • Commander with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1994)
  • Grand Gold Medal with Star for Services to the Republic of Austria (1994)http://www.sportministerium.at/files/doc/Auszeichnungen-Ehrungen/Hall-of-Fame.pdf
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (1980, Spain)
  • Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya (1985)
  • Order of Friendship of Peoples (Soviet Union, 1994)
  • Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, First Class (2003, Estonia)
  • Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (2000)
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav ("Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee, which included the Croatian Olympic sport in the great community of the Olympic movement worldwide, contributing to the international recognition of sovereign and independent Republic of Croatia. Its merit is that it has enabled the Croatian athletes for the first time in history to use their national symbols in the Olympics in Albertville and Barcelona, and are thus permanently incorporated in the global Olympic family. Another exception is the act have included the Republic of Croatia in the International Olympic Committee before it was invited as a member of the United Nations." – 26 August 1993)
  • Order of the Golden Fleece (Georgia) – 2001
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (Lithuania, 4 April 1994)
  • Order of the Republic (Moldova) (14 May 1999)
  • Order of Honour (Russia, 25 June 2001)
  • Order of the White Double Cross, 1st Class (Slovakia, 2000)Slovak republic website, : 1st Class in 2000 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders’ table)
  • Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise Third class (Ukraine, 21 May 2005)
  • Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, First Class (1981)
  • In 1982 he was awarded the Cup Stadium for the promotion of Spanish sport.
  • In 1985 he received the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia
  • In 1988 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports and the Peace Prize awarded by South Korea.
  • Member of the Académie Française des Sports
  • In 1986 he was named president of the credit institution La Caixa, which was already a member advisor since 1984.
  • In 1991 he was awarded the noble title of Marquis of Samaranch
  • Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Alicante (1992), University of Huelva, Universidad Camilo José Cela (2002) and Universidad Europea de Madrid (2009)
  • Honorary Member of the Club de Santander Palomar