On what would have been his 91st birthday, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is being honored as the Google Doodle on March 6, 2018. Here’s everything to know about him.
1. The early years. For the first several years of his life, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was raised by his maternal grandparents. Both grandparents were avid storytellers and are said to have an influence on his future career as a writer. As a preteen, Gabriel began writing poems, and by the time he got to high school, he started having his work published in the school magazine. He went on to study law at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and started itching to become a writer. He began a career as a journalist while at law school, writing for local newspapers. He also critiqued films as part of his journalism career.
2. Gabriel’s big break. Gabriel published his first novella, Leaf Storm, in 1955. The story he really wanted to write, though, was based on the home he grew up in with his grandparents. After 18 straight months of writing, he published One Hundred Years Of Solitude in 1967 and it became his most successful novel. He went on to publish a dictator novel, challenging the role of the dictator in Latin American society, called Autumn of the Patriarch, in 1975. Gabriel published several more books after that, along with various screenplays.
3. He was widely recognized for his work. Gabriel was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 for “his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.” He was also given the Romulo Gallegos Prize in 1972. Much of his recognition came from the success of One Hundred Years Of Solitude.
4. Work in politics. Gabriel was very passionate about politics, and formed friendships with many powerful leaders, like Fidel Castro, after his gaining notoriety as a writer. He even acted as a facilitator between the Colombian Government and guerilla groups fighting against it.
5. Personal life. Gabriel married Mercedes Barcha in 1958. Their son, Rodrigo Garcia, was born the next year. He went on to become a director. Their son, Gonzalo, who went on to become a graphic designer, was born three years after that. Gabriel was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1999, and started writing his memoirs after going into remission. It was revealed in 2012 that he was suffering from dementia. He became very ill in April 2014 and was hospitalized in Mexico. He died of pneumonia at 87 years old later that month.