Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, better known as Evita Peron. She was the second wife of Argentine President Juan Peron. A radio and screen actress before her marriage, she became a major political influence. Idolized by the poor, her husband's government lost support after her death at the young age of 33. The musical Evita is based on her life. She was able to act as a bridge between the government and the working class. She assisted in the creation of her image by purchasing the newspaper Democracia. She also formed the Eva Peron Foundation, a charitable organization for the poor that grew to be her major vehicle for implementing social programs and reforms. In 1948, she helped complete a housing project, installed drinking water facilities, opened a transitional home for women, and worked to improve the education and living conditions of the country's poor. Through the Eva Peron Foundation, she created more than 1,000 new schools. Although some criticized her for questionable use of funds and for crowding out other charitable efforts, to "her people" Evita was evolving from the image of a generous mother into that of a saint and a martyr.