- Baron of Rio Branco (1845-1912)
- Brigadier Eduardo Gomes (1896-1981)
- Chico Mendes (1944-1988)
- Don Hélder Câmara (1909-1999)
- Dom Pedro I (1798-1834)
- Marçal de Souza Tupã-Y (1920-1983)
- Luís Gama (1830 - 1882)
- Getúlio Vargas (1882-1954)
- André Rebouças (1838 - 1898)
- Admiral Tamandaré (1807-1897)
- Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, Tiradentes (1746 - 1792)
- Duque de Caxias (1803-1880)
- Friar Caneca (1779-1825)
- Zumbi dos Palmares (1655 - 1695)
- Joaquim Nabuco (1849 - 1910)
- Sobral Pinto (1893-1991)
- José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838)
- José Lutzenberger (1926-2002)
- Princess Isabel (1846 - 1921)
- Juscelino Kubitschek (1902 - 1976)
- Marshal Rondon (1865-1958)
- Maria Quitéria (1792 - 1853)
- Orlando Villas-Bôas (1914-2002)
Baron of Rio Branco (1845-1912)
The Baron of Rio Branco, a world personality without borders, played a decisive part in the final establishment of Brazil’s territorial borders. Until the age of 50 he had had a relatively discreet existence. Then he lifted up the myth of the hero diplomat who, without firing a single shot, added more than 900 thousand square kilometres to Brazilian territory.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, José Maria da Silva Paranhos Junior grew up imbibed in diplomacy and rhetoric. The son of the Viscount of Rio Branco, who negotiated the end of the Paraguay War, quite often he was the first to hear his father’s speeches. At the age of 17, he entered the Law University of São Paulo. He got a bachelor’s degree in 1866, in Recife. He spent two years in Europe, returning to Brazil in 1869. After that, he was a History Teacher at Pedro II School (Colégio Pedro II), a State Attorney in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, and also a journalist. He accompanied his father on several diplomatic missions. At the age of 31, he became the Brazilian Consul General in Liverpool.
In 1884, he presided over the Brazilian delegation at the Exhibition of St Petersburg, in Russia. At the time, he prepared Memoirs of Brazil, one of the most important documents on the history of the diplomatic service in the country. In 1891, already bearing the title of Baron of Rio Branco, he became the general superintendent for Europe dealing with emigration to Brazil. In 1893, he became a key personality of the whole diplomatic process which resulted in the drawing of the permanent map of Brazil. He took over the negotiations with Argentina in the dispute over the Western Missions territory in Paraná and Santa Catarina states. He handed over a report in six volumes to the then President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, who was the arbitrator for this impasse. This report, The Boundary Issue between Brazil and Argentina, was essential in getting the Brazilian requests met.
In 1898, in seven volumes, he presented the arguments for the permanent annexation of Amapá. In 1900, the Swiss Government, the mediator for this issue, gave an opinion statement in favour of Brazil. He was then appointed as a full-empowered minister. Two years after that, he became Foreign Minister. In 1903, he signed the Treaty of Petrópolis, ending a long dispute between Brazil and Bolivia over the territory of Acre. Between 1904 and 1910, he hammered out important peace treaties with Ecuador, Suriname (then Dutch Guiana), Colombia, Peru and Argentina. When he died, on 10 February 1912, he left a legacy including greater closeness with other countries in Latin America and also with the United States.
100 Brazilians Book (100 Brasileiros) (2004)