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Ángel González author's photo

Ángel González was born in Oviedo, Asturias, in 1925. He grew up in the midst of social revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the Franco dictatorship. After studying law and journalism, Ángel earned his living as a journalist and worked in the Spanish civil service. He had begun writing poetry in the early 1940s and over the next three decades he established himself as a major Spanish poet. Around 1970-72, Ángel found himself increasingly hard pressed because of the decidedly anti-Franco tone of his more overtly political poems. He decided to go abroad and since the early 70s has divided his time between his homes in Madrid and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Internationally, Ángel González is one of the most highly regarded contemporary Spanish poets. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Literary Prize in 1985 and in 1996 he was elected a member of the Spanish Royal Academy for literary excellence. That same year, he received the Queen Sofia Prize for Ibero-American Poetry. Other honors include the Antonio Machado Prize, granted in France in 1961, Premio Internacional Son Latinos, awarded in 2004 in Tenerife, and the Federico Garcia Lorca International Prize for Poetry.

Angel Gonzalez, one of Spain's most acclaimed poets and a member of the literary community who opposed the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, has died at the age of 82.Gonzalez died Saturday morning in hospital, where he had been admitted for pneumonia. His remains were cremated Sunday after a memorial at a Madrid cemetery.

"It is too early for him to have left, although I am glad he died without having fallen into decadence," said novelist Almudena Grandes. "He was a mentor to all of us. He exercised literary and vital authority."

Originally from the city of Oviedo in northern Spain, the poet and intellectual pursued a law degree and work as a civil administrator in Madrid before starting his writing career in the 1950s. He found critical success from his very first book, Aspero mundo (Harsh World), and soon befriended others in the writing community.He also became a member of the literary movement Generation of 1950, which resisted the 1939-1975 regime of Franco.

Gonzalez, who went on to publish books of poetry and edited several anthologies, won the Prince of Asturias Award as well as a myriad of other honours in Spain, across Europe and in the U.S. He was also named a member of the Spanish Royal Academy, the official watchdog that monitors the Spanish language.

The poet left Spain in the 1972, spending about two decades in the United States, where he taught at the University of New Mexico. He remained in the U.S. even after retiring, deciding to return to his homeland only in 2003.

Gonzalez is survived by his widow, Susana Rivera

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