Simón Bolívar (Born 24 July 1783), generally and colloquially known as El Libertador (The Liberator), was a Venezuelan military and political leader who led what are currently the countries of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama to independence from the Spanish Empire.
Bolívar was born into a wealthy family and was sent to be educated abroad at a young age, arriving in Spain when he was 16 and later moving to France. While in Europe he was introduced to the ideas of the Enlightenment, which later motivated him to overthrow the reigning Spanish in colonial South America. Taking advantage of the disorder in Spain prompted by the Peninsular War, Bolívar began his campaign for independence in 1808. He established an organized national congress and was victorious at the Battle of Carabobo in 1821, which effectively made Venezuela an independent country.
Bolívar participated in the foundation of the first union of independent nations in Latin America, Gran Colombia, of which he was president from 1819 to 1830. Through further military campaigns, he ousted Spanish rulers from Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, the last of which was named after him. He was simultaneously president of Gran Colombia (present-day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador), Peru, and Bolivia, but soon after, his second-in-command, Antonio José de Sucre, was appointed president of Bolivia. Bolívar aimed at a strong and united Spanish America able to cope not only with the threats emanating from Spain and the European Holy Alliance but also with the emerging power of the United States. At the peak of his power, Bolívar ruled over a vast territory from the Argentine border to the Caribbean Sea.
Bolívar fought 100 battles, of which 79 were important ones, and during his campaigns rode on horseback 70,000 kilometers, which is 10 times more than Hannibal, three times more than Napoleon, and twice as much as Alexander the Great. Bolívar is viewed as a national icon in much of modern South America, and is considered one of the great heroes of the Hispanic independence movements of the early 19th century. (Deceased 17 December, 1830)