García Márquez signing a copy of 100 Years of Solitude in Havana, Cuba.
|Born:||March 6, 1927, (age 80) |
|Occupation:||novelist, journalist, publisher, political activist, and short story writer.|
|Influences:||William Faulkner, Sophocles, Franz Kafka, Juan Rulfo, Vladimir Nabokov, Günter Grass, Dostoevsky, G.K. Chesterton|
|Influenced:||Will Self, Salman Rushdie|
Gabriel José García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, Magdalena) is a Colombian novelist, journalist, publisher, political activist, and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. Gabriel García Márquez has lived mostly in Mexico and Europe and currently spends much of his time in Mexico City. Widely credited with introducing the global public to magical realism, he has secured both significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success. Many people hold that García Márquez ranks alongside his co-writers of the Latin American Boom, Jorge Luis Borges, Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortázar as one of the world's greatest 20th-century authors.
Gabriel García Márquez is the father of television and film director Rodrigo Garcia.
Gabriel García Márquez was born in the Colombian town of Aracataca, Magdalena. His parents left him to be reared by his grandparents. After starting his early education at a boarding school in Barranquilla, García Márquez at the age of 12 was awarded a scholarship to a secondary school for gifted students called the Liceo Nacional in Zipaquirá which he attended until he was 18. He then moved 30 miles south to Bogotá and studied law and journalism at the National University of Colombia and later at the University of Cartagena.
García Márquez began his career as a reporter and editor for regional newspapers — El Heraldo in Barranquilla and El Universal in Cartagena. It was during this time that he became an active member of the informal group of writers and journalists known as the Barranquilla Group, an association that provided great motivation and inspiration for his literary career. García Márquez then worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, India, and New York City.
García Márquez's first major work was The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (Relato de un náufrago), which he wrote as a newspaper series in 1955. The book told the true story of a shipwreck by exposing the fact that the existence of contraband aboard a Colombian Navy vessel had contributed to the tragedy due to overweight. This resulted in public controversy, as it discredited the official account of the events, which had blamed a storm for the shipwreck and glorified the surviving sailor. This led to the beginning of his foreign correspondence, as García Márquez became a sort of persona non grata to the government of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. The series was later published in 1970 and taken by many to have been written as a novel.
Several of his works have been classified as both fiction and non-fiction, notably Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Crónica de una muerte anunciada) (1981), which tells the tale of a revenge killing recorded in the newspapers, and Love in the Time of Cholera (El amor en los tiempos del cólera) (1985), which is loosely based on the story of his parents' courtship. Many of his works, including those two, take place in the "García Márquez universe," in which characters, places, and events reappear from book to book. The works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez often cross genres and most integrate at least a few elements of magical realism. Furthermore, many of his novels and short stories integrate actual history as well as complete fabrication, making his genres sometimes difficult to pin down.
His most commercially successful novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad) (1967; English translation by Gregory Rabassa 1970), has sold more than 10 million copies. It chronicles several generations of the Buendía family who live in a fictional South American village called Macondo. García Márquez won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize in 1972 for One Hundred Years of Solitude. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982, with his short stories and novels cited as the basis for the award.
In 2002, he published the memoir Vivir para contarla, the first of a projected three-volume autobiography. The book was a bestseller in the Spanish-speaking world. Edith Grossman's English translation, Living to Tell the Tale, was published in November 2003 and has become another bestseller. On September 10, 2004, the Bogotá daily El Tiempo announced a new novel, Memoria de mis putas tristes (Memories of My Melancholy Whores), a love story that follows the romance of a 90-year old man and a drugged, pubescent concubine, was published the following October with a first print run of one million copies.
García Márquez is noted for his friendship with Cuban president Fidel Castro and has previously expressed sympathy for some Latin American revolutionary groups, especially during the 1960s and 1970s. He has also been critical of the political situation in Colombia.
In different circumstances, García Márquez has occasionally acted as a low profile facilitator in several negotiations between the Colombian government and the guerrillas, including the former 19th of April Movement and the current FARC and ELN organizations.  
On January 26, 2006, García Márquez joined other internationally renowned figures such as Mario Benedetti, Ernesto Sábato, Thiago de Mello, Eduardo Galeano, Carlos Monsiváis, Pablo Armando Fernández, Jorge Enrique Adoum, Pablo Milanés, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Mayra Montero and Ana Lydia Vega, in demanding sovereignty for Puerto Rico and joining the Latin American and Caribbean Congress for the Independence of Puerto Rico, which approved a resolution favoring the island-nation's right to assert its independence, as ratified unanimously by political parties hailing from twenty two Latin American countries in November of 2006
In 1999, García Márquez was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. This event incited García Márquez to start writing his memoirs. In 2000, his impending death was incorrectly reported by Peruvian daily newspaper La Republica. The next day other newspapers republished his farewell poem. Later the poem was determined to be the work of a Mexican ventriloquist.
A number of films have been made of García Márquez's work (such as Ruy Guerra's Eréndira), but few have been critical or popular successes. Most recently, British director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) has begun production in Cartagena, Colombia, of a film based on García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, the screenplay of which has been written by Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist"). The film's cast includes Spaniard Javier Bardem and Italian Giovanna Mezzogiorno, as well as Colombian actress Catalina Sandino. Colombian-born U.S. actor John Leguizamo and Benjamin Bratt, of Peruvian descent, will also star.