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Eamon De Valera

De Valera, Eamon (1882–1975), Irish statesman; prime minister 1932–48, 1951–54, and 1957–58; and president of Ireland 1959–73. Born in New York City, he was raised in Ireland, and became an ardent republican. Only his U.S. citizenship saved him from execution after the 1916 Easter Rebellion. He was imprisoned by the Irish Free State for refusing to recognize the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1922; in 1924 he organized the Fianna Fáil Party, which won power in 1932. As prime minister he declared Ireland independent of Britain (1937), and preserved Irish neutrality during World War II.

See also: Ireland; Sinn Féin.

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