Juan Carlos I
Juan Carlos I (1938– ), king of Spain since 1975. Groomed as Gen. Francisco Franco's successor, he was so named in 1969. In 1975, when Franco died, he became the first Spanish king since the deposition of his grandfather (1931). He proved to be an unexpectedly strong force for stability and democracy and was instrumental in thwarting an attempted right-wing military coup in 1981.
See also: Spain.