Born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1928, Ernesto “Che” Guevara de la Serna studied medicine before traveling around South America, observing conditions that spurred his Marxist beliefs. He aided Fidel Castro in overturning the Batista government in the late 1950s, and then held key political offices during Castro’s regime. Guevara later engaged in guerrilla action elsewhere, including in Bolivia, where he was captured and executed in 1967.
Che Guevara was born into a middle-class family on June 14, 1928, in Rosario, Argentina. He was plagued by asthma in his youth but still managed to distinguish himself as an athlete. He also absorbed the left-leaning political views of his family and friends, and by his teens had become politically active, joining a group that opposed the government of Juan Perón.
After graduating from high school with honors, Guevara studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, but in 1951 he left the school to travel around South America with a friend. The poor living conditions he witnessed on their nine-month journey had a profound effect on Guevara, and he returned to medical school the following year, intent on providing care for the needy. He received his degree in 1953.