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Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (1783-1830), known as Simon Bolivar, was credited with leading the armed struggle for independence in South America against the armies of the colonial power, Spain. Throughout South America he is known as El Libertador (The Liberator) and is regarded as the George Washington of that continent. Born in Caracas in present-day Venezuela, his wife died of yellow fever only a year after their marriage & he never re-married. His family were descended from aristocrats in the Basque country but derived much of their fortune from owning & exploiting gold & copper mines in Venezuela. Bolivar later used part of this income to finance his revolutionary campaigns. In 1804 he was in Europe and part of Napoleon's retinue but in 1807, after Joseph Bonaparte was made King of Spain & its colonies, Bolivar returned to help the resistance juntas in South America. In 1813 he acquired a military command in the province of New Granada (present-day Colombia), and led the invasion of Venezuela, capturing Caracas in August, 1813. In 1814, having already been proclaimed "El Libertador", he commanded a Colombian nationalist force & proceeded to capture Bogotá from dissenting republican forces but had to flee, after a political & military fall-out, to Jamaica & thence to Haiti, from where he enlisted the help of the Haitian leader, Pétion, to land in Venezuela & capture Angostura. Further notable victories over Spanish forces at Boyacá (1819) & Carabobo (1821) followed and the federation of Gran Colombia was created in September 1821 (comprising most of present-day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama & Ecuador). Bolivar then went on to complete the liberation of Peru & in 1824 was named dictator of that country, decisively defeating the colonial power at Junín in August of that year. A year later the Republic of Bolivia, named after it's liberator, was created in Upper Peru & Bolivar drafted its new constitution. However, the vast federation of Gran Colombia was plagued by internal divisions & uprisings & in 1828 Bolivar declared himself dictator as a temporary measure to try & save the republic. Following a failed assasination attempt, he resigned the presidency & died of TB in 1830.