Ernesto "Che" Guevara (born June 14, 1928, executed October 9th, 1967) was an Argentine guerrilla leader, with Fidel Castro, during the Cuban Revolution who remains a cultural icon for many in the present day.
Guevara was the eldest of five children born in Rosario, Argentina. His schoolmates nicknamed him "pig" (Chancho) because he rarely bathed, and smelled bad. After receiving his doctorate, he travelled South America, treating the lepers and poor people who were shunned and abused by society.
In 1955, Guevara met Raul and Fidel Castro to plot the overthrow of the US-backed Fulgencio Batista government in Cuba. Their first revolutionary plan was an assault on Cuba from Mexico. During the war, Castro promoted Guevara to commander status, and Guevara won the Battle of Santa Clara. This allowed the guerrillas to march on towards Havana. On New Years Eve 1958, Batista's forces were defeated and on New Years Day, Batista fled to the Dominican Republic. Castro and Guevara became Cuba's new socialist revolutionary leaders.
Guevara was appointed commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison. He oversaw the trial and execution of many former Batista regime officials. In December 1964, he gave a speech before the U.N. General Assembly attacking the imperialism of the United States of America.
Guevara authored a booklet entitled Guerrilla Warfare. He left Cuba to lead a Communist guerrilla movement in Africa and South America. Bolivian soldiers and CIA operatives,hunted him down in the Bolivian jungle where he was captured. He was executed by Mario Terán two days later, and his hands were chopped off and put into a jar. His last words were, "I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man."