Born: July 12, 1904, in Parral, Chile
Died: Sept. 23, 1973, Santiago, Chile
Awards and honors: Nobel Prize for literature, 1971; Golden Wreath Award, 1972
Life: Often called the "Whitman of the South." Poetry included such works as "Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada" (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair), "Residencia en la Tierra" (Residence on Earth), "Canto General" and "One Hundred Love Sonnets." He was a political creature, serving in diplomatic posts and was once nominated as president. He stepped aside for Salvador Allende, who was ultimately elected but died amid a coup. Neruda, said to be heartbroken (although suffering from cancer), died a few days later.