Hospitality Hall of Honor
Miguel Alemán Valdés (1903-1983)
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|Former President of México & Founder of México Commission for National Tourism|
|Miguel Alemán Valdés was born into a revolutionary family in Veracruz on September 27, 1903. He graduated from the National Preparatory School and later received a law degree from the National University of México. Valdés' father was a ranking General who gave his life in the defense of his principles during the Mexican Revolution. His example of national service was an inspiration to his son. |
Like his father before him, Alemán devoted his life to serving México's best interests. His early professional life was linked to the struggles of the oil, railroad and mine workers. He was appointed judge of the Superior Court of Justice for the Federal District and Federal Territories, and later, elected senator and governor of his home state of Veracruz. Then, Alemán was elected president of México—the country's first non-military president—and served from 1946 to 1952. In 1947, Alemán became the first Mexican to visit the United States as head of state.
Alemán had a profound knowledge of México that enabled him to address and resolve many of its economic problems. He improved the country's infrastructure by expanding the network of roads and highways. He created University City, the City of México's airport, a national supply system, new port facilities, supported industrial, agricultural and cattle-raising ventures with stress on irrigation and hydroelectric projects, and established a tourism infrastructure—all clear examples of his vision, his patriotism and his love for the people of México.
Alemán created México's Commission for National Tourism in 1947 with the mission to promote and assist the development and investments in the tourism industry. He also created a cabinet post for the head of that commission. In 1948, he established the first learning center for tourism in México, now called the Mexican School of Tourism. He put together a group to build the Continental Hilton Hotel in México City, and later, the Acapulco Hilton Hotel.
By using his well-established local and international prestige, Alemán helped promote tourism and the hotel industry, as well as improve quality of life in México.