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November 26, 2016

Goodbye Fidel Castro! Here Are 14 Rare Vintage Photographs of the Cuban Leader From His Childhood to the 1940s

Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 US presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90.

With a shaking voice, President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died at 10.29pm on Friday. He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Towards victory, always!”

Mr Castro’s reign over the island-nation 90 miles from Florida was marked by the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling US trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died eight years after ill health forced him to formally hand power over to Raul.

He overcame imprisonment at the hands of dictator Fulgencio Batista, exile in Mexico and a disastrous start to his rebellion before triumphantly riding into Havana in January 1959 to become, at age 32, as the youngest leader in Latin America. For decades, he served as an inspiration and source of support to revolutionaries from Latin America to Africa.

Three-year-old Fidel Castro is pictured here in 1929. (Cuban Council of State Photo Archive)

Fidel Castro in 1936.

Fidel Castro in 1940.

The young Fidel Castro eating a lollipop with his schoolmates at Nuestra Senora de Dolores school in Santiago, Cuba, 1940. (José María Patac/AFP)

The three Castro brothers in 1941 from left to right: Fidel, Raul, and Ramon. Castro named his younger brother Raul his temporary successor on July, 31, 2006, after undergoing intestinal surgery. It marked the first time that Castro had relinquished power in 47 years of rule. (Council of State Photo Archive)

Castro, at 17 years old, plays basketball at Belen Jesuit High School in 1943. (Cuban Council of State Photo Archive)

At the Jesuit Belen High School in Havana in 1944.

As a teenager hunting on his father's estate.

The caption describing Fidel Castro in his 1945 high school yearbook reads: Distinguished student and a fine athlete. Very popular. Will study law and we have no doubt he will have a brilliant future. (AP)

With Rafael del Pino, Armando Gali Menendez, and other UIR gang members in 1947.

In the Bogota, Colombia, riots of April 1948, with Enrique Ovares.

With wife Mirta Diaz-Balart in 1949.


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