Pablo Neruda (1904-73) was born in Parral, Chile. He published his first book of poems in Santiago in 1921. From 1927 to 1945 he served as Chilean consul in Rangoon, Java and Barcelona. Much influenced by events in the Spanish Civil War, he joined the Communist Party after World War Two.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, while serving as Chilean ambassador to Paris. He died shortly after the coup in Chile which ousted Salvador Allende in 1973.