President of Cuba in the early 1940s and dictator of the same country in the 1950s, he was removed from power during the Cuban Revolution.
He rose to prominence in 1933 as a military leader of the Gerardo Machado-deposing Revolt of the Sergeants and controlled Cuba's various puppet presidents over the course of the next decade. After finally securing the Cuban presidency, he created the Constitution of Cuba.
While in exile from Cuba, he lived in the Dominican Republic and Portugal, protected by the governments of Rafael Trujillo and Oliveira Salazar.
Born in Banes, Cuba, to a family of Indian, Spanish, Chinese, and African descent, he was the son of Belisario Batista Palermo and Carmela Zaldivar Gonzalez. His two marriages -- to Elisa Godinez y Gomez and Marta Fernandez Miranda -- produced a total of eight children.