1928 - 1936

Gabriel José García Márquez is born on March 6, 1928 in Aracataca, a town in Northern Colombia. He lives in the house of his maternal grandfather, Colonel Nicolás Ricardo Márquez Mejía, for eight years. Several of his superstitious aunts live with him, and later he would credit much of his storytelling style to his grandmother.

1936 - 1946

Primary and secondary schooling in Barranquilla and Zipaquirá, in the Colombian highlands. (In 1944 Borges publishes Ficciones.)

1947 - 1949

Studies Law at the National University in Bogotá, and at the University of Cartagena. Begins writing for El Espectador, a Bogotá newspaper.

1950 - 1955

Trades law for journalism. Writes for several newspapers, including El Espectador. In 1955 he novelizes and serializes the account of a Colombian sailor who survived ten days at sea; this serialization would later be recast as Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor. In 1955 he is sent on assignment in Europe, and back home his friends publish his first novella, Leaf Storm.

1956 - 1957

General Pinilla shuts down the presses of El Espectador. Without a source of steady income, García Márquez stays in Paris, writing No One Writes to the Colonel. On a tour through socialist Europe, he writes 90 Days behind the Iron Curtain. After Pinilla steps down in 1957, he relocates in Caracas and writes for Momento.


Marries Mercedes Barcha in Barranquilla. Works in Caracas, writing for several magazines and working on the stories of Big Mama's Funeral.

1959 - 1961

Sent to Havana to report on the Operación Verdad trials. In Bogotá, he sets up Prensa Latina, a Cuban press agency. For this agency he works in Colombia, Cuba, and New York.


Moves to Mexico City and finally publishes No One Writes to the Colonel.

1962 - 1965

Edits magazines in Mexico City, works in advertising and works on several film scripts. In 1962, In Evil Hour is awarded a prize back in Colombia, but the published version is heavily edited and he repudiates it. In the same year he also published Big Mama's Funeral. In 1965, he begins work on One Hundred Years of Solitude.


One Hundred Years of Solitude is published to global acclaim, winning him several international awards.

1967 - 1975

Moves to Barcelona. He is awarded an honorary degree from Columbia University in New York. In 1972, publishes Innocent Eréndira. In 1974 he founds Alternativa, a leftist newspaper in Bogotá. Becomes vice president of the Russell Tribunal. (In 1974 Augusto Roa Bastos publishes Yo el Supremo.)


Publishes Autumn of the Patriarch.

1975 - (present)

Spends time between Bogotá and Mexico City, working on diverse political causes. Helps found the Colombian party "Firmes," and forms HABEAS, an organization dedicated to the assistance of political prisoners. Works on film scripts. Between 1980 and 1984 he writes weekly columns for several international papers. (In 1976 Carlos Fuentes publishes Terra Nostra.)


Publishes Operación Carlota, essays on Cuba's role in Africa.


Publishes Chronicle of a Death Foretold. He is awarded the French Legion of Honor.


Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Publishes El odor de la guayaba ("The fragrance of Guava"), conversations with his friend Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza. Writes Viva Sandino, a screenplay about the revolution in Nicaragua.


Publishes Love in the Time of Cholera.


Publishes The General in his Labyrinth.


Publishes Strange Pilgrims.


Publishes Love and Other Demons.


Publishes News of a Kidnapping.


Purchases Cambio
Diagnosed with lymphatic cancer.


Publishes Vivir para contarla, or To Live to Tell It.

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--A. Ruch
14 February 2003

His fervour for the written word was an interweaving of solemn respect and gossipy irreverence -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!