Manuel Becerra Bermúdez

Birth Date: 20th October 1820 (†19th December 1869)
Birth Place: Castro de Rei (Lugo)

He moved to Lugo when he was a child, where he lived until 1844 and studied Primary and Secondary Education. Some years later, he entered the Civil Engineering Academy in Madrid, where he graduated as a civil engineer. He earned his living in Madrid teaching Mathematics and owing to his revolutionary ideas; he participated in the political events in March and may 1848. He was in prison on several occasions and was sometimes compelled to travel abroad to avoid reprisals. He took an active part in the revolutionary movements of that time. From 1854 to 1856, he was the head of a company in the third battalion of the Militias of Madrid. He devoted himself to teaching again for ten years. In 1866, he joined General Prim, taking an active part in the conflict. He was sentenced to death and exiled to France, where he remained until the revolt in September 1968.

 Work & Activities

He collaborated in the newspapers La Tribuna del Pueblo, El Pueblo, La Discusión and La Democracia and wrote the book Imperio Ibérico.

 Other Interesting Aspects

He was considered as the ‘father of the official gym’ for he was the true initiator of physical education. He wrote the work Tratado Racional de la Gimnásti-ca y de los Ejercicios y Juegos Corporales (Madrid, 1893) and was the president of the Spanish Gymnastic Society and promoter of the Physical Training School. The County Council of Lugo nominated him as ‘honorary citizen’ in 1888. He was a member of the Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences Academy.