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Simon Rodriguez
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    (October 28, 1769-February 28, 1854)
    Born in Caracas, Venezuela
    Simón Carreño
    Later changed his name to Samuel Robinson
    Political revolutionary and philosopher
    Influenced by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke
    Simón Bolívar's private tutor and idealogical mentor
    Participant in the failed pro-Independence movement against the Spanish Crown, in 1797
    Established the first 'workshop schools' in Bolivia and Colombia
    Heavily influenced the content of Simon Bolivar's famous 'Jamaica Letter,' written on September 15, 1815
    Appointed to Director for Public Education, Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Arts by then-President Simon Bolivar, in 1824
    Published the treatise, 'Reflection on the flaws vitiating the Reading and Writing School for Children in Caracas and Means of Achieving its Reform,' in 1794
    He was a failed coup leader.
    He was described as very gangly, physically.
    He was unpopular with the elites for his various eccentricities.
    He lived in over 11 different countries at one time or another.
    His teaching skills may have been exaggerated (including by Bolivar, himself).
    That he usually turns up in biographical accounts of Bolivar's life can pose some confusion as to 'which Simon the writer is referring to' unless otherwise specified.
    He used to playfully refer to his pupil as a 'little keg of dynamite.' Bolivar would reply 'watch out or I might explode!'
    He resigned his cabinet post in the Bolivian government after less than a year over differences he had with then-President Antonio José de Sucre.
    His large collection of written works was lost during a city fire in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
    He dropped his Carreno surname as a means of protesting the politics of the Catholic Church.
    He taught young Simon to read by giving him a copy of Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe.'
    He was born out of wedlock, in secret, and abandoned, presumably by nobles (the note in his infant basket said he was the bastard son of whites).
    His strength as a successful tutor to Bolivar - where so many others had failed - was his ability to deal with the boy's tempestuous nature.
    He was credited with instilling a hitherto-privileged/sheltered Bolivar with values of social justice and human rights (he also taught him to ride and swim).
    Rather, he subscribed to the belief that the appealing to their interests was a better alternative to repeated lessons.
    His banishment following the failed coup was said to have had a profound affect on Bolivar.
    He made several trips to the United States, in the early 1800's. He also traveled extensively through Europe in the same period.
    He met his old student on his travels, in 1804, and the two witnessed the coronation of Emperor Napoleon.
    Simon Bolivar's famous 'I swear' oath to free his people from Colonial reign, delivered on August 15, 1805, on the outskirts of Rome on Monte Sacro, was made in his presence.
    He remains a revered figure throughout present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia (his likeness was featured on the 50 and 20,000 Bolivar Fuerte notes).
    So prevalent a figure is he still in Latin America, that Hugo Chavez even named a hugely effective Venezuelan literacy campaign in his honor.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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