Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich

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Francisco Orlich
Francisco J. Orlich cropped.jpg
34th President of Costa Rica
In office
8 May 1962 – 8 May 1966
Vice PresidentRaúl Blanco Cervantes
Carlos Sáenz Herrera
Preceded byMario Echandi
Succeeded byJoaquín Trejos
Personal details
Born(1907-03-10)10 March 1907
San Ramón, Costa Rica
Died29 October 1969(1969-10-29) (aged 62)
San José, Costa Rica
Political partyPLN

Francisco José Orlich Bolmarcich [1] (10 March 1907 – 29 October 1969) is 34th President of Costa Rica from 1962 to 1966.[2] His grandfather on the Orlich side and his mother came to Costa Rica from the town of Punat on the island of Krk, Croatia.[citation needed] His villa in Punat is named "Villa Costarica".

Together with his brothers he founded in 1928 FJ Orlich & Hnos Ltda. (FJ Orlich & Brothers Limited). At first a large supply store in his hometown of San Ramón, this eventually grew to become one of Costa Rica's largest coffee firms. His half-brother, Franjo Jozef Orlich, the namesake of the firm, moved from Costa Rica to Pennsylvania and worked for Bethlehem Steel as a Pattern Maker in the Castings Plant.

A long-time friend of José Figueres Ferrer, with whom he had traveled together to study in the United States, Orlich was Figueres' second in command within the National Liberation Army in the Costa Rican Civil War.

Following that, the National Liberation Party was founded in the Orlich family farm in La Paz, San Ramón.

He twice served as Public Works Minister (1948-1949, 1953-1957) in Figueres' cabinets. Afterwards he ran for president in 1958, but lost to Mario Echandi Jiménez. He ran again in 1962, against the defeated 1948 leader Dr Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, and won the presidency.

Always called by his countrymen 'Don Chico', during his presidency he faced the major eruption of the Irazú volcano, that started just as U.S. President John F. Kennedy was visiting Costa Rica and lasted for over a year, causing major agricultural damage and landslides in the city of Cartago.

Don Chico left the presidency as a well loved figure and died of a stroke three years later.[citation needed]


Political offices
Preceded by
Mario Echandi Jiménez
President of Costa Rica
Succeeded by
José Joaquín Trejos Fernández