Manuel Gomez Morin
Manuel Gomez Morin was the founder and first president of the National Action Party (PAN), Mexico's most significant opposition party throughout the 20th century. A lawyer by training, Gomez Morin rose to become Rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the country's most prestigious academic institution, and President of the Board of the Bank of Mexico. He entered the public spotlight during his time as Rector, when he opposed President Cardenas' socialist education project. Gomez Morin founded the PAN in 1939, and remained at its helm until 1949. His strong ties to Catholic intellectuals and student unions allowed him to draw support from religious activists and voters, who quickly became a powerful voice in the party. However, Gomez Morin resisted efforts to make the PAN into a confessional or sectarian organization, insisting that it retain its liberal character.