Recaredo Santos Tornero facts for kids

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Recaredo Santos Tornero
Born (1842-10-14)October 14, 1842
Died July 26, 1902(1902-07-26) (aged 59)
Santiago, Chile
Nationality Chilean
Occupation Journalist, Editor and Director of El Mercurio de Valparaíso
Years active 1860–1902
Spouse(s) Elena Stuven Olmos
Children Carmela, Recaredo, Teresa and Enrique

Recaredo Santos Tornero (October 14, 1842 – July 26, 1902) was a Chilean editor and journalist. He was the director of El Mercurio de Valparaíso and founder of El Comercio.


Tornero was born in Valparaíso, on October 14, 1842. His parents were Carmen Olmos de Aguilera Orrego, and the Spanish immigrant José Santos Tornero Monteros, who was also the owner of the first public library in Chile. Recaredo Tornero studied at the National Institute of Santiago, and later attended the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, in France. He came back to Chile in 1860. In 1866, he succeeded his father as the director of El Mercurio de Valparaíso. He married Elena Stuven Olmos, and they had four children: Carmela, Recaredo, Teresa and Enrique.

His father's businesses included the Spanish Library (Spanish: Librería Española), the printing house of El Mercurio and the Valparaíso newspaper of the same name. The enterprise remained in the family's possession for 33 years. In 1866, Tornero and his brother Orestes bought the enterprise from their father.

Orestes took care of the library and its other parts, while Recaredo continued running the printing house and the newspaper. Later, they formed the Tornero & Sons Society (Spanish: Sociedad Tornero e Hijos) with his father, who was living outside Chile.

Chile Ilustrado main page
Front page of Chile Ilustrado (1872).

Tornero was the only editor of El Mercurio de Valparaíso from 1867 to 1870. In 1870, he partnered with Camilo Letelier. Blanco Cuartín became the main editor of the newspaper later and suggested that it focus on culture and literacy

He published Chile Ilustrado in 1872, the first illustrated album of Chile, with a descriptive guide, historic, politic, industrial, social and statistical review of the country and a rich graphic backup, with more than 200 wood engravings and 10 litographs. He was given a prize for this book at the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition.

After running it for nine years, he sold his part of the newspaper to Camilo Letelier. He revisited Europe in 1875, and bought machinery to create the first paper mill in Chile in 1880. At that time, he also started to publish foreign works translated into Spanish.

After his return to Valparaíso, Tornero founded a library and a printing house in Almendral. His brother Orestes died in 1881, and Tornero he took over the Mercurio library, which was mainly focused on editing teaching material and works translated from French.

President José Manuel Balmaceda had a bad relationship with the Chilean press. For this reason, Recaredo started the newspaper El Comercio to support him.

Recaredo died in Santiago on July 26, 1902.

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