Associated Press
May 14, 2001

Salvador Garmendia Dies at 72


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Salvador Garmendia, a prolific Venezuelan author who was instrumental in introducing Latin America's wildly
popular ``telenovelas,'' or television soaps, in the 1970s, has died. He was 72.

Garmendia died of complications from cancer and diabetes on Sunday in Caracas, El Nacional newspaper reported Monday. Garmendia was a
columnist there.

Garmendia earned his fame writing novels and chronicles of urban life for Venezuelans, and for his work he won the National Literature Prize in
1972 and the Juan Rulfo Prize in 1989.

His most notable works included ``Los Pequenos Seres,'' 1959; ``Los Habitantes,'' 1961; ``Dia de Ceniza,'' 1964; ``Memorias de Altagracia,''
1974; ``El Unico Lugar Posible,'' 1981; and ``Captain Kid,'' 1988.

Garmendia lent his talent to Venezuela's nascent telenovela industry in the 1970s, writing scripts for months-long dramas that have become a staple
for millions of viewers throughout Latin America. He also wrote screenplays for the films ``La Gata Borracha,'' 1973; ``Fiebre,'' 1975; and ``Juan
Tapocho,'' 1977.

A native of Barquisimeto in the western state of Lara, Garmendia is survived by his wife, Elisa Maggi.

A funeral service was held Monday in Caracas' Eastern Cemetery.