Was born in Parral, Chile in 1904. His real name was Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basualto but he adopted the pseudonym of Pablo Neruda in remembrance of the Czech writer Jan Neruda. At 19 he published his first book of poems. In 1924 he began his diplomatic career which took him to countries such as Rangun, Java, Spain, France and Mexico. In 1945 he joined the communist party and was later forced into exile. After spending three and a half years in exile he returned to his country. In 1971 he won the Nobel Prize for literature. Neruda died in 1973 in Santiago.