This Spanish name of DUARTE was originally from the Middle English given name Eadward, which was composed of the elements 'ead' prosperity and 'weard' guard. Although apparently of exclusively Old English origin, the given name also became popular on the Continent, perhaps as a result of the fame of the two canonized Kings of England, Edward the Martyr (962-79) and Edward the Confessor (1004-66). They certainly contributed to its great popularity in England. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish occupational and nickname surnames
A notable member of this name was Jose Napoleon Duarte (1925-90) the El Salvador politician. He was trained as a civil engineer in the United States of America, and he founded the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) in 1960. After serving as the mayor of El Salvador (1964-1970) he was elected President in 1972, but was soon impeached and exiled for seven years in Venezuela. He returned and in 1980 regained the Presidency with United States backing. He lost the 1982 election and for two years witnessed a fierce struggle between right and left wing elements. He returned as president in 1984 but in 1988 was forced to resign owing to ill-health.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General.
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