José María Arizmendiarrieta
(Vizcaya 1915 - Mondragón, Guipúzcoa 1976)
He was a catholic priest from the Basque country, he stood out for the cooperative initiative in the village of Mondragón, where he arrived in 1941.
In 1943 he founded a polytechnical school that later became the university of Mondragón: it was the birthplace of the local cooperative movement, open to all native young people and managed according to democratic principles. In 1956 the Ulgor was created on the initiative of Arizmendiarrieta and a group of graduates of Mandragón created, that became Fagor Electrodomésticos, the first step of the intense and varied cooperative development of the region.
Between the late 1950s and 1970s a big cooperative industrial group, a bank (la Caja Popular), a social security cooperative and a centre of research and development were thus created. In 1991 these different souls of the cooperative world met in Mondragón corporation cooperativa; an experience of great value both for the economic impact and for the proposed diversity, the social support and the vision projected to the future and the research.
The “Arizmendiarrieta Kristau Fundazioa” Foundation was created in his name and it pursues the social economic development of the Basque country based on the principles of its initiator.
Website of the Foundation: arizmendiarrietafundazioa.org
F. Garmendia Agirre, M. Gonzalez Gomez, José María Arizmendiarrieta. Un hombre, un pueblo, una experiencia,
ESIC Editorial, Madrid, 2015.
F. Molina, José María Arizmendiarrieta Biografía, MCC Sociedad Cooperativa, 2006
S. Kasmir, El mito de Mondragón, TXALAPARTA, Tafalla 1999