On this date in 1783, Simon Bolivar was born in Venezuela to a wealthy family. Bolivar traveled extensively in Europe and the United States while formulating his strategy to liberate South America from the sway of Spanish priests and rule. Today, Bolivar is acknowledged as "El Libertador" and the "George Washington of South America" for liberating Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama from the Spaniards, and as the founder of Bolivia. He became the first president of the Republic of Columbia (now Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela) in 1819. In 1824, he converted the southern region of Peru into the Republic of Bolivia, where he became its first president. After attempts to murder him, Bolivar was forced into retirement. He was a noted anticlerical. D. 1830.