Eliza LynchEliza Lynch
? - ?) met Francisco Solano López, son of the President of Paraguay
, while working as a Parisian courtesan in 1854. She returned to Paraguay with him in 1855 and over the next 15 years became the most powerful woman in the country. When López became president she became de facto first lady (they never married). She supported him in his disastrous wars which led to the deaths of over one million Paraguayans. Despised and reviled, she was expelled from the country in 1870 (following the death of López) and died in obscurity in Paris. Over one hundred years later, in an extraordinary act of rehabilitation, her body was exhumed and brought to Paraguay where she was proclaimed a national heroine.