He was born on 24March 1917, in the city of São José do Egito,Pernambuco,to Miguel Domingues dos Santos Junior and Laura AbrantesPinheiro dos Santos.
His father was a district attorney (later judge) and worked in several municipalities and in the state capital, a fact that caused the family to live in the interior counties andRecifeneighbourhoods.
He completed his primary education at several schools, including the José Bezerra School, in Palmares, Martins Júnior and José Bonifacio, in the neighbourhood of Torre, and Sergio Loreto in the neighbourhood of São José.He received a medal that was given by the Board of Education to students who stood out at primary school, awarded by the general director himself, Professor Candido Duarte. In 1929, he was enrolled in the College Nóbrega to take the exam for admission to secondary school.
He entered the Recife Faculty of Law in 1934, and graduated in 1939. He startedhis career in journalism, publishing articles in the newspaper A Ordem (The Order) from the municipality of ÁguaPreta, Pernambuco.
In 1937, he affiliated with the Integralism Movement and worked as a proof reader and a reporter for the newspaper Diario do Nordeste, thelocal voice for the movement. He published an article entitled Origens do município (Origins of the Municipality), in the magazine Atualidades (Newsreel), also of Integralist guidance. After graduating, he started working in the newsroom of the Jornal do Commercio, with the main task of interviewing important people on board the ships that passed through the city. At that time, he began a campaign to create the Pernambuco Association of Professional Journalists.
In 1941, a group of journalists, among them Mário Melo, managed to establish the Association of Professional Journalists, which was later transformed into the Union of Journalists. The Pernambuco Union of Professional Journalists has the founding date on 27 November 1947, or at least that is the date that is recorded in its Charter Association. However, the history of the union of Pernambuco journalists begins in 1941.
In 1945, he was public prosecutor in the city of São Bento do Una, Pernambuco. In 1946, the Jornal do Commercio’s holding company, run by F. Pessoa de Queiroz, published the Diario da Noite (Night News) and invitedJorge Abrantesto be its main editor. He became an employee of the Recife Department of Documentation and Culture, working with José Césio Regueira Costa, Souza Barros and other intellectuals.
On 20March 1948, he married Maria das Dores Cavalcanti Borges [Dorita], with whom he had four children: Luciana, Renata, Jorge and Maria Fernanda.
In the years 1948 and 1949,he did a specialisation course in Library Science at the National Library of Rio de Janeiro. During this time, he collaborated with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), at the invitation of Waldemar Lopes. Upon his return, already graduated, he created a course for librarians at the Recife City Council with the support of the then-rector of the University of Recife, Joaquim Amazonas, in which he taught the Reference and Bibliography paper.
On 3 January 1950, he started the Mote & Glosa (Concept& Censure) section, in six columns at the foot of the second page of the Diario da Noite, signed by J. S. (Jorge Abrantes dos Santos) and dedicated to commentingon the day-to-daypolitics of Pernambuco. On 20 May 1951, he took over the column Boa Tarde! (Good Afternoon!), after the death of Silvino Lopes, who had replaced Sylvio Rabello –its first editor. He remained responsible for the column until his death.
In 1952,he startedcontributing to the Sunday supplements of the newspaper Diario de Pernambuco, and also wrote for the Jornal Pequeno (Small Journal). He performed other journalistic activities in the period, such as the direction of the branch of Rio de Janeiro’sDiário de Notícias and the representation of Time magazine, New York.
In January 1953, he createdthe column ‘Arruar’, with short notes based on local articles and media reports, but itwas short-lived. That same month, he had anargument with LuisBeltrão, editor of the Folha da Manhã, over the choice of the Pernambuco delegation for the 5th National Congress of Journalists. He held the position of vice president of the RecifeLittle School of Art for the period from 1953 to 1961. During the 1950s, he was advisor to the Pernambuco Regional Transit Board.
He continued to exercise activities in the journalistic and documentation areas. In March 1954, he participatedin the 10th Inter-American Conference of Journalism in Caracas, Venezuela,and in July presented a paper on bibliographies at the 1st Brazilian Congress of Librarian ship, held in Recife. In 1957, he was elected president of the Pernambuco Press Association (AIP), and was re-elected for the next term. He was the mainperson responsible for the installation of the AIPon a plot donated by the government, located on Dantas Barreto Avenue, which was latergiven to a construction company in exchange for a building built on the site.
Also in 1957, he went to the United States, representing the AIP, and in 1960 he attended the 2nd International Meeting of Journalists, in Baden, Germany.
He died on 28April 1961. He did not attend the inauguration of the building of the AIP in 1961, but was honoured by the Pernambuco press with the placing of his bust in the boardroom of the AIP in March 1963.
In 1976, the AIP published Prosa breve (Brief Prose), prefaced and organised by Luis Delgado, compiling several of his essays, as the second volume in the series Library of Pernambuco Journalists.
He was a collaborator in a number of Recife periodicals: Diario da Noite, Diario de Pernambuco, Diario do Nordeste, Jornal do Commercio, Jornal Pequeno (newspapers); Atualidades, Boletim da Cidade e do Porto do Recife, Caeté,Capibaribe, Cine Clube do Recife, Clube Internacional do Recife, Educação e Trabalho, Em Ação, Guararapes, Jornal Universitário, Maskarado, Mensagem,Minerva, Nordeste, Presente de Natal, Região, Renovação, Revista de Direito do Trabalho, Revista do D.A.C., Revista Radiofônica e Teatral(magazines).
Recife, 24 march 2010.
Translated by Peter Leamy, March 2012.
ABRANTES, Jorge. Prosa breve. Organizado por Luiz Delgado. Recife: Associação da Imprensa de Pernambuco, 1976. 167 p. (Biblioteca de jornalistas pernambucanos, 2).
FONSECA, Edson Nery da. Vão-se os dias e eu fico: memórias e evocações. São Paulo: Atleliê Editorial, 2009. 223 p.
JORGE Abrantes: perfil parlamentar século XX. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 17 mar. 2010.
NASCIMENTO, Luiz do. História da imprensa de Pernambuco: 1821-1954. Recife: Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 1962-2008. v.3-8 (1962); v. 9 (2008); v. 10 (1997).
NASCIMENTO, Luiz do. Dicionário de pseudônimos de jornalistas pernambucanos. Recife: UFPE, 1983.
PARAÍSO, Rostand. Cadê Mário Melo... Recife: Comunigraf, 1997. 244p.
RIVAS, Lêda. Jorge Abrantes: 70 anos. Diario de Pernambuco, Recife, 24 mar. 1987. Caderno Viver, p. 1.
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