He was democratically elected President of Chile in 1970. He was the first Socialist president of that country. Before the elections, he competed for the candidacy of the Popular Unit with the great poet Pablo Neruda, his friend. Such was the friendship that Neruda stepped aside to let Allende run for the Socialists and, eventually, be the president.
His government was marked by continous harrassment from the fascist elite, allied with the military and with foreign powers. Finally, the tragic day of the coup, he died. With him, the dream of millions who wanted a more equal society also died. 12 days after, Neruda passed away. His body and his immortal mind refused to live under the fascist dictator.
Teaching a lesson about how to die is not something that human beings usually do. In this case the lesson is there, self-sacrifice for a superior ideal. Here, his last words in that radio address:
...My words are not spoken in bitterness, but in disappointment. They will be a moral judgment on those who have betrayed the oath they took as soldiers of Chile...They have the might and they can enslave us, but they cannot halt the world's social processes, not with crimes, nor with guns...May you go forward in the knowledge that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open once again, along which free citizens will march in order to build a better society. Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers! These are my last words, and I am sure that this sacrifice will constitute a moral lesson which will punish cowardice, perfidy and treason.