The incendiary writer and philosopher Olavo de Carvalho, considered a guru of Bolsonaroism and the Brazilian extreme right, died at the age of 74 in a hospital in the United States, where he lived, his family reported in a statement on Tuesday.
"With great sadness, the family of Professor Olavo de Carvalho announces the news of his death on the night of January 24, in the region of Richmond, Virginia, where he was hospitalized", the family reported on the writer’s social networks.
The cause of death was not disclosed, but Olavo de Carvalho, who had lived in the United States since 2005 and had several health problems in the last year, announced on January 16 that he had contracted covid-19.
Born in Campinas, in the interior of the state of São Paulo and the author of several essays of a conservative nature, Olavo de Carvalho was famous for his incendiary rhetoric, celebrated in the so-called "ideological wing of Bolsonarism" and the Brazilian extreme right.
In recent times, however, he had distanced himself from Bolsonaro, whom he criticized on several occasions and of whom he even said that his re-election bid in the October presidential elections "it’s a losing battle".
Very active on social networks with an uninhibited hate speech in which he did not spare insults or controversial comments, the writer exerted a lot of influence especially during Bolsonaro’s arrival in power in 2018, to the point that several ministers appointed by the president, among them the now ex-chancellor Ernesto Araújo, were proposed by him.
Fierce anti-communist and adept at conspiracy theory, the writer, who in the past was also a journalist and astrologer, was skeptical of the pandemic, like the president, and came to describe the coronavirus as "chinese virus".
"Today leaves us one of the greatest thinkers in the history of our country, the Philosopher and Professor Olavo Luiz Pimentel de Carvalho", wrote the president this Tuesday on Twitter.
"Olavo was a giant in the fight for freedom and a beacon for millions of Brazilians. His example and his teachings will mark us forever"added the president.
For about a decade, the writer, who had numerous "disciples" and millions of followers on social networks, he offered paid online conferences in which he mixed philosophy and politics.
Steve Bannon, the leading alt-right figure in the United States, had said that Olavo de Carvalho was "one of the world’s greatest living intellectuals".