The physicist, civil engineer and entrepreneur Paulo Gontijo dedicated his life to make dreams come true. Obsessed with Science and in love with Brazil, this man from Minas Gerais, born in 1932 in the small town of Bom Despacho, was one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our contemporary history. Born in a farmer family, he was passionate by Mathematics; he was on the top of his class since yearly years, being the best student in this subject. In 1968, graduated in civil engineer by University of Minas Gerais State; one year late married Maria José Teixeira, with whom had four kids: Valéria, Marcela, Júnea and Paulo Gontijo Júnior. Founded the construction company Engenal and the agroindustry complex Lasa, in Goias.
Having the restlessness of the great men, Gontijo foresaw solutions where everyone only saw problems. His behavior plus his courage and boldness, was key point to formulate his own thesis about philosophy, energy, politics and the life in the universe. In 1989 ran for Brazil republic president, receiving 190,000 votes. However it was in the science area where he left important projects, such as the Temple of Science and the Paulo Gontijo Award, with encourage the scientific research in the Physics, Biochemistry, Mathematics and Medicine area.
Gontijo believes that Sciences was the biggest heritage for humanity and the only instrument able to distinguish the man from others beings. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 1999, he dedicated to research and campaign aim to study the causes, discover a treatment and spread information about the disease. He idealized the Paulo Gontijo Institute; a non-profit organization with goal is stimulate and promote research for ALS cure and support the patients and their caregivers.
In the book “Thesis of a Condemned Person”, he wrote detailed reports about ALS and the possible causes. Paulo Gontijo passed away in 2002, June 20th, victim of the disease complications, leaving as the main legacy the worry to understand the disease that victimized him but didn´t win this brave, restless and innovative Brazilian.