Buenaventura Durruti was the most outstanding figure in Spanish anarchist history. Born in León of Basque and Catalan parents, on 14 July 1896, he dedicated his life from the age of 16 until his untimely death at 40 to the struggle for justice, social revolution and the anarchist idea. It was his commitment to the ‘idea’ that led Durruti to spend the rest of his life in clandestinity, jail, exile and — ultimately — as the inspirational figurehead of the social revolution that confronted the clerical-fascist-military uprising of July 1936. Shortly after mid-day on 19 November 1936, at the height of the Francoist assault on Madrid, Durruti, accompanied by his driver and military advisers, was mortally wounded in mysterious circumstances and died in the early hours of 20 November, aged 40 years. The circumstances surrounding his death have never been satisfactorily explained.