José Echegaray y Eizaguirre was a Spanish playwright and politician who was born in Madrid in 1832.
He worked as a mathematics and physics professor at the Madrid School of Engineering from 1854 to 1868 and then subsequently held various posts as minister of trade, education and economy under different governments until 1874.
In 1905 he once again served as economy minister.
Echegaray began writing in 1874 and produced more than 60 plays in both prose and verse. Most of those early compositions are tinged with romantic melancholy, while in his later works the influence of Henrik Ibsen is clearly evident.
In 1904 he was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature along with French Provencal poet Frédéric Mistral.
Among his most notable works are Locura o santidad (1876), El gran galeoto (1881) and El hijo de Don Juan (1892). Echegaray died on Sept. 14, 1916.