Figueres was the 32nd, 34th, and 38th president of Costa Rica. Through the course of his terms, he gave women and illiterates the right to vote and he guaranteed public education for all. He created and helped pass a basic welfare legislation, and even directed the writing of a new constitution! Oh and did I mention; he single-handedly stopped a band of hijackers.
In 1971, opponents of Nicaragua’s Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle overtook a plane in Sans José. Upon hearing the news, the 5-foot-3 president leapt into action. He stood on the runway and pointed a submachine gun at the cabin until the hijackers finally surrendered. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a slow-clap for José Figueres: relatively successful president/badass extraordinaire.