Marco Aurelio Andrada was born in 1904 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied law at the city’s university, and later obtained a doctorate in social and legal sciences. In 1929, he joined Argentina’s Central Postal and Telecommunication Administration, working first in the telegraph department and then in radiocommunications. His legal training was a valuable background to his appointment in 1944 as Head of the Legislation and Regulations Division of the General Directorate of Broadcasting. Two years later, he became Head of the General Inspectorate of Posts and Telecommunications, and in 1949 achieved the position of Secretary-General of Posts and Telecommunications, which he held until joining ITU.
As a representative of the Argentine Republic, Andrada had already participated in ITU events. He attended the Plenipotentiary and Radio Conferences in Atlantic City in 1947, as well as the High-Frequency Broadcasting Conference held there at the same time and its following conference in Mexico City in 1948-1949. The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Buenos Aires in 1952 was carried out under Andrada’s capable chairmanship.
For five years, from 1948 to 1953, Andrada represented Argentina on ITU’s Administrative Council. His abilities and active efforts towards the development of ITU led to the Council appointing him as Secretary-General in 1954. In June 1958, only a week before his fifty-fourth birthday, Andrada suffered a heart attack at home after working at the ITU headquarters in Geneva. Despite medical assistance, the next morning a second attack proved fatal. The respect felt for his work – as well as for his kindness and integrity – was expressed at his funeral ceremony in Geneva. Alfred Langenberger, the Vice-Chairman of the Administrative Council, paid tribute to Andrada as “a man of action and of feeling, who leaves us much too soon.” He said that the Secretary-General had “fully justified the confidence placed in him. Fully aware of his high responsibilities, he led the Union wisely and carefully.”