Jordi Solé Tura was born on 23 May 1930 into a family of bakers in Mollet del Vallés, Barcelona. He was a politician and lawyer by profession and one of the so-called “fathers” of the Spanish Constitution of 1978.
After entering military service, he decided to leave the family profession and began his baccalaureate, which he completed in a year and a half. After completing his studies, he entered the Law Faculty in Barcelona, graduating in law in 1958 with the top prize for his year at the end of his degree. He subsequently joined the Chair of Political Law at the aforementioned Faculty, led by Professor Manuel Jiménez de Parga, as an assistant professor. In 1956, he joined the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC), an underground party at the time. In 1957, he was sanctioned with the loss of an academic year for having taken part in the acts that took place in the auditorium of the University of Barcelona against the Franco regime. Solé Tura was forced into exile for his anti-Franco activity in 1960.
He was secretly sent to Bucharest in 1961 on the orders of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) during his exile in France. There, he participated in Radio España Independiente (La Pirenaica), a platform for left-wing ideas that operated clandestinely during the 1950s and 1970s. Jordi, the Catalan voice of the King, was one of the people who set up this venture. He broadcast weekly segments in Catalan at the radio station, a task in which he was succeeded by Victoria Pujolar.
He was expelled from the party in 1964 along with the militants Jorge Semprún, Fernando Claudin, Francesc Vicenc and Javier Padrera during the “purges” carried out by the carrillismo process associated with Santiago Carrillo.
He returned to Spain in 1965 and took part in setting up the first organization of non-tenured teachers and in the formation of the Democratic Students’ Union at the Capuchin Convent in Sarriá (Barcelona). He was later arrested, fined and expelled from university teaching. Following this, he joined the university as an assistant professor and obtained his PhD in Law in 1967 from the University of Barcelona, with a thesis on “The Political Thought of Enric Prat de la Riba,” which earned him a cum laude. On the occasion of the state of emergency in 1969, he was arrested again and spent a few months in prison. In that same year, he set up Bandera Roja together with Jordi Borja, obtained a post as Assistant Professor of Political Law and rejoined the PSUC-PCE in 1974. After the death of General Franco in 1976, he was unanimously awarded the post of Associate Professor of Political Law.
In PSUC, he defended the Eurocommunist theses of the Secretary General of the PCE, Santiago Carrillo, and was elected a member of parliament for Barcelona in June 1977 and March 1979. Between 1978 and 1979, he was a member of the committee responsible for drawing up the draft Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. Likewise, in the Constituent Parliament, he was elected member of the seven-member-of-parliament committee in charge of drawing up the draft of the new Spanish Constitution. He later left the PSUC and joined the Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC-PSOE), where he was again elected a member of parliament for Barcelona in 1989, 1993 and 1996.
He was a candidate for mayor of Barcelona in 1983 and was elected alderman. He was elected Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Barcelona in 1985.
A member of the Catalan parliament and PSC senator in 1988, he was also a member of Spain’s Congress of Deputies from 1989. He was Minister of Culture in the government of Felipe González from 1991 to 1993. During his time as minister, work was carried out on the remodeling of the National Library and similar work also commenced on the Teatro Real, which was not completed during his term of office. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was inaugurated in Madrid on October 8, 1992. The Reina Sofía Art Centre became the Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MNCARS). On July 26, 1992, Picasso’s Guernica was moved to the MNCARS from its previous location in the Casón del Buen Retiro, belonging to the Museo del Prado.
During the 1993-1996 parliamentary term, he was Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a member of the parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe, and he was a senator for the Socialist group during the 1996-2000 term. He was a senator for Entesa Catalana de Progrès beginning in the year 2000.
Lecturer, writer and contributor to several publications, he wrote works such as Catalanismo y revolución burguesa (1970), Ideari de Valentí Almirall (1974) and Política internacional y conflictos de clase (1974).
In 2008, the film Bucharest, Memory Lost was released. It was directed by his son, Albert Solé Bruset, and it looks back on his life and the illness he suffered from, Alzheimer’s disease.
Jordi died at the age of 79 on December 4, 2009, two days before the celebration of the 31st anniversary of the Spanish Constitution.