Born in 1859 as one of fifteen children of a wealthy landowner. Well educated. Entered politics as a municipal president. Later served as a state legislator, federal deputy and state governor under Díaz.
Joined with Madero in 1909 to plan an armed rebellion against Díaz. Minister of war in Madero’s provisional government and later interim governor of Coahuila. Elected governor in December 1911. Assumed leadership of the rebellion against Huerta. Named First Chief of the Constitutionalists.
Elected president in 1917. Tried to install a candidate favorable to him in the 1920 presidential election. Obregon, who was a candidate for president, rebelled. Carranza tried to flee to Veracruz. On May 20. 1920, he was killed as he slept in a small wooden hut in San Antonio Tlaxcalantongo.