Maria Zambrano went to high school in Segovia and then studied with and was influenced by Spanish liberal philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. During her university years, she participated in student protests and wrote for various newspapers. She went on to teach metaphysics at Madrid University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936, she married Alfonso Rodríguez Aldave, the secretary of the Spanish Embassy in Santiago, Chile. Her support for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War forced Zambrano into exile when Generalissimo Franco came to power. She lived in Chile, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Italy, France, Mexico, and Switzerland, keeping in communication with her intellectual circle, for about 45 years. In 1981, she was awarded the Prínce of Asturias Award, followed by the Cervantes literature prize. She finally returned to Spain in 1984. A film about her life entitled María querida ("Dearest Maria"), directed by José Luis García Sánchez, was released in 2004.