Omar Efraín Torrijos Herrera (February 13, 1929 – July 31, 1981) was the Commander of the Panamanian National Guard and the de facto leader of Panama from 1968 to 1981. Torrijos never held elected office in Panama, and was never president. He did hold several other titles however, including "Maximum Leader of the Panamanian Revolution" and "Supreme Chief of Government" (el supremo supremo). Although he was considered as a leftist dictator, he simultaneously had the support of the US as he opposed Communism. His politics were based instead on progressivism.
Torrijos is best known for negotiating the 1977 Treaties that eventually gave Panama full sovereignty over the Panama Canal, at noon on December 31, 1999.
His son, Martín Torrijos, won the presidential election on May 2, 2004 and took office on September 1, 2004.