At age 14, was living alone in Porto Alegre, working and studying, he managed to enter the Preparatory School and Tactics of Rio Pardo, Rio Grande do Sul Leaving there after graduation, he was joining the Military School in Brazil, known as Red Beach School, in Rio de Janeiro.
During the Revolution of 1930, Mascarenhas retained his loyalty to the president Washington Luiz and was arrested by the rebels-led by Getúlio Vargas, Which in future would become president after the ouster of Washington Luiz.
Upon release, Mascarenhas continued his career in the army. He was placed under arrest for the second time, when he proclaimed his support for a military and civilian revolt against Vargas in São Paulo (1932). Again, after the defeat of the uprising, Mascarenhas was released and not prosecuted.
In 1935 whilst commanding the Military School Realengo Mascarenhas de Morais took part in the fight against a communist uprising in Rio de Janeiro. This time his loyalty was with the constitutional government of Getulio Vargas. In 1937 became General and the following year he was appointed commander of the 7th and 9th Military Regions in Recife and São Paulo respectively.
The general arrived in Italy with the first Brazilian troops in June 1944 and commanded the Brazilian forces until the surrender of Axis forces in Italy on May 2, 1945.
After the war he returned to Brazil and in 1946 was promoted to Marshal, by act of Congress, and given command of the 1st Military Region in the then capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.
In 1953 was appointed head of General Staff of Armed Forces (EMFA), at which accompanied the political crisis that would lead to suicide of Getúlio Vargas in the following year. After the suicide of the president in August 1954, he returned to the reservation and published his memoirs, as commander of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force
In 1955, Supported the military coup led by General Teixeira Lott, Who secured the possession of Juscelino Kubitschek as president of Republic.
In São Gabriel, a city of his birth, is on the square Fernando Abbott, A noble monument in his honor. In it are written the battles he commanded the marshal in World War II.
Died in Rio de Janeiro on September 17, 1968.
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