A member of the Allende family, Laura was of Basque and Belgian descent. She was born in Valparaíso, the youngest child of Salvador Allende Castro and Laura Gossens Uribe. Laura Allende completed her studies at the Colegio de los Sagrados Corazones de Valparaíso and the Liceo of Viña del Mar. She later studied law at the Universidad de Chile in Valparaíso for four years, but never completed her degree. While at the university, she joined the Chilean Socialist Party (PS), of which in time she would become a member of its central committee.
She married Gastón Pascal Lyon, with whom had four children, among them Andrés Pascal Allende, the future revolutionary. She also worked at the Copper Office (Departamento del Cobre) from 1955 to 1965, before launching her political career.
In 1965, she was elected deputy for Santiago and Talagante. In 1969 she was reelected, and again in 1973. During this time she was part of two international delegations: first to Habana in 1971, and then to China, in may of 1973. At that time, she already was showing the first symptoms of the lymphatic cancer that was to haunt her till the end of her life.
On November 2, 1974 she was arrested together with her daughter Marianne. The two were taken to the prison camp of Cuatro Alamos. Later exiled from the country, she relocated to Mexico. In 1976 she moved to Cuba, where she lived until her death.
She committed suicide in La Habana, Cuba, on May 23, 1981. After Chile's return to democracy in 1990, her body was returned and on August 28, 1998, she was reinterred at the Allende family mausoleum in Santiago.
- Chilean Library of Congress biography (Spanish)
- Family information from official site (Spanish)
- Memories of her arrest at Cuatro Alamos (Spanish)