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List of Puerto Ricans
List of Notable Puerto Ricans and people of Puerto Rican descent
Location of the island of Puerto Rico (green)
This is a list of notable people from Puerto Rico which includes people who were born in Puerto Rico (Borinquen) and people who are of full or partial Puerto Rican descent. The Government of Puerto Rico has been issuing "Certificates of Puerto Rican Citizenship" to anyone born in Puerto Rico or to anyone born outside of Puerto Rico with at least one parent who was born in Puerto Rico since 2007. Also included in the list are some long-term continental American and other residents and/or immigrants of other ethnic heritages who have made Puerto Rico their home and consider themselves to be Puerto Ricans.
The list is divided into categories and, in some cases, sub-categories, which best describe the field for which the subject is most noted. Some categories such as "Actors, actresses, comedians and directors" are relative since a subject who is a comedian may also be an actor or director. In some cases a subject may be notable in more than one field, such as Luis A. Ferré, who is notable both as a former governor and as an industrialist. However, the custom is to place the subject's name under the category for which he/she is most noted.
As of 2019, this list will be carefully maintained, and adding or deleting a name without first discussing the change on the article's talk page is likely to be reverted. This list should contain the names of persons who meet the pre-established Notability criteria, even if the person does not have an article yet. Additions to the list must be listed in the section which best describes the field for which the person is most notable and in alphabetical order by surname. Each addition to the list must also provide a reliable verifiable source which cites the person's notability and/or the person's link to Puerto Rico, otherwise the name will be removed.
Toro Ferrer, pioneering Puerto Rican architectural firm led by Osvaldo Toro FAIA and Miguel Ferrer FAIA, both Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and responsible for such landmarks as the Caribe Hilton, the Supreme Court, the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and the Hotel La Concha
Henry Klumb, German-born architect responsible for many Puerto Rico designs from 1944 to 1984; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
Andrés Mignucci, architect, urbanist; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects; Henry Klumb Award 2012
Antonio Miró Montilla, architect, educator; first architect appointed head of a government agency, the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority, 1969 to 1971; first dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, 1971 to 1978; Chancellor of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, 1978 to 1985
Antonin Nechodoma (1877-1928), Czech architect working in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic at the turn of the 20th century; major works include the Georgetti Mansion, the Casa Korber in Miramar, and Casa Roig in Humacao
Quiara Alegría Hudes, author, playwright; wrote the book for the Broadway musical In the Heights; winner of 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; her play, Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2007 and has been performed around the country and in Romania and Brazil
Manuel A. Alonso, poet and author, considered by many to be the first Puerto Rican writer of notable importance
Alba Ambert, novelist; in 1996 became the first Hispanic author to win the Carey McWilliams Award for Multicultural Literature, presented by the Multicultural Review, for her novel A Perfect Silence
Francisco Arriví, writer, poet, and playwright; known as "the father of the Puerto Rican theater"
Héctor Feliciano, author; his book The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art has shed light on an estimated 20,000 looted works; each one is owned by a museum or a collector somewhere
Aurora Levins Morales, writer and poet; author of Medicine Stories (1998) and Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (1998)
Teresita A. Levy, author of The History of Tobacco Cultivation in Puerto Rico, 1898-1940, a study of the tobacco-growing regions in the eastern and western highlands of Puerto Rico from 1898 to 1940
Nancy Mercado, poet, playwright; author of It Concerns the Madness, seven theatre plays, and a number of essays; her work has been extensively anthologized
Pedro Mir, former Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic (Puerto Rican mother)
Nicholasa Mohr, writer; her works, among which is the novel Nilda, tell of growing up in the Bronx and El Barrio and of the difficulties Puerto Rican women face in the United States; in 1973, became the first Hispanic woman in modern times to have her literary works published by the major commercial publishing houses; has had the longest career as a creative writer for these publishing houses of any Hispanic female writer
Judith Ortiz Cofer, poet, writer and essayist; in 1994, became the first Hispanic to win the O. Henry Prize for her story "The Latin Deli"; in 1996, she and illustrator Susan Guevara became the first recipients of the Pura Belpre Award for Hispanic children's literature
Micol Ostow, author of Mind Your Manners, Dick and Jane and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa
Ramiro L. Colón, first administrator of Cooperativa de Cafeteros de Puerto Rico, Café Rico (official coffee of the Vatican)
Francisco J. Collazo, founder of COLSA Corporation, a first-rate provider of engineering and support services in Huntsville, Alabama
Deirdre Connelly, President of North America Pharmaceuticals for GlaxoSmithKline, member of the global Corporate Executive Team and co-chairs the Portfolio Management Board, along with the Chairman of Research and Development.
Jaime Fonalledas, President and CEO of Empresas Fonalledas, which owns Plaza Las Américas, the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean and one of the top retail and entertainment venues in the world; Fonalledas' companies include Plaza Del Caribe, Tres Monjitas, Vaqueria Tres Monjitas, Ganaderia Tres Monjitas, and franchise Soft & Creamy
Rafael Antonio Nazario is a pianist, composer and arranger and actor who is the Co-founder of Guzman y Gomez, an Australian licensed, casual-dining restaurant chain specialising in authentic Mexican dishes and other specialty items. It is a franchised business with 107 restaurants in operation throughout Australia, Singapore and Japan. The company continues to expand with new stores around Australia. and occasional wine writer.
Wilbert Parkhurst, in 1921, founded Empresas La Famosa, Inc., a fruit processing company that by 1971 consisted of Frozen Fruits Concentrates, Inc., Toa Canning Co., La Concentradora de Puerto Rico and Bayamón Can Company
Rafael Pérez Perry, in 1960 founded television channel 11, also known as Telecadena Pérez Perry, and became known as Tele Once in 1986
Richard Velázquez, businessman and community leader; former President of NSHMBA Puerto Rico; co-founder and former President of NSHMBA Seattle; first Puerto Rican automotive designer for Porsche, first Puerto Rican product planner for Xbox 360
Mariana Bracetti a.k.a. "Brazo de Oro" ("Golden Arm"), political activist; leader of the Lares's Revolutionary Council during the Grito de Lares; knit the first flag of the future Republic of Puerto Rico
Mathias Brugman, political activist; leader of the Grito de Lares; founded the first revolutionary committee in the City of Mayagüez; his revolutionary cell was code named "Capa Prieta" (Black Cape)
María Cadilla, women's rights activist; one of the first women in Puerto Rico to earn a doctoral degree
Luisa Capetillo, labor activist; one of Puerto Rico's most famous labor organizers; writer and an anarchist who fought for workers and women's rights
Tito Kayak, political activist; gained notoriety when a group of Vieques natives and other Puerto Ricans began protesting and squatting on U.S. Navy bombing zones after the 1999 death of Puerto Rican civilian and Vieques native David Sanes, who was killed during a U.S. Navy bombing exercise
Sylvia del Villard, Afro-Puerto Rican activist, founder of the Afro-Boricua El Coquí Theater; an outspoken activist who fought for the equal rights of the Black Puerto Rican artist; in 1981, she became the first and only director of the Office of Afro-Puerto Rican Affairs of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (Puerto Rican Institute of Culture) (see also "Actresses")
Isabel González, civil rights activist; young Puerto Rican mother who paved the way for Puerto Ricans to be given United States citizenship
Ana María O'Neill, women's rights activist and educator; in 1929, became the first female professor in the field of commerce in the University of Puerto Rico, which she taught until 1951; urged women to participate in every aspect of civic life and to defend their right to vote
Manuel Olivieri Sánchez, civil rights activist; court interpreter and a civil rights activist who led the legal battle which granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans living in Hawaii
César A. Perales, civil rights lawyer; founder of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now LatinoJustice PRLDEF); won precedent-setting lawsuits combating discrimination; New York Secretary of State
Helen Rodríguez Trías, physician and women's rights activist; first Latina president of the American Public Health Association; a founding member of the Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association; recipient of the Presidential Citizen's Medal; credited with helping to expand the range of public health services for women and children in minority and low-income populations in the US, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (see also "Educators" and "Scientists")
Ana Roque, women's rights activist, educator and suffragist; one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, civil rights and pro-independence activist; pioneer in black history who helped raise awareness of the contributions by Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans to society
Elías Beauchamp, political activist and nationalist; in 1936, assassinated Elisha Francis Riggs, the United States-appointed police chief of Puerto Rico; considered a hero by the members of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement
Isolina Rondón, political activist and Treasurer of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; one of the few witnesses of the October 24, 1935 killing of four Nationalists by local police officers in Puerto Rico during a confrontation with the supporters of the Nationalist Party, known as the Río Piedras massacre
Hiram Rosado, political activist and nationalist; in 1936 participated in the assassination of Elisha Francis Riggs, the United States-appointed police chief of Puerto Rico; he and his comrade Elías Beauchamp are considered heroes by the members of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement
Vidal Santiago Díaz, political activist; barber of Pedro Albizu Campos and uncle of the novelist Esmeralda Santiago; made Puerto Rican media history when numerous police officers and National Guardsmen attacked him at his barbershop during the 1950 Nationalist Revolt; this was the first time in Puerto Rican history that such an attack was transmitted via radio to the public
Carlos Vélez Rieckehoff, political activist, former President of the New York chapter of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party in the 1930s; in the 1990s was among the pro-independence activists who protested against the United States Navy's use of his birthplace, Vieques, as a bombing range
Olga Viscal Garriga, political activist, member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; in the late 1940s became a student leader at the University of Puerto Rico and spokesperson of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party's branch in Río Piedras
Florencio Morales Ramos, a.k.a. "Ramito", bolero and plena composer and singer; composed "Que Bonita Bandera", which, on March 19, 2009, served as the wake-up call for Puerto Rican astronaut Joseph M. Acaba and the crew aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle
Mark Morales, a.k.a. "Prince Markie Dee", rapper, and producer
Tomás Rivera Morales a.k.a. "Maso Rivera", composer; child music prodigy who composed over 1,000 instrumental compositions for the cuatro, among which he treasured the waltz. He is considered to be a virtuoso cuatrista.
Augusto Rodríguez, composer and chorus director; founder of the choir of the University of Puerto Rico
Chino Rodriguez, salsa musician, trombonist, composer, artist manager, producer, talent agent; founder of Oriente Music Group and Latin Music Booking (Puerto Rican mother, Chinese father)
Lalo Rodríguez, salsa singer; was part of the first two records to win the first two Latin Grammy Awards; first artist to sell over one million salsa records in Spain
Pellin Rodríguez, salsa singer; member of the musical group El Gran Combo. Toured with the group all over Europe and Latin America He was related to Gilberto Concepción de Gracia, founder of the Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Independence Party).
Ursula Acosta, educator; one of the founding members of the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogía (Puerto Rican Genealogical Society)
Alfredo M. Aguayo, educator and writer; established the first laboratory of child psychology at the University of Havana
Carlos Albizu Miranda, psychologist, educator; first Hispanic educator to have a North American university renamed in his honor and one of the first Hispanics to earn a PhD in Psychology in the US
Margot Arce de Vázquez, educator; founder of the Department of Hispanic Studies in the University of Puerto Rico
Eugenio María de Hostos, educator; in Peru, he helped to develop that country's educational system and spoke against the harsh treatment given to the Chinese who lived there. He stayed in Chile from 1870-73. During his stay there, he taught at the University of Chile and gave a speech titled "The Scientific Education of Women;" he proposed that governments permit women in their colleges; soon after, Chile allowed women to enter its college educational system (see also "Politicians" and "Authors).
Angelo Falcón, political scientist; author of Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans (2004); co-editor of Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City (2004)
Sonia Gutierrez, (born July 8, 1939) is an American educator and Hispanic rights activist. She was principal, counselor and advocate for adult students at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, an adult charter school in Washington, D.C.
Ingrid Montes, educator, professor of chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
Antonio Miró Montilla, architect, educator; first architect appointed head of a government agency, the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority, 1969-71; first dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, 1971-78; Chancellor of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, 1978-85
Lolita Tizol, early 1900s educator; at a time when most people in Ponce, as most of Puerto Rico, did not know how to read and write, and when teachers were paid only $50 per month, even in the large cities, Tizol took it upon herself to overcome all challenges to help others
Nilita Vientós Gastón, educator; first female lawyer to work for the Department of Justice of Puerto Rico; defended the use of the Spanish language in the courts of Puerto Rico, before the Supreme Court, and won
Mariano Villaronga-Toro, educator and public servant; first Commissioner of Public Instruction after the creation of the Estado Libre Asociado; instituted the use of Spanish as the official language of instruction in the Puerto Rico public education system, displacing English, which had been pushed by the US-appointed colonial governors
First Lady or First Gentleman of Puerto Rico, a.k.a. Primera Dama o Primer Caballero de Puerto Rico in Spanish, is the official title given by the government of Puerto Rico to the spouse of the governor of Puerto Rico or the relatives of the governor, should the holder be unmarried. The governor's spouse leads the Office of the First Lady or First Gentleman of Puerto Rico. The position of First Lady or First Gentleman carries no official duty and receives no compensation for their service. They generally oversee the administration of La Fortaleza, the mansion that serves as the governor's residence and office. They also organize events and civic programs, and typically get involved in different charities and social causes.
Tony Santiago Rodríguez a.k.a. Tony "the Marine" Santiago
Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra, first historian (Spanish) to extensively document Puerto Rico's history, nationality and culture
Delma S. Arrigoitia, historian, author; first person in the University of Puerto Rico to earn a master's degree in the field of history; in 2010, her book, Puerto Rico Por Encima de Todo: Vida y Obra de Antonio R. Barceló, 1868-1938, was recognized among the best in the category of "research and criticism" and awarded a first place prize by the Ateneo Puertorriqueño[failed verification]
Antonio Cortón, late 19th century writer, journalist, literary critic, and editor of newspaper in Barcelona, Spain. He wrote Las Antillas and the biography of José de Espronceda, a 19th century poet.
Angel G. Hermida, Superior Court Judge, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (1976-1997); visiting professor in Comparative Law at Boston University (1984); Chief Clerk of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico (1974-1976); Physics professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (1964-1966); author of MIRIAM J. RAMÍREZ DE FERRER Recurrente Vs. JUAN MARI BRAS, which decided that citizens of Puerto Rico have a right to vote in Puerto Rican elections, whether or not they are citizens of the United States
Federico Hernández Denton, former Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court; Puerto Rico's first Consumer Affairs Secretary
Vanessa Ruiz, Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest court for the District of Columbia
A. Cecil Snyder, controversial Chief Justice and U.S. attorney in Puerto Rico
Sonia Sotomayor, first Puerto Rican woman to serve as an (2nd Cir.) U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge and first Hispanic to be nominated and confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Briana's Law - Briana Ojeda was an 11-year-old girl who died in the summer of 2010 when a police officer did not perform CPR on her after she suffered from an asthma attack. Briana's Law, which requires that every police officer and member of the State Police, including police officer trainees and state police cadets, receive CPR training prior to employment as well as during employment every two years, was named in her honor.
Gonzales v. Williams - Isabel González was a Puerto Rican activist who helped pave the way for Puerto Ricans to be given United States citizenship. González challenged the Government of the United States in the groundbreaking case Gonzales v. Williams (192 U.S. 1 (1904)). Her Supreme Court case is the first time that the Court confronted the citizenship status of inhabitants of territories acquired by the United States. González actively pursued the cause of U.S. citizenship for all Puerto Ricans by writing letters published in The New York Times.
Juan de Amézqueta, Captain, Puerto Rican Militia; defeated Captain Balduino Enrico (Boudewijn Hendricksz), who in 1625 was ordered by the Dutch to capture Puerto Rico
Rafael Conti, Colonel, Spanish Army; in 1790, captured 11 enemy ships involved in smuggling stolen goods. In 1797, he helped defeat Sir Ralph Abercromby and defend Puerto Rico from a British invasion in his hometown, Aguadilla. In 1809, he organized a military expedition fight with the aim of returning Hispaniola, which now comprise the nations of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, back to Spanish rule.
Antonio de los Reyes Correa, Captain, Spanish Army; Puerto Rican hero who defended the town Arecibo in 1702 from an invasion by defeating the British; was awarded La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie (The Gold Medal of the Royal Image), by King Philip V of Spain and given the title "Captain of Infantry"
José and Francisco Díaz, Sergeants, Puerto Rican militia; cousins in the Toa Baja Militia who helped defeat Sir Ralph Abercromby and defend Puerto Rico from a British invasion in 1797
Miguel Henríquez, Captain, Spanish Navy; in 1713, defeated the British in Vieques and was awarded the La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie (The Gold Medal of the Royal Effigy)
Luis Padial, Brigadier General, Spanish Army; in 1863, his battalion was deployed with the intention of "squashing" a pro-independence rebellion in the Dominican Republic, in which he was wounded; played an essential role in the abolishment of slavery in Puerto Rico
Ramón Power y Giralt, Captain, Spanish Navy; distinguished naval officer who from 1808-1809 led the defense of the Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) against an invasion from Napoleon's French forces by enforcing a blockade in support of the Spanish ground troops
Manuel Rojas, Commander in Chief of the Puerto Rican Liberation Army; on September 28, 1868, he led 800 men and women in a revolt against Spanish rule and took the town of Lares in the Grito de Lares
Joseph (José) B. Aviles, Sr., CWO2, U.S. Coast Guard; on September 28, 1925, became the first Hispanic Chief Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard; during World War II received a wartime promotion to Chief Warrant Officer, becoming the first Hispanic to reach that level as well
Modesto Cartagena, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army; the most decorated Hispanic soldier in history; distinguished himself in combat during the Korean War as a member of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry and is being considered for the Medal of Honor
Felix M. Conde-Falcon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; received the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014 for his courageous actions while serving as an acting Platoon Leader in Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Ap Tan Hoa, Republic of Vietnam on April 4, 1969
Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Army; a Battalion Commander of the 31st Infantry Regiment who documented his experiences as a prisoner of war and his participation in the infamous Bataan Death March of World War II.
Juan César Cordero Dávila, Major General, U.S. Army; commanding officer of the 65th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War, thus becoming one of the highest ranking ethnic officers in the Army
Encarnación Correa, Sergeant, U.S. Army; the person who fired the first warning shots in World War I on behalf of the United States against a ship flying the colors of the Central Powers, when on March 21, 1915, under the orders of then-Lieutenant Teófilo Marxuach, he manned a machine gun and opened fire on the Odenwald, an armed German supply ship trying to force its way out of the San Juan Bay
Salvador E. Felices, Major General, U.S. Air Force; first Puerto Rican general in the U.S. Air Force; in 1953, he flew in 19 combat missions over North Korea during the Korean War; in 1957, he participated in a historic project that was given to Fifteenth Air Force by the Strategic Air Command headquarters known as "Operation Power Flite", the first around the world non-stop flight by all-jet aircraft
Fernando Luis García, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps; first Puerto Rican awarded the Medal of Honor; posthumously awarded the medal for his actions against enemy aggressor forces in the Korean War on September 5, 1952.
Carmen García Rosado, Private First Class, U.S. Women's Army Corps; was among the first 200 Puerto Rican women to be recruited into the WAC's during World War II; author of LAS WACS-Participacion de la Mujer Boricua en la Segunda Guerra Mundial (The WACs - The participation of the Puerto Rican women in the Second World War), the first book which documents the experiences of the first 200 Puerto Rican women to participate in said conflict as members of the armed forces of the United States
Mihiel Gilormini, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; World War II hero, recipient of 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses; together with Brig. General Alberto A. Nido and Lt. Col. Jose Antonio Muñiz, founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard; previously flew for the Royal Canadian Air Force (1941) and the Royal Air Force (1941-1942)
Haydee Javier Kimmich, Captain, U.S. Navy; highest ranking Hispanic female in the Navy; Chief of Orthopedics at the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda and she reorganized Reservist Department of the medical center during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
Orlando Llenza, Major General, U.S. Air Force; second Puerto Rican to reach the rank of Major General (two-star General) in the United States Air Force; Adjutant General of the Puerto Rico National Guard
Carmen Lozano Dumler, 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Women's Army Corps; one of the first Puerto Rican women Army officers; in 1944, she was sworn in as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 161st General Hospital in San Juan
Antonio Maldonado, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; in 1965, became the youngest person to pilot a B-52 aircraft; his active participation in the Vietnam War included 183 air combat missions
Joseph (José) R. Martínez, Private First Class, U.S. Army; destroyed a German Infantry unit and tank in Tuniz by providing heavy artillery fire, saving his platoon from being attacked in the process; received the Distinguished Service Cross from General George S. Patton, becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration
Teófilo Marxuach, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army; fired a hostile shot from a cannon located at the Santa Rosa battery of El Morro fort, in what is considered to be the first shot of World War I fired by the regular armed forces of the United States against any ship flying the colors of the Central Powers, forcing the Odenwald to stop and to return to port where its supplies were confiscated
George E. Mayer, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; first Hispanic Commander of the Naval Safety Center; led an international naval exercise known as Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2003 from his flagship, the USS Vella Gulf; this was the first time in the 31-year history of BALTOPS that the exercise included combined ground troops from Russia, Poland, Denmark and the United States
Angel Mendez, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps; of Puerto Rican descent; was awarded the Navy Cross in Vietnam and is being considered for the Medal of Honor; saved the life of his lieutenant, Ronald D. Castille, who went on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Enrique Méndez, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican to assume the positions of Army Deputy Surgeon General, Commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
José Antonio Muñiz Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force; together with then-Colonels Alberto A. Nido and Mihiel Gilormini, founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard; in 1963, the Air National Guard Base, at the San Juan International airport in Puerto Rico, was renamed "Muñiz Air National Guard Base" in his honor
William A. Navas, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican named Assistant Secretary of the Navy; a veteran of the Vietnam War; nominated in 2001 by President George W. Bush to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
Juan E. Negrón, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army; received the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014, for courageous actions while serving as a member of Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kalma-Eri, Korea, on April 28, 1951
Héctor Andrés Negroni, Colonel, U.S. Air Force; first Puerto Rican graduate of the United States Air Force Academy; a veteran of the Vietnam War; was awarded the Aeronautical Merit Cross, Spai'ns highest Air Force peacetime award for his contributions to the successful implementation of the United States-Spain Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation
Alberto A. Nido, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; a World War II war hero who together with Lt. Col. Jose Antonio Muñiz, co-founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and served as its commander for many years; served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the British Royal Air Force and in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II
Ramón Núñez-Juárez, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps; listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest medal after the Medal of Honor, that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy; the only Puerto Rican member of the United States Marine Corps whose remains have never been recovered and who was listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War
Jorge Otero Barreto, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army; with 38 decorations, which includes 3 Silver Star Medals, 5 Bronze Star Medals with Valor, 4 Army Commendation medals, 5 Purple Heart Medals and 5 Air Medals, has been called the most decorated U.S. soldier of the Vietnam War
Dolores Piñero, U.S. Army Medical Corps; despite the fact that she was not an active member of the military, she was the first Puerto Rican woman doctor to serve in the Army under contract during World War I; at first she was turned down, but after writing a letter to the Army Surgeon General in Washington, D.C. she was ordered to report to Camp Las Casas in Santurce, Puerto Rico; in October 1918, she signed her contract with the Army.
José M. Portela, Brigadier General U.S. Air Force; served in the position of Assistant Adjutant General for Air while also serving as commander of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard; in 1972, became the youngest C-141 Starlifter aircraft commander and captain at age 22; the only reservist ever to serve as director of mobility forces for Bosnia
Antonio J. Ramos, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; first Hispanic to serve as commander, Air Force Security Assistance Center, Air Force Materiel Command, and dual-hatted as Assistant to the Commander for International Affairs, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command
Agustín Ramos Calero, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army; with 22 military decorations, was the most decorated soldier in all of the United States during World War II
Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci, Major, U.S. Air Force; one of the pilots who participated in the Libyan air raid as member of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing; his F-111F was shot down in action over the disputed Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast. Ribas-Dominicci and his weapons systems officer, Capt. Paul Lorence, were the only U.S. casualties of Operation El Dorado Canyon
Frederick Lois Riefkohl, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; born Luis Federico Riefkohl Jaimieson; one of the first Puerto Ricans to graduate from the United States Naval Academy; in World War I became the first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Navy Cross
Rudolph W. Riefkohl, Colonel, U.S. Army; played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic
Demensio Rivera, Private, U.S. Army; received the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014, for his courageous actions while serving as an automatic rifleman with 2d Platoon, Company G, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Changyong-ni, Korea on May 23, 1951
Pedro N. Rivera, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; in 1994, became the first Hispanic to be named medical commander in the Air Force; responsible for the provision of health care to more than 50,000 patients
Horacio Rivero, Admiral, U.S. Navy; in 1964, became the first Puerto Rican and second Hispanic Admiral (four-star) in the U.S. Navy; participated in World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War; commander in 1962 of the American fleet sent by President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis to set up a quarantine (blockade) of the Soviet ships in an effort to stop the Cold War from escalating into World War III
Maria Rodriguez Denton, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy; first woman from Puerto Rico who became an officer in the United States Navy as member of the WAVES; forwarded the news (through channels) to President Harry S. Truman that the war had ended
Antulio Segarra, Colonel, U.S. Army; in 1943, became the first Puerto Rican Regular Army officer to command a Regular Army Regiment when he assumed the command of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment, which was conducting security missions in the jungles of Panama
Frankie Segarra, Master Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps; first Puerto Rican to reach the grade of Master Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps within his MOS
Miguel A. Vera, Private, U.S. Army; was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his courageous actions while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, on September 21, 1952
Humbert Roque Versace, Captain, U.S. Army; of Italian and Puerto Rican descent; posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War; first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity
Hilda I. Ortiz Clayton, Specialist, U.S. Army , was a combat photographer killed in 2013 when a mortar exploded during an Afghan training exercise; she was able to photograph the explosion that killed her and four Afghan soldiers. The 55th Signal Company named their annual competitive award for combat camera work "The Spc. Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera (COMCAM) Competition" in her honor.
Olga E. Custodio, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force; first female Hispanic U.S. military pilot; first Latina to complete U.S. Air Force military pilot training; after retiring, became the first Latina commercial airline captain
Emilio Díaz Colón, Major General, U.S. Army; PRNG; first Superintendent of the Puerto Rican Police; served as the Adjutant General of the Puerto Rican National Guard
Rafael O'Ferrall, Brigadier General, U.S. Army; first Hispanic and person of Puerto Rican descent to become the Deputy Commanding General for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, Cuba while simultaneously serving as Assistant Adjutant General (Army) and Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Force Headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico
Lizbeth Robles, U.S. Army; in 2005, was the first female soldier born in Puerto Rico to die in combat as an active soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom
Maritza Sáenz Ryan, Colonel, U.S. Army; of Puerto Ricana and Spanish descent; head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy; first woman and first Hispanic (Puerto Rican and Spanish heritage) West Point graduate to serve as an academic department head; the most senior ranking Hispanic Judge Advocate
Marc H. Sasseville, Major General, U.S. Air Force; Puerto Rican mother; on September 11, 2001, was acting operations group commander under the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard; one of four fighter pilots commissioned with finding and destroying United Flight 93 by any means necessary, including ramming the aircraft in midair
Frances M. Vega, SPC, U.S. Army; on November 2, 2003, became the first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to die in a combat zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom
Noel Zamot, Colonel, U.S. Air Force, a native of Rio Piedras, was the first Hispanic Commandant of the Air Force's elite Test Pilot School. He is also a former combat and test aviator with over 1900 hours in B-52, B-1B, B-2A, F-16D and over 20 other aircraft.
Irene M. Zoppi, Brigadier General, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican woman to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Army; Deputy Commanding General - Support under the 200th Military Police Command at Fort Meade, Maryland; Bronze Star Medal recipient
José Ramón Alcalá, anatomist; appointed assistant professor in 1972 in the Wayne School of Medicine; expert on cell makeup of the human eye lens; developed laboratory methods to study the histology of ocular tissue, which ultimately helped explain the development of cataracts, among other maladies of the eye
Carlos Albizu Miranda, psychologist; first Hispanic educator to have a North American university renamed in his honor; one of the first Hispanics to earn a PhD in psychology in the U.S.
Bailey K. Ashford, author, physician, soldier, and parasitologist; Colonel in the U.S. Army, arrived in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War and made the island his home; organized and conducted a parasite treatment campaign which cured approximately 300,000 people (one-third of the Puerto Rico population) and reduced the death rate from this anemia by 90 percent
Pedro Beauchamp, surgeon; first Puerto Rican specialist certified by the American Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Board; performed the first in vitro fertilization technique on the island in 1985
Víctor Manuel Blanco, astronomer; in 1959, discovered a "Blanco 1", a galactic cluster; second Director of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, which has the largest 4-m telescope in the Southern Hemisphere; in 1995, the telescope was dedicated in his honor as the "Víctor M. Blanco Telescope", also known as the "Blanco 4m"
Anthony M. Busquets, electronic engineer, aerospace technologist; involved in the development and application of multifunction control/display switch technology in 1983 and development and application of a microprocessor-based I/O system for simulator use in 1984
Carlos E. Chardón, a.k.a. the "father of mycology in Puerto Rico"; first Puerto Rican mycologist; discovered the aphid "Aphis maidis", the vector of the mosaic of sugar cane, in 1922; author of the Chardón Plan; first Puerto Rican to hold the position of Chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico
Carlos Del Castillo, NASA scientist; Program Scientist for the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program at NASA; recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers
Manuel de la Pila Iglesias, multi-faceted physician; introduced the first EKG and X-ray machines into Puerto Rico; founded a medical clinic which today houses a respected medical center in Ponce
Alfonso Eaton, mechanical engineer, aerospace technologist; first Puerto Rican to work for NASA
Orlando Figueroa, mechanical engineer at NASA; former Director for Mars Exploration and the Director for the Solar System Division in the Office of Space Science; now Director, Applied Engineering & Technology at the NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center; as Director of Engineering he manages the full scope of engineering activities at Goddard
Adolfo Figueroa-Viñas, first Puerto Rican astrophysicist at NASA working in solar plasma physics; senior research scientist; involved in many NASA missions such as Wind, SOHO, Cluster and MMS projects
Amri Hernández-Pellerano, NASA engineer; designs, builds and tests the electronics that regulate the solar array power at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Gloria Hernandez, physical scientist, aerospace technologist; Science Manager for the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment at NASA Langley Research Center; her supersonic aerodynamic research has resulted in economic advances in supersonic flight
Lucas G. Hortas, aerospace engineer and technologist; author and or co-author of over 35 technical papers
Ramón E. López, physicist; professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington; Fellow of the American Physical Society; recipient of the 2002 Nicholson Medal for Humanitarian Service; co-authored a book on space weather, Storms from the Sun
Fernando López Tuero, agricultural scientist and agronomist; discovered the bug (believed at first to be a germ) which was destroying Puerto Rico's sugar canes
Carlos A. Liceaga, electronic engineer, aerospace technologist; leads the development of proposal guidelines, and the technical, management, and cost evaluation of the proposals For the Explorer Program
Ariel Lugo, scientist and ecologist; Director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, based in Puerto Rico; founding member of the Society for Ecological Restoration; member-at-large of the Board of the Ecological Society of America
Debbie Martínez, computer engineer, aerospace technologist; Flight Systems and Software Branch software manager for the Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA Langley Research Center
Lissette Martinez, electronic engineer, rocket scientist; lead electrical engineer for the Space Experiment Module program at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility
Mercedes Reaves, research engineer and scientist; responsible for the design of a viable full-scale solar sail and the development and testing of a scale model solar sail at NASA Langley Research Center
Ron Rivera, inventor and workshop organizer; invented life-saving water filters based on pottery
Miriam Rodon-Naveira, NASA scientist; first Hispanic woman to hold the Deputy Directorship for the Environmental Sciences Division in the National Exposure Research Laboratory
Miguel Rodríguez, mechanical engineer; Chief of the Integration Office of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office
Pedro Rodriguez, inventor, mechanical engineer; director of a test laboratory at NASA; invented a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis
Helen Rodriguez-Trias, physician and activist; first Latina president of the American Public Health Association; a founding member of the Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association; recipient of the Presidential Citizen's Medal
Gualberto Ruaño, biotechnology pioneer and founder of Genomas, Inc.; pioneer in the field of personalized medicine; inventor of a system used worldwide for the management of viral diseases; President and founder of Genomas, a genetics-related company; director of genetics research at Hartford Hospital's Genetic Research Center
Yajaira Sierra Sastre, astronaut; part of a NASA project on astronaut nutrition and health; She will live for four months isolated in a planetary module at a base in Hawaii to simulate life at a future base on Mars
Diego R. Solís, physician; performed the first simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in Puerto Rico
Félix Soto Toro, electrical engineer, astronaut applicant; developed the Advanced Payload Transfer Measurement System (ASPTMS), an electronic 3D measuring system
José María Marxuach Echavarría, the only Puerto Rican to serve as the Mayor of San Juan under both Spanish and American rule; served in 1897 for the Liberal Reformista Party and 1900-01 for the Puerto Rican Republican Party
Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón, political leader; in his early political career favored Puerto Rican statehood and later became an advocate for Puerto Rico's independence and founder of the Independence Party of Puerto Rico
Josefina Barceló Bird de Romero (birth name: Maria Antonia Josefina Barceló Bird), elected president of the Liberal Party after her father died in 1938; first woman elected to lead a major political party in Puerto Rico
Leopoldo Figueroa, co-founder of the Independence Association, one of three political organizations which merged to form the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; changed political ideals and in 1948 was a member of the Partido Estadista Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Statehood Party); the only member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives that year who did not belong to the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), he opposed the PPD's approval of the bill that became the Ley de la Mordaza (Gag Law), which violated the civil rights of those who favor(ed) Puerto Rican independence
Robert Garcia, former New York State Assemblyman, State Senator and U.S. Representative
Oscar García Rivera, Sr., former New York State Assemblyman; in 1937 became the first Puerto Rican elected to public office in the continental U.S.; in 1956, became the first Puerto Rican to be nominated as the Republican candidate for Justice of the City Court
Roberto Clemente, 3,000-hit baseball player, first Puerto Rican member of Baseball Hall of Fame
Abdiel Colberg, first Hispanic professional rollerblader
Rebekah Colberg, known as "the mother of Puerto Rican women's sports"; participated in various athletic competitions in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games in Panama, where she won gold medals in discus and javelin throw
Carlitos Colon, former professional wrestler and member of the WWE Hall of Fame
Gigi Fernández, tennis player, in 1992 became the first female athlete from her native Puerto Rico win an Olympic gold medal; first female athlete from Puerto Rico to turn professional; first Puerto Rican woman inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Lisa Fernandez, softball player, Olympic gold medalist (Puerto Rican mother)
Orlando Fernández a.k.a. "the Puerto Rican Aquaman"; swimmer; first Puerto Rican to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar
Ed Figueroa, baseball pitcher, first Puerto Rican to win 20 games in Major League
^La Fountain-Stokes, Lawrence. "Entre boleros, travestismos y migraciones translocales: Manuel Ramos Otero, Jorge Merced y El bolero fue mi ruina del Teatro Pregones del Bronx." Revista Iberoamericana 71.212 (July-September 2005): pp. 887-907.
^Rodríguez-Matos, Carlos. "Frances Negrón-Muntaner" In David William Foster, ed., Latin American Writers on Gay and Lesbian Themes (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994): pp. 288-90; ISBN0-313-28479-2
^Rivera Marrero, Mildred (December 10, 2017). "Distinguen el Paseo Puerta de Tierra". El Nuevo Día. El Nuevo Dia. Retrieved 2018. Arquitecto Segundo Cardona destaca la importancia de la obra y la necesidad de que gobierno y ciudadanos la cuiden
^Marvel, Thomas S. (1994). Antonin Nechodoma: Architect, 1877-1928: The Prairie School in the Caribbean. University Press of Florida.
^Mariano G. Coronas Castro, Certifying Official, and Felix J. del Campo, State Historian and Jorge Ortiz, Architect. Puerto Rico Historic Preservation Office. (San Juan, Puerto Rico) April 27, 1987. In National Register of Historic Places Registration Form - Banco Credito y Ahorro Ponceño. United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service. (Washington, D.C.) Section 8, Page 3. Listing Reference Number 87001002. June 25, 1987.
^Mariano G. Coronas Castro, Certifying Official; Felix Juan del Campo, State Historian; and Hector F. Santiago, State Architectural Historian, Puerto Rico Historic Preservation Office. (San Juan, Puerto Rico) August 1987. In National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form. United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service. (Washington, D.C.) Page 3. Listing Reference Number 87001826: Residencia Subira/Residencia Frau. October 29, 1987.
^Armando Morales Pares, State Architect, S.H.P.O., Abelardo Gonzalez Aviles, Architect, Centro de Investigaciones Folkloricas de Puerto Rico (Ponce, Puerto Rico), State Historic Preservation Officer, Certifying Officer. May 18, 1984. In National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form - Villaronga Residence. United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service. (Washington, D.C.) Page 3. Listing Reference Number 84003151. August 24, 1984.
^D'Amore, Anna Maria (2009). Translating Contemporary Mexican Texts: Fidelity to Alterity. New York: Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics. p. 104. In the stakes of literary acclaim and respectability is Giannina Braschi, considered by many to be Puerto Rico's premier poet.
^"PEN: Free Expression/Literature". PEN American Center. November 2012. Giannina Braschi, one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today, wrote the postmodern poetry classic EMPIRE OF DREAMS
^"Giannina Braschi". National Book Festival. Library of Congress. 2012. Braschi, one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today is the author of Empire of Dreams.
^"Giannina Braschi: Book Fest 12". National Book Festival Transcript and Webcast. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. September 2012. Giannina Braschi, a poet, essayist and novelist often described as cutting-edge, influential and even revolutionary
^Aparicio, Frances R. "Victor Hernández Cruz" profile, Heath Anthology of American Literature, Fifth Edition. Paul Lauter, General Editor. Cengage Online Study Center; accessed January 10, 2010.
^Morales-Díaz, Enrique. "Identity of the 'Diasporican' Homosexual in the Literary Periphery." In José L. Torres-Padilla and Carmen Haydée Rivera, eds. Writing Off the Hyphen: New Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008. pp. 295-312; ISBN978-0-295-98824-5
^Quiroga, José. "Ramos Otero, Manuel." Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature, 1900-2003, ed. Daniel Balderston and Mike Gonzalez, pp. 471-72. New York: Routledge, 2004; ISBN0-415-30687-6.
^"Eduardo Giorgetti Y Su Mundo: La Aparente Paradoja De Un Millonario Genio Empresarial Y Su Noble Humanismo"; by Delma S. Arrigoitia; Publisher: Ediciones Puerto; ISBN0-942347-52-8; ISBN978-0-942347-52-4
^ ab"War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony"; Author: Nelson Antonio Denis; Publisher: Nation Books (April 7, 2015); ISBN978-1568585017.
^Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia,By Vicki Ruíz, Virginia Sánchez Korrol, Inc NetLibrary; Published by Indiana University Press, 2006; Page 164; ISBN0-253-34680-0, ISBN978-0-253-34680-3
^Max Salazar Mambo kingdom: Latin music in New York 2002 "Santitos Colón - On Saturday, February 21, 1998, the renowned balladeer Santos Colón, known as Santitos, died in Puerto Rico. ... Born Ángel Santos Vega Colón in Mayaguez on November 1, 1922, he began singing with the orchestra of Frank Madera..."
^La Rebelión del Cacique Agüeybaná II. En Marcha: Organo del Comite Central del Partido Comunista Maxista Leninista de Ecuador. Seccion: Testimonio y Dialéctica. May 8, 2006. Page 1. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
^Historias de Puerto Rico by Paul G. Miller (1947), pp. 221-37.
^"Historia de Puerto Rico" de Paul G. Miller, Rand McNally, editor, 1947, p. 237.
^Carmen García Rosado, "LAS WACS"-Participacion de la Mujer Boricua en la Seginda Guerra Mundial, p. 60; 1ra. Edicion publicada en Octubre de 2006; 2da Edicion revisada 2007; Regitro tro Propiedad Intectual ELA (Government of Puerto Rico) #06-13P-)1A-399
^Negroni, Héctor Andrés. Historia Militar de Puerto Rico (A Military History of Puerto Rico), Turner Publishing. 1992; ISBN84-7844-138-7. p 486.
^Women Doctors in War (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series); by: Judith Bellafaire and Mercedes Herrera Graf; Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; ISBN1603441468; ISBN978-1603441469
^Alcala, Jose (1987). "Limited proteolysis of gap junction protein is intrinsic in mammalian lens fiber-cell plasma membranes". Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 147 (2): 846-853. doi:10.1016/0006-291X(87)91007-2. PMID3115266.
^Mary Ellen Verheyden-Hilliard, "Scientist from Puerto Rico, Maria Cordero Hardy (American Women in Science Biography)", Equity Institute; 1st edition (June 1985); ISBN0-932469-02-7/ISBN978-0-93246-902-1
^Oliver-Gonzalez, José; Rose, Harry M.; Culbertson, James T. (May 1, 1945). "Chemotherapy of Human Filariasis by the Administration of Neostibosan1". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. s1-25 (3): 271-274. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.1945.s1-25.271.