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This is a list of notable people from Puerto Rico which includes people who were born in (Borinquen) and people who are of full or partial descent. It should be noted that 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 fotos de yenny ribera be an actor or director. In some cases a subject may be notable in more than one field, such as, 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.

Contents

Actors, actresses, comedians and directors[]

A

  • (a.k.a. "Don Cholito"), comedian
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , actor and comedian
  • , actress, MTV VJ
  • , singer and actor
  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , comedian and television host
  • , film/television director
  • , actor and comedian
  • , actress

B

  • , documentary director and producer
  • , theatrical actress
  • , actress and television host
  • , actor, singer-songwriter (Puerto Rican grandfather)
  • , television and theatrical actress

C

  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , actress and comedian
  • , actress and singer
  • , actress and comedian
  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , actor (Puerto Rican father)
  • , actress (Puerto Rican father)
  • , comedian
  • , Puerto Rican singer and dancer
  • , film director and television producer
  • , actress
  • , actress and founder of the
  • , film and theatrical actress
  • , comedian and television producer
  • , actress
  • , actress
  • , actress and singer
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , film and television actress

D

  • , actress, singer and television host
  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • , actor, writer, producer
  • , actress, former MTV, singer ()
  • , Academy Award-winning actor
  • , actress, choreographer and dancer
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , actress

E

F

G

  • , actress
  • , actress
  • , actress, dancer
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , television and film actor, model
  • , actress, former titleholder
  • , actor
  • , actress, playwright
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , television and film producer
  • , actor
  • , television and film actor

H

I

J

L

  • , actress
  • , comedian
  • , actress
  • , singer, actress, and dancer
  • , actress, singer, and dancer

M

  • , actress
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • (1920–2002) actor, singer, and ;remembered for having played Pepino Garcia in television series
  • , female impersonator, reality television personality
  • , actress
  • , theatre actor and director
  • , actress, comedian and producer
  • , actress
  • , actor, composer, rapper and writer, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals and ; has won a, two, an, a, and three
  • , actor and comedian
  • , female impersonator; actor; member of
  • , actor
  • , comedian,director, and actor
  • , actress, comedian
  • , actress, first Hispanic woman to win the following four major awards: an, a, an and a
  • , actor (Puerto Rican father)
  • , television producer, comedian
  • , comedian and producer

N

  • , actress
  • , actor/comedian
  • , filmmaker, writer, and scholar
  • , actress; first Puerto Rican to win a
  • , actor

O

  • , voice actor
  • , actress
  • , singer and model
  • , actor, television producer
  • , actor
  • , actress (Puerto Rican father); winner of 2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress

P

  • , actress, singer and comedian
  • ,
  • , actress (Puerto Rican father)
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , actor (Puerto Rican grandmother)
  • , comedian, actor (Puerto Rican mother)

Q

R

  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , comedian/actress
  • , actor
  • , actor and singer
  • , actress, singer and dancer; winner of two
  • , playwright; first Puerto Rican nominated for an Oscar in "Best Adapted Screenplay" category
  • , a.k.a. "Yoyo Boing", comedian
  • , first Puerto Rican actress to appear in a major Hollywood motion picture
  • , actress (Puerto Rican father)
  • , also known as "Diplo", comedian; organized the world's first known in 1953[]
  • , a.k.a. "Machuchal", comedian
  • , actor
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , comedian, actress
  • , television personality ()
  • , actress
  • , actress and singer
  • , singer
  • , actress

S

  • , actress (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , film actress and dancer
  • , actor (musical, film )
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , actress
  • , actor
  • , actress
  • , actor and playwright
  • , actor
  • , actor (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , female impersonator, reality television personality
  • , director
  • , actress, model
  • , actor, playwright, stage director

T

U

V

  • , film director, screenwriter
  • , actress
  • , actor,,
  • , actress
  • , actress
  • , actress and singer
  • , actress
  • , pioneer movie producer; produced Romance Tropical, the first Puerto Rican film with sound

W

  • , also known as "Bizcocho", comedian
  • , female impersonator, reality television personality
  • , female impersonator, actor

Z

Adult film entertainers[]

Hosts/presenters[]

  • , television host, TV producer,
  • , television host, chef
  • , television host, psychologist
  • , host of cooking show Daisy Cooks!
  • , once known as "Stuttering John" ( and )
  • , television host, author and recording artist
  • , television host, comedian; hosted El Show de las 12 (The 12 pm Show) for over 40 years
  • , show host, musician and author
  • , radio and television personality
  • , also known as "La La"; MTV veejay
  • , created ¡Sube, Nene, Sube! (Go up, Man, Go up!) and ¡Pa'rriba, Papi, Pa'rriba! (Higher, Daddy, Higher!)
  • , hosted Sábado en Grande (Big Saturday, also with Roberto), El Show del Mediodía (The Midday Show) and De Magazin
  • , hosted Parejo, Doble y Triple (Square, Double and Triple)

Architects[]

  • , architect, educator; first director of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
  • , architect and ; designed the, located in
  • FAIA (1950, San Juan, PR), architect, developer; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects since 2006
  • , architect; first Puerto Rican to graduate from an American architecture university; work highlights include Casa de España,
  • , 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
  • , German-born architect responsible for many Puerto Rico designs from 1944 to 1984; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
  • , architect, urbanist; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects; Henry Klumb Award 2012
  • , 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
  • (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
  • , designed the,, and
  • , architect, educator; first dean of the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
  • , creator of the architectural style; designed, among many others, the,, and the
  • , early 20th-century architect from ; designed many historical buildings now listed in the, including his own home (the ) in the, which today is home to the

Authors, playwrights and poets[]

A

  • , author, playwright, poet and translator
  • , author, playwright; wrote the book for the Broadway musical ; winner of 2012 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
  • , poet, writer, co-founder of the
  • , 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
  • , writer, poet, and playwright ; known as "the father of the Puerto Rican theater"
  • , poet, playwright and scholar

B

  • , author; first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City
  • , author of the autobiographical book Tu alto precio... Mi gran valor
  • , playwright, poet
  • , poet whose collaboration with the "Aguinaldo Puertorriqueño" (collection of Puerto Rican poetry) gave her recognition as a great poet
  • , writer and historian; author of Prontuario Historico de Puerto Rico and El Prejuicio Racial en Puerto Rico (Racial Prejudice in Puerto Rico)
  • , Afro-Caribbean poet, also known as the Negro Verse Pharaoh; known for his Afro-Caribbean poetry[]
  • , a Fellow; author of the bestselling classic and

C

  • , writer, educator and women's rights activist
  • , writer/poet (Puerto Rican mother); wife of Nobel Prize winning author
  • , essayist and poet
  • , writer; "father of the "
  • , poet, journalist and politician; defended the abolition of slavery and the establishment of a University in Puerto Rico
  • , poet, journalist and pro-independence political activist (member of the Nationalist Party) who opposed United States rule in Puerto Rico

D

  • , ' and -winning playwright who is best known for the worldwide musical hit
  • , well-known poet during Puerto Rico's postmodern era of poetry
  • , poet, considered by many to be one of Puerto Rico's greatest representatives of the modern literary era
  • , Poet
  • , wrote La Peregrinación de Bayoán, the founding text of Puerto Rican literature (see also "Educators" and "Politicians")
  • a.k.a. "La Bruja", poet; writer/actor of Boogie Rican Blvd
  • , author, novelist; Editorial Director of ; New York State Assemblyman
  • , writer, journalist
  • , writer

E

F

  • , 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
  • , writer, educator and advocate of Puerto Rican independence
  • , writer
  • , Nuyorican writer, poet; African diaspora scholar; founder of Voices for the Voiceless
  • , poet and writer; works include Contornos, Imagen y visión edénica de Puerto Rico, and Antología poética

G

  • , writer
  • , leading Puerto Rican poet of the Romantic Era
  • , one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century, particularly for his El país de cuatro pisos (1980)
  • , author, researcher

H

  • , poet; in 1969, became the first Hispanic to be published by a mainstream publishing house when published his poem "Snaps;" in 1981, named him one of America's greatest poets

L

  • , writer; author of Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails
  • , writer; nominated in 1998, for the Nobel Prize in literature
  • , poet; author of AmeRícan
  • , children's poet
  • , -born writer; first wife of
  • , writer and poet; author of Medicine Stories (1998) and Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (1998)
  • , 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
  • , poet
  • , journalist, writer,, and scholar
  • , writer

M

  • , poet; founder of the political youth pro-independence organizations Acción Juventud Independentista and Federación de Universitarios Pro Independencia
  • , playwright; wrote La Carreta (The Oxcart), which helped secure his reputation as a leading literary figure in Puerto Rico
  • , poet, novelist
  • , poet, critic, and essayist; nominated for the in 1977; a Secretary General of the
  • , poet, writer
  • , writer
  • , poet, playwright; author of It Concerns the Madness, seven theatre plays, and a number of essays; her work has been extensively anthologized
  • , former Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , writer; her works, among which is the novel Nilda, tell of growing up in the and 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
  • , author; co-author of Getting Home Alive (1986) with her daughter

N

O

  • , 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
  • , author of Mind Your Manners, Dick and Jane and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa

P

  • a.k.a. "El Caribe", poet, physician, journalist and politician; advocate for ; was imprisoned for his role in the revolt
  • , poet of Afro-Caribbean themes
  • , writer and educator whose most important book was Insularismo, in which he explores the meaning of being Puerto Rican
  • , poet, playwright; co-founder of the
  • , playwright, writer; co-founder of the

R

  • , writer, poet
  • , poet
  • , playwright; first screenwriter to be nominated for an
  • , author of the novel The Fifteenth Pelican, which was the basis for the popular 1960s television sitcom
  • , poet; wrote the lyrics to the revolutionary ""
  • , poet, civic leader and journalist

S

  • , novelist, playwright
  • , writer, journalist[]
  • , author
  • , poet, novelist
  • , writer/novelist; father of slain independence activist
  • , poet and pro-independence activist (member of the Nationalist Party)

T

U

V

W

X

Z

Beauty queens and fashion models[]

  • , 1985
  • , 2003 (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , Nuestra Belleza Latina 2012
  • , second Puerto Rican Miss World, 2016
  • , model
  • ,
  • , fashion model
  • , fashion model, winner of, Cycle 8
  • , first Puerto Rican Miss Universe, 1970
  • , fashion model
  • , Nuestra Belleza Latina 2008
  • , first Puerto Rican Miss World, 1975
  • , fashion model
  • , 2005
  • , Nuestra Belleza Latina 2014
  • , beauty queen, first contestant in half a century to represent Puerto Rico in the pageant
  • , Miss Puerto Rico 1978
  • , Miss Universe 2001
  • , 2005
  • ,
  • , fashion model
  • ,
  • , fashion model and host of 's series
  • , Miss Universe 1993
  • , first Miss Puerto Rico in the pageant, breaking the color barrier, 1948

Business people and industrialists[]

José Ramon Fernández, "Marqués de La Esperanza" Eduardo Georgetti, wealthy sugar baron Victoria Hernández
  • , fashion designer
  • , first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic woman to hold a sub-cabinet-level position in the White House (Small Business Administrator 1997–2000)
  • , youngest president of PR Government Development Bank; annual scholarships are awarded in his memory
  • , patriarch of one Puerto Rico's financial dynasties; a founding father of, the largest bank in Puerto Rico and the largest Hispanic bank in the United States
  • , Chairman of the Board ; chairman 's finance committee
  • , member of the Board of Directors of the
  • , first administrator of Cooperativa de Cafeteros de Puerto Rico, Café Rico (official coffee of the )
  • , founder of COLSA Corporation, a first-rate provider of engineering and support services in Huntsville, Alabama
  • , founder of Supermercados Grande
  • , former SBA Regional Director; first female PR Treasury Secretary and PR Telephone Company President
  • , fashion designer (Puerto Rican father, scion of a prominent aristocratic family from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico)
  • , founder of and Alcoholado Santa Ana
  • , "Marqués de La Esperanza", the wealthiest sugar baron in Puerto Rico in the 19th century; considered one of the most powerful men of the entire Spanish Caribbean
  • , owner of the Ferré-Rangel media emporium
  • , President and CEO of Empresas Fonalledas, which owns, 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
  • , founder of Hogares Crea
  • , agriculturist, businessman, philanthropist, politician and sugar baron
  • , music entrepreneur and businesswoman; in 1927, she opened the, one of only sixteen businesses owned by Puerto Rican migrant women; sister of
  • , widow of rock legend ; owns the rights to Buddy's name, image, trademarks, and other intellectual property
  • , a.k.a. the "Father of Vieques"; founder of the of ; one of the wealthiest sugar barons in Puerto Rico
  • , inventor of
  • , organized 7,000 salsa concerts; owned the Casa Blanca dance club; managed and other salsa artists
  • , founder of Western Federal Savings Bank, which later became the Puerto Rico (now defunct)
  • , founder of Massó Enterprises and Casa's Massó
  • , founder of and music producer
  • , CEO of the multi-state Universal insurance emporium
  • , founder of ATREVETE
  • , real estate broker and reality television personality (series )
  • , in 1921, founded Empresas La Famosa, Inc., a fruit processing company that by 1971 consisted of Frozen Fruits yenny Concentrates, Inc., Toa Canning Co., La Concentradora de Puerto Rico and Bayamón Can Company
  • , in 1960 founded television channel 11, also known as Telecadena Pérez Perry, and became known as Tele Once in 1986
  • , President and founder of Ramirez and Co., an investment banking firm on
  • , founder of the television network
  • , founder of newspaper
  • , founder of Café Yaucono
  • , former Chairman of and president of
  • , founder of Don Q rum
  • , President of Entertainment; the highest profile Latina in network television and one of the few executives who has the power to greenlight series
  • , former president and CEO of ; son of the company's founder
  • , co-founder of, Inc. and the Puerto Rican winter baseball league; owner of the (Mayagüez Indians)
  • , President and CEO of Cerveceria India, Inc., Puerto Rico's largest brewery
  • , founder of Vassallo Industries Inc. and subsidiaries
  • , businessman and community leader; former President of NSHMBA Puerto Rico; co-founder and former President of NSHMBA Seattle; first Puerto Rican automotive designer for, first Puerto Rican product planner for []
  • , first woman and Latina to become the President and CEO of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson

Cartoonists[]

  • , creator of the comic strip Yenny, illustrator and storyboard artist for DC Comics' series
  • , creator of the comic
  • , comic book artist[]
  • , comic book artist; co-creator, along with, of the 1990s version of
  • , and comic book artist
  • , creator of the comic strip Bonzzo
  • , and comic book artist
  • , creator of the Remi comic and impersonator of "Remi, The Clown"
  • , comic book cover artist
  • , Mad magazine artist

Civil rights and/or political activists[]

  • a.k.a. "Brazo de Oro" ("Golden Arm"), political activist; leader of the Lares's Revolutionary Council during the ; knit the first flag of the future Republic of Puerto Rico
  • , political activist; leader of the ; founded the first revolutionary committee in the City of Mayagüez; his revolutionary cell was code named "Capa Prieta" (Black Cape)
  • , women's rights activist; one of the first women in Puerto Rico to earn a doctoral degree
  • , labor activist; one of Puerto Rico's most famous labor organizers; writer and an anarchist who fought for workers and women's rights
  • , activist and community organizer
  • , 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
  • , 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")
  • , civil rights activist; young Puerto Rican mother who paved the way for Puerto Ricans to be given United States citizenship
  • , librarian and labor activist; founder of the South Bronx Project; advocate for library and education services for Spanish-speaking communities
  • , pro-independence activist; the longest incarcerated member
  • , a.k.a. "Aguila Blanca" (White Eagle), revolutionary
  • , AIDS activist; was in a notable Florida court case regarding the rights of HIV+ children in public schools
  • (née Gómez), activist; with her husband, in 1946, led a community battle which set an important legal precedent for ending segregation in the United States (see ); credited with paving the way for and the
  • , political activist; often called the first female Puerto Rican "Independentista"
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , transgender activist; veteran of the 1969
  • , civil rights leader; executive director of the
  • , physician and women's rights activist; first Latina president of the ; a founding member of the Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association; recipient of the ; 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")
  • , women's rights activist, educator and suffragist; one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico
  • , 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
  • , human rights activist; President of Puerto Rico Para [email protected], which strives for inclusion of LGBT community and for social justice for all in Puerto Rico; Communication Manager at the
  • , house slave; in 1821, planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish Colonial government in Puerto Rico

Nationalists[]

Political activists who were members of the :

  • , 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
  • , political activist; nationalist leader who led the in 1950 against US colonial rule of Puerto Rico
  • , political activist; member of the and advocate of Puerto Rican independence who attacked the United States House of Representatives in 1954
  • , political activist; one of two nationalists who attempted to assassinate
  • a.k.a Rosa Cortéz Collazo, political activist and treasurer of the New York City branch of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
  • , political activist; Commander-in-Chief of the (Cadetes de la República, also known as the Ejército Libertador de Puerto Rico, or The Liberation Army of Puerto Rico), a quasi-military organization and official youth organization within the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
  • , political activist; member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; one of four nationalists who attacked the United States House of Representatives in 1954
  • , political activist; Nationalist leader and activist; one of four nationalists who attacked the United States House of Representatives in 1954
  • , political activist; Nationalist leader and activist; the leader of four nationalists who attacked the United States House of Representatives in 1954
  • , political activist and Sub-Commander of the ; the captain in charge of the cadets who participated in the peaceful march which ended up as the, he led the Nationalists in the Arecibo revolt in the
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , political activist; imprisoned multiple times
  • , 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
  • , political activist; Nationalist who died in an attempt to assassinate in 1950
  • , 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
  • , political activist, member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; in the late 1940s became a student leader at the and spokesperson of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party's branch in Río Piedras
Painting of Alejo de Arizmendi

Pre-20th century

20th century

  • , second native Puerto Rican to serve as bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Rico of the Episcopal Church
  • , Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of San Juan; the only Puerto Rican cleric to date to be named cardinal
  • , Pentecostal leader
  • , former gangster turned minister
  • Sor, Roman Catholic nun awarded the ; sister of former governor Luis Ferré Aguayo
  • , founder of the "Mita" religion[]
  • , Archbishop of San Juan
  • , outspoken Pentecostal pastor
  • , first native Puerto Rican bishop of the Episcopal Church
  • , beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001; first Puerto Rican and first Caribbean-born layperson to be beatified

21st century

Composers, singers, musicians and opera[]

Bruno Mars


A

  • , singer, songwriter
  • , danza composer
  • , rapper and producer
  • , singer
  • , members of R&B duo
  • , danza composer; first Puerto Rican to compose a Hollywood musical score
  • , guitarist, composer, arranger, producer
  • , rock singer-songwriter
  • , composer
  • , singer
  • , composer
  • , singer
  • , singer, actress

B

  • , rapper
  • , percussionist
  • , singer, actress, songwriter; part of the former girl group trio 3LW, and of
  • , composer
  • , rapper (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , percussionist, jazz and salsa leader
  • , guitarist
  • , a.k.a. "Jellybean Benítez", music producer and remixer
  • , a.k.a. "Lucecita", singer
  • , music producer, composer and musician
  • , singer and composer
  • , rapper
  • , and musician and band leader
  • , singer
  • , singer and composer
  • , folklore singer, composer

C

  • , a.k.a. "El Topo", folklore singer, composer
  • , rapper, reggaeton artist
  • , composer of
  • , singer, composer
  • , singer, composer
  • , singer
  • , singer and composer; composed many of Puerto Rico's Christmas themes
  • , a.k.a. "Fat Joe", rapper
  • , cellist; former President of
  • , cellist (Puerto Rican mother), classical musician
  • , salsa music singer
  • , composer; "patriarch of the bomba and plena"
  • , singer and vedette
  • , R&B and pop singer-songwriter
  • , pianist and composer
  • , singer
  • , salsa singer
  • , a.k.a. "El Gallito de Manatí", singer
  • , singer, member of
  • , freestyle producer; founder and member of
  • , singer and winner of the of U.S. reality series
  • , singer
  • , salsa composer
  • , band director
  • , orchestra leader
  • , composer and classical guitarist
  • , composer and classical guitarist
  • , singer
  • , salsa band leader
  • , hip hop and reggaeton artist
  • , merengue singer
  • , singer/composer of Puerto Rican folk songs
  • , salsa singer, bandleader
  • , bandleader, considered "the father of the boogaloo"
  • , ballad and salsa composer

D

  • , singer-songwriter
  • , a.k.a. "El Father", reggaeton singer
  • , a.k.a. "Rafael José", singer and television host
  • , bolero singer
  • , founder of the boy band
  • , composer of "Canciones Escolares"
  • , singer, member of (Puerto Rican mother)

E

  • , musician, singer, composer
  • , known as "Tego Calderón", reggaeton singer
  • , composer of ""
  • , singer, composer and poet

F

  • , singer
  • , singer; former member of
  • , salsa singer; singer for Joe Cuba Sextet
  • , singer, composed ""
  • , singer
  • , known as "Chayanne", singer
  • , violinist one of the few Hispanic violinists to reach international status
  • , composer
  • , composer
  • , producer, musician
  • , singer

G

  • , singer; former member of
  • , singer-songwriter
  • , singer, songwriter, actress, model
  • , jazz musician and composer
  • , composer
  • , producer, musician; member of
  • , singer

H

  • , recording artist, arranger, composer, saxophonist, producer
  • , Grammy Award-winning remixer and producer
  • , a.k.a. "Manny Manuel", singer
  • , salsa musician; composed the musical theme for the television series
  • , composer
  • , percussionist
  • , television and film score composer

I

J

  • , singer-songwriter
  • , singer, songwriter, reality TV personality
  • , a.k.a. "Chencho", singer, producer
  • , a.k.a. "La Dama de la Canción", singer
  • , rapper

K

L

  • , salsa singer
  • , pop/salsa singer
  • , a.k.a. "Don Omar", reggaeton singer
  • , singer
  • , salsa singer
  • , composer, musical director
  • , music producer, DJ
  • , rapper
  • , singer (both parents are Puerto Rican)
  • , reggaeton artist
  • , singer
  • , rapper
  • , pianist
  • , singer

M

  • , singer
  • , singer and songwriter (father is Puerto Rican)
  • , singer; former member of Menudo
  • , singer, actress, radio personality
  • , cuatro player
  • , Puerto Rican-Dominican singer-songwriter
  • , singer-songwriter, musician, and performer
  • , singer; former member of Menudo
  • , guitarist, singer, and songwriter with international recording artists
  • , R&B and neo-soul singer (Puerto Rican father)
  • , freestyle/Latin-pop singer
  • , singer; former member of "Menudo
  • , singer and finalist on (Puerto Rican father)
  • , a.k.a. "sol de Mexico", singer and songwriter
  • , singer who was featured on radio and television in the United States during the Golden Age of Radio in the 1940s
  • , "El Niño Bonito de la Salsa", singer and composer, Fania All-Star
  • , Grammy-, Tony-, and -winning composer, lyricist, and actor, known for his Broadway musicals and
  • , composer of danzas
  • , composer and band leader
  • , singer, television host and theatrical actress
  • , bolero singer
  • , composer, singer; sang the first song in Spanish
  • , salsa singer
  • , deejay, composer, and music producer
  • , 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 and the crew aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle
  • , a.k.a. "Prince Markie Dee", rapper, and producer
  • , pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader
  • , pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and producer
  • , orchestra leader

N

  • , rapper
  • , singer
  • , singer
  • ,, member of
  • , salsa singer; his version of "I Like it Like That" was part of a national Burger King commercial
  • , singer, songwriter and actress
  • , reggaeton duo

O

  • , salsa bandleader, trumpet player, singer
  • , singer (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , R&B and reggaeton singer
  • , singer, R&B group City High
  • , rapper
  • , salsa singer, musician, composer, musical arranger and producer
  • , a.k.a. "Shalim", singer, actor
  • , a.k.a. "Davilita", singer

P

  • , pianist, bandleader
  • , pianist, composer, bandleader; 2013 National Endowment of Arts Jazz Master; nine-time Grammy Award winner
  • , danza composer
  • , musician, composer and producer
  • , singer, member of
  • , singer, songwriter; folk,, and singer
  • , a.k.a. "Ivy Queen" and "The Queen of Reggaeton", reggaeton singer
  • , reggaeton duo
  • , singer
  • , Spanish pop singer; cousin of Benicio del Toro
  • , a.k.a. "El Nino Prodigio de Guayama" and "Miguelito"; musician, singer and composer of boleros
  • , musician, composer and producer, called the "King of Latin Music" or "the Mambo King"

Q

  • , singer, actor
  • , danza composer
  • , salsa singer, member of the Eddie Palmeri Band
  • , pianist and composer of danzas

R

  • , salsa singer
  • , international flamenco guitarist
  • , a.k.a. "The King of Salsa", singer, composer
  • , singer, composer
  • , singer, former member of and Proyecto M
  • , singer for, 1979–1980
  • , composer of danzas, musician and orchestra director
  • , musician
  • , singer
  • , "El Sonero Mayor", salsa singer
  • , salsa singer; first salsa artist to perform on The Tonight Show
  • , trombonist and singer
  • 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
  • , composer and chorus director; founder of the choir of the University of Puerto Rico
  • , salsa musician, trombonist, composer, artist manager, producer, talent agent; founder of Oriente Music Group and Latin Music Booking (Puerto Rican mother, Chinese father)
  • , former police officer turned operatic tenor
  • , a.k.a. "La Voz", singer of
  • , singer
  • , 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
  • , salsa singer; member of the musical group El Gran Combo; toured with the group all over Europe and Latin America
  • , singer and bandleader
  • , salsa singer, Fania All-Star
  • , composer and guitarist
  • , percussionist and band leader
  • , singer and television host ( mother)
  • , salsa singer
  • , singer and actress
  • , singer, composer
  • , producer, DJ, musician
  • , composer, timbalero, bandleader
  • , singer
  • , singer of danzas
  • , singer, former member of Menudo
  • , salsa singer
  • , jazz composer/musician

S

  • , musician; three-time winner of the ACE Awards
  • , singer
  • , singers; former members of
  • , Latin jazz musician, drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, 7X Grammy nominee as a leader, educator, documentary film producer
  • , singer; lead singer, lyricist and guitarist of
  • , composer; first person ever to be named official pianist of the
  • , salsa singer
  • , composer, singer of and Cuban
  • , arranger and composer, saxophonist, Grammy winner,
  • , bachata singer; former member of (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , salsa singer
  • , salsa singer
  • , rock n roll singer; composed song ""
  • , salsa singer
  • Dr., singer and composer
  • , salsa singer
  • , salsa singer
  • , singer; former member of "
  • , classical music composer, famous for his
  • , or "La Gorda de Oro" and "Madame Chencha", singer, composer
  • , composer; symphony orchestra conductor
  • , singer
  • , singer; member of
  • , salsa singer (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , salsa singer
  • , freestyle trio

T

  • , singer, composer
  • , composer; "the father of the Puerto Rican danzas
  • , classical pianist and teacher
  • , singer and musician
  • , jazz musician and composer, extended period with
  • , freestyle trio
  • , lead guitarist ()
  • , musician, guitarist, and "cuatrista"
  • , singer
  • , musician, singer and composer
  • , musician; Latin Grammy Award-winning preeminent flautist in the Latin jazz genre
  • , singer, composer, musician
  • , singer

V

  • , gospel singer
  • , Filipino musician (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , musician, bandleader
  • , pop and R&B singer; 2005 contestant
  • , rock singer
  • , producer, musician; member of
  • , salsa singer
  • , singer of
  • , known as "Wilkins", singer and composer
  • , dance singer and actress

W

  • , reggaeton duo, known as "El Duo de la Historia"

Y

Z

Opera[]

Antonio Paolí
  • , is a ; part of the first generation of black opera singers to achieve wide success
  • , opera singer
  • , baritone, opera singer
  • Cesar Hernández, tenor, opera singer
  • , operatic
  • , soprano
  • , soprano
  • , soprano
  • , tenor
  • , opera soprano; awarded Soprano of the Year by
  • , soprano; first Puerto Rican to sing a lead role in the

Criminals and outlaws[]

Antonio Correa Cotto

Pre-20th century

  • , a.k.a. '"El Pirata Cofresí"' (Cofresí the Pirate), his exploits as a pirate are part of Puerto Rico's folklore

20th century

  • , a.k.a. "The Capeman", criminal and poet
  • , bandit/outlaw
  • , a.k.a. "Toño Bicicleta", outlaw
  • , a.k.a. "Spanish Raymond", Harlem numbers kingpin
  • , of a
  • , a.k.a. "Negri", drug kingpin
  • , mobster

21st century

Diplomats[]

Hans Hertell

20th century

  • , former U.S. Ambassador to the
  • , former U.S. Ambassador to
  • , former U.S. Ambassador to
  • , former U.S. Ambassador to the
  • , former U.S. Ambassador to
  • , lawyer who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs from 1949 to 1952
  • , former U.S. Ambassador to and head of (see also "Politicians")
  • , Admiral (Ret.), former U.S. Ambassador to Spain (see also "Military")

21st century

Educators[]

Rafael Cordero Eugenio María de Hostos Angel M. Ramos Drawing of Angelo Falcón
  • , educator; one of the founding members of the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogía (Puerto Rican Genealogical Society)
  • , educator and writer; established the first laboratory of child psychology at the University of Havana
  • ,, 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
  • , educator; founder of the Department of Hispanic Studies in the University of Puerto Rico
  • , former Resident Commissioner; longest serving chancellor and president of the
  • , educator; academic who became a leading figure in Puerto Rican studies
  • , first Puerto Rican mycologist and first Puerto Rican appointed as Chancellor of the
  • , educator and public administrator; the only Puerto Rican to serve twice as Puerto Rico Secretary of Education
  • , educator and author; President of the Society of Puerto Rican Authors in San Juan; founder of the Academy of Fine Arts in Puerto Rico
  • , educator; in 1820, founded the first school for girls in Puerto Rico
  • , educator; declared Venerable in 2004 by Pope John Paul II; the process for beatification is now in motion with Benedictine Fr. Oscar Rivera as Procurator of the Cause
  • , first Hispanic president of
  • , 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).
  • , 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)
  • , educator, writer and activist
  • , professor, historian, scientist; "father of irrigation engineering in Puerto Rico"; Professor in Agricultural & Biomedical Engineering at
  • , educator; president of Queens College,
  • , educator, writer poet
  • , educator; founder of the
  • , 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, 1978-85
  • , educator; founder of ASPIRA; awarded the
  • , educator; Superintendent of the Sequoia Schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; one of the few deaf Hispanics to earn a doctorate from
  • Dr., educator; founded the in Mayagüez; discovered numerous animal species and has written several books
  • , educator and scholar; President of the, 2017-present; first Latino/Hispanic President of any four-year SUNY institution
  • , educator and suffragist; one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico
  • , economist and educator; Chancellor of the
  • , New York City Council member; president of the New York City Board of Education, 2000–02
  • , educator who emerged as a hero in the tragic shooting at in when she hid students and died trying to protect them from alleged shooter ; her father is Puerto Rican
  • , 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 per month, even in the large cities, Tizol took it upon herself to overcome all challenges to help others
  • , 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
  • , 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

Governors of Puerto Rico[]

See also:

Juan Ponce de León II

Pre-20th century

20th century

  • , third elected governor of Puerto Rico (1969–1973); who donated to the people of Puerto Rico; who founded the Puerto Rico Cement Company and, and developed into a successful foundry
  • , fourth elected governor of Puerto Rico (1973–1977 and 1985–1993)
  • , second Puerto Rican native to serve as temporary Governor of Puerto Rico; in 1923, he served as interim governor between the administrations of and
  • , first elected governor of Puerto Rico (1949–1965)
  • , first Puerto Rican to be named governor of the Island by a U.S. President (1946–1949)
  • , fifth elected governor of Puerto Rico (1977–1985)
  • , sixth elected governor of Puerto Rico (1993–2001)
  • , second elected governor of Puerto Rico (1965–1969)

21st century

  • , eighth elected governor of Puerto Rico (2005–2009)
  • , seventh elected and first female governor of Puerto Rico (2001–2005)
  • , ninth elected governor of Puerto Rico (2009–2013)
  • , tenth elected governor of Puerto Rico (2013–2017)
  • , 11th elected governor of Puerto Rico (2017–)

First Ladies of Puerto Rico[]

  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (1965–1966)
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (1977–1985); Trustee of the
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (2005–2009)
  • , youngest First Lady of Puerto Rico (1973–1977, 1985–1992)
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (1949–1965); revered teacher and cultural leader
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (1967–1969)
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (2009–2013)
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (2013–2017)
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (2017–)
  • , First Lady of Puerto Rico (1993–2001)

Historians[]

Salvador Brau Antonio Santiago Rodríguez
  • , first historian (Spanish) to extensively document Puerto Rico's history, nationality and culture
  • , 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 []
  • , professor; author; first modern-day
  • , historian, first Official Historian of Puerto Rico
  • , writer
  • , historian
  • , historian
  • , known for his legendary book Orígenes y Fundación de Ponce y Otras Noticias Relativas a su Desarrollo Urbano, Demográfico y Cultural (Siglos XVI-XIX)
  • , historian, known for his 19th-century History of Ponce
  • , historian; first Official Historian of Puerto Rico
  • , historian, poet and writer
  • , historian
  • , military historian

Journalists[]

Geraldo Rivera
  • , journalist and advocate of the abolition of slavery
  • , first Puerto Rican journalist
  • , anchor for Al Rojo Vivo
  • , journalist and author; granddaughter of and niece of ; served as Director of the "Sociedad de Autores Puertorriqueños
  • , reporter, in New York City
  • , journalist; co-host of 's Primer Impacto
  • , co-host of 's
  • , Atlanta-based Executive Vice President of CNN en Español
  • , co-host of 's Primer Impacto
  • , Spanish language radio and television host
  • , journalist; lyricist who wrote the lyrics to ""
  • , New York City investigative journalist
  • , former newscaster for Telenoticias en acción
  • , journalist and meteorologist for Despierta América
  • , journalist; former First Lady of San Francisco (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , former News television journalist
  • , founding editor of newspaper; novelist/political activist
  • , journalist, first Puerto Rican woman named a news anchor in Puerto Rico
  • , anchor for the Spanish version of
  • , journalist and news anchor on in
  • , New York City television news personality; sister of
  • , journalist and news anchor on 's
  • , Emmy Award-winning New York City television news anchor
  • , 'New York City meteorologist; daughter of
  • , publisher of, New York City's largest Spanish-language newspaper
  • , Emmy Award-winning New York City television news anchor
  • , attorney, journalist, writer, reporter and former talk show host; hosts the newsmagazine program Geraldo at Large, and appears regularly on
  • , New York City television news anchor
  • , radio and television journalist
  • , anchor for Telefutura
  • , Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
  • , journalist and news anchor for
  • , television journalist; former co-anchor of
  • , journalist; "father of the Puerto Rican flag"
  • , anchor for the news network (Puerto Rican mother)

Judges, law enforcement and firefighters[]

Judges

, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
  • , judge for the ; first Hispanic female Article III judge in Pennsylvania
  • , former PR Chief Justice and sports official
  • , Judge; first Puerto Rican to serve as a federal judge in the continental United States
  • Jose A. Diaz, Administrative Law Judge, N.Y.S.D.M.V. (1985–2001)
  • , Judge of the ; first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic Judge to serve the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; former Appellate Judge for the
  • , youngest, at 39, of the current 9-member Puerto Rico Supreme Court
  • , Judge of the ; first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic judge to serve the Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • , Judge of the (2006–present)
  • , 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 Recurrente Vs., 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
  • , former Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court; Puerto Rico's first Consumer Affairs Secretary
  • , Chief Judge of the ; first female Hispanic state judge in New York
  • , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico; first Puerto Rican of African descent to be named Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico
  • , Judge of the
  • , Judge of the ; first lesbian Latina ever to be nominated by a U.S. President, in this case President Obama, to serve as a federal judge
  • , first Puerto Rican and Latino New Jersey State Supreme Court Justice
  • , first Puerto Rican U.S. Federal Judge of Puerto Rico
  • , 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
  • , controversial Chief Justice and U.S. attorney in Puerto Rico
  • , 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
  • , first Puerto Rican to serve as Chief Judge of the
  • , former Chief Justice, Attorney General of Puerto Rico, author
  • , first female Puerto Rican federal district judge and Chief Judge
  • , first Latina and Puerto Rican judge elected to an Ohio State Court of Appeals

Law enforcement

Nick Estavillo
  • , NYPD Chief of Patrol (Ret.); in 2002, became first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic in the history of the to reach the three-star rank of Chief of Patrol
  • , Hawaiian-Puerto Rican, first woman to be named U.S. Marshal
  • , controversial undercover police officer
  • , New York City transit police; first female police officer to die in the line of duty in New York City
  • , officer who was named in 9/11 Commission Report; denied entry to terrorist in August 2001
  • , United States Attorney in New York; first Puerto Rican to hold the United States Attorney's post in New York on an interim basis
  • , former New York City police officer and author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department
  • , retired senior agent and longest-serving state police superintendent

Firefighters

  • , first and longest-serving Commonwealth fire chief in Puerto Rico, 1942–1972
  • , former Fire Commissioner of the City of New York; first commissioner in the New York City Fire Department's 127-year history

Military[]

Brigadier General Marta Carcana Brigadier General Irene M. Zoppi

16th century

  • , Cacique of "Borikén" (Puerto Rico); led the in the fight against and the conquistadores in the Taíno Rebellion of 1511.

17th century

  • , Captain, Puerto Rican Militia; defeated Captain Balduino Enrico (Boudewijn Hendricksz), who in 1625 was ordered by the Dutch to capture Puerto Rico

18th century

  • , 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.
  • , Captain, Spanish Army; Puerto Rican hero who defended the town 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"
  • , 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
  • , 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)

19th century

  • , Brigadier General, Spanish Army; defended the city of San Juan against the U.S. attack of Puerto Rico during the ; awarded the Cruz de la Orden de Merito Naval 1ra clase () by the Spanish government for his role in the rescue of the cargo of the Spanish transoceanic steamer
  • , 2nd Lieutenant, Spanish Army; commander of the 2nd Expeditionary Battalion of the stationed in which fought in the in the
  • , Lieutenant, Cuban Liberation Army; considered by many as the designer of the ; a poet and journalist; fought alongside for Cuba's independence
  • , first Puerto Rican to reach the rank of in the Spanish Army; first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Cruz Laureada de San Fernando ( – Spain's version of the Medal of Honor); elected as delegate to the Spanish Courts in representation of Puerto Rico
  • , Brigadier General, Spanish Army; in 1863, his battalion was deployed with the intention of "squashing" a pro-independence rebellion in the, in which he was wounded; played an essential role in the abolishment of slavery in Puerto Rico
  • , 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
  • , Captain, Spanish Army; fired the first shot against the United States in the in Puerto Rico; later invented Kola Champagne, a soft drink
  • , Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Liberation Army; fought in under the command of ; fought in Cuba's (1868–1878) against Spain under the command of General and became the General of the Cuban Liberation Army of the West upon the death of General
  • , Lieutenant, United States Union Army; member of the 15th Connecticut Regiment (a.k.a. Lyon Regiment); served in the defenses of Washington, D.C.; led his men in the Battles of and in the
  • , 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
  • , Brigadier General, Cuban Liberation Army; fought in Cuba's (1895–1898); after Cuba gained its independence he continued to serve there as a diplomat
  • , Brigadier General in the ; fought against the forces of at the ; joined the Mexican Revolutionary Army headed by and was named Chief of Staff; successfully fought for Mexico's independence from Spain; fought alongside and helped liberate South America from Spanish Colonial rule; known as the "Puerto Rican Liberator"

20th century

  • , Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized); 25th Infantry Division, ; currently the only Puerto Rican whose body has never been recovered
  • , Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; former Director of the Innovation and Experimentation Directorate, ; first Puerto Rican to hold this position
  • , Captain, Spanish Army; posthumously awarded the Cruz Laureada de San Fernando ( – Spain's version of the Medal of Honor) for his actions in the
  • , Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps; first American serviceman to be killed in during the
  • , CWO2, U.S. Coast Guard; on 28 September 1925, became the first Hispanic Chief Petty Officer in the ; during World War II received a wartime promotion to Chief Warrant Officer, becoming the first Hispanic to reach that level as well
  • , Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; a highly decorated submarine commander who led the rescue effort of the crew members of the, which was involved in the first American undersea spy mission of the
  • , Colonel, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican to command a battalion in the ; in 1952, he assumed the command of the 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment
  • , Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; in World War II he was Executive Officer of the and participated in the invasions of Africa and Normandy ()
  • , Vice Admiral, ; served as the 17th under President
  • , 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
  • , Major General, Puerto Rico National Guard; 1969–73; 1973–75
  • , 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
  • , Tech4, U.S. Women's Army Corps; first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. ; served as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions during World War II
  • , 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 of World War II.
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , Brigadier General U.S. Air Force; of Puerto Rican descent; highly decorated member of the ; in 1991 became the first Hispanic graduate of the to be named Dean of the Faculty of the Academy
  • , Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps; first Hispanic three-star Marine general; his military career included service in World War I, and during the so-called of the 1920s, and in the seizure of and later as Commanding General of the during World War II played an instrumental role in the defeat of the Japanese forces in
  • , Lieutenant, ; first Puerto Rican and one of the first U.S. citizens to fight and to die in the against General and the Spanish Nationalists
  • , Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; first Hispanic to become the Director of the San Diego Naval Medical District
  • , Major General, U.S. Army; in 1915, became the first Puerto Rican and therefore the first Hispanic to graduate from the ; organized the
  • , 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 "", the first around the world non-stop flight by all-jet aircraft
  • (née Hernández), Colonel, U.S. Army; became in 1984 the first woman to graduate from ; former of the
  • , CWO3, U.S. Marine Corps; first female Hispanic Chief Warrant Officer in the Marine Corps; in 1965 was named Administrative Assistant to the, by the administration of
  • , Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; during World War II he was commander of the destroyer and saw action in the invasions of Africa,, and France
  • , 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 5 September 1952.
  • , Captain, U.S. Air Force; of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage; in 1980 became the first female Hispanic graduate of any of the U.S. military academies when she graduated from the
  • , Private First Class, U.S. Women's Army Corps; was among the first 200 Puerto Rican women to be recruited into the '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
  • , 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 (1941) and the (1941–1942)
  • , General, Spanish Army; a in the ; one of the first generales to join General in the revolt against the Spanish Republican government (also known as Spanish loyalists) in the ; previously distinguished himself in the Battle of Alhucemas of the
  • , First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force; first Puerto Rican pilot in the United States Army Air Force; first Puerto Rican pilot to die in World War II.
  • , Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy; first Hispanic to be named Vice Commander, ; flew two combat tours in Vietnam during the Vietnam War; in 1980, took command of the aircraft carrier
  • , 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 and
  • , 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
  • , Private First Class, U.S. Army; posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 20 November 1967, at in the
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , 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, becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration
  • , MPH, Major General, U.S. Army; first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command
  • , Colonel, U.S. Army
  • , 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, forcing the Odenwald to stop and to return to port where its supplies were confiscated
  • , Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; first Hispanic Commander of the Naval Safety Center; led an international naval exercise known as Baltic Operations () 2003 from his flagship, the ; 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
  • , Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps; of Puerto Rican descent; was awarded the in Vietnam and is being considered for the Medal of Honor; saved the life of his lieutenant,, who went on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • , 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
  • , Colonel, U.S. Army; Regimental Commander of the (RCT), a unit which was composed of "" (second generation Americans of Japanese descent), during World War II; led the 442nd in its rescue of the of the, in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France
  • 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
  • , 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)
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , 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 during the
  • , 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
  • , ; 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 her to report to in Santurce, Puerto Rico; on October 1918, she signed her contract with the Army.
  • , Brigadier General U.S. Air Force; served in the position of Assistant Adjutant General for Air while also serving as commander of the ; in 1972, became the youngest aircraft commander and captain at age 22; the only reservist ever to serve as director of mobility forces for Bosnia
  • , Captain, U.S. Navy; first Hispanic commander; awarded two and a for his actions against the during World War II
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , Major, U.S. Air Force; one of the pilots who participated in the Libyan air raid as member of the ; 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., were the only U.S. casualties of Operation El Dorado Canyon
  • , 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
  • , Colonel, U.S. Army; played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic
  • , 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
  • , Captain, U.S. Marine Corps; of Puerto Rican descent; first U.S. serviceman to die in
  • , 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
  • , 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 during the to set up a quarantine (blockade) of the Soviet ships in an effort to stop the Cold War from escalating into World War III
  • , Master Sergeant, U.S. Army; member of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry; earned two within a seven-day period during the
  • , Brigadier General, U.S. Army; first commander of the Office of the First U.S. Army Deputy Command; during the Korean War he fought with Puerto Rico's and was awarded the
  • 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 ; forwarded the news (through channels) to President that the war had ended
  • , Major, U.S. Army; (dentist), scientist and a Major in the who in 1921 discovered the bacteria which causes
  • , Captain, U.S. Army; awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at in the on 8 November 1966
  • , Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps; commanded the during the amphibious operations in World War II
  • , Sergeant Major, U.S. Marine Corps; the ' first Hispanic Sergeant Major and its first Sergeant Major since its reactivation on 13 July 2007
  • , Specialist Four, U.S. Army; posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at, Vietnam as member of Company B of the 5th Battalion,, 1st Cavalry Division
  • , 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, which was conducting security missions in the jungles of
  • , 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
  • , Private, U.S. Marine Corps; posthumously awarded the for his "extraordinary heroism in battle" while during the second Nicaragua campaign in 1927
  • , Private, U.S. Army; will receive 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
  • , Captain, U.S. Army; of Italian and Puerto Rican descent; posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while a (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
  • , Colonel, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican to be elected as Mayor of a Texas city ()

21st century

  • , Major General, U.S. Army; in 2015, became the first woman to be named Adjutant General of the Puerto Rican National Guard[432]
  • , Captain, U.S. Army; of Puerto Rican descent; one of three blind active-duty officers who serves in the US Army; the only blind officer serving in the
  • , Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force; a pararescueman; on 13 June 2007, was the first and only Hispanic among the first six airmen to be awarded the ; Commandant of the Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer School
  • , U.S. Army killed in 2013 when a mortar exploded during an Afghan training exercise; she captured the explosion that killed her and four Afghan soldiers
  • , 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 commercial airline captain
  • , Major General, U.S. Army; PRNG; first Superintendent of the Puerto Rican Police; served as the Adjutant General of the Puerto Rican National Guard
  • , Captain, U.S. Air Force; in 2007, became the first Puerto Rican
  • , Brigadier General, U.S. Army; first Hispanic and person of descent to become the Deputy Commanding General for the Joint Task Force at, Cuba while simultaneously serving as Assistant Adjutant General (Army) and Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Force Headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • , Captain, U.S. Army; of Puerto Rican descent; first nurse to die in combat during and the first to die in combat since the Vietnam War
  • , Colonel. U.S. Air Force; led the establishment of the first ever U.S. Central Command Headquarters in ; founded the and Joint Special Operations Commands while assigned to
  • , Brigadier General, U.S. Army; first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to become Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army at
  • , 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
  • , Colonel, U.S. Army; of Puerto Ricana and Spanish descent; head of the Department of Law at the ; 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
  • , Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; Puerto Rican mother; on 11 September 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 by any means necessary, including ramming the aircraft in midair
  • , SPC, U.S. Army; on 2 November 2003, became the first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to die in a combat zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • , 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

Physicians, scientists and inventors[]

Agustin Stahl Fermín Tangüis Joseph Acaba
  • , scientist, educator, first Puerto Rican astronaut
  • 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
  • , ; 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.
  • ,, and educator; "father of modern Puerto Rican archaeology"
  • , electrical engineer and inventor; holds various patents in the field of
  • , author, physician, soldier, and ; Colonel in the U.S. Army, arrived in Puerto Rico during the 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
  • , 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
  • , astronomer; in 1959, discovered a "Blanco 1", a galactic cluster; second Director of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in, which has the largest 4-m telescope in the ; in 1995, the telescope was dedicated in his honor as the "Víctor M. Blanco Telescope", also known as the "Blanco 4m"
  • , former chair of Civil Engineering at ; leading expert on and
  • , 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
  • , a.k.a. the "father of mycology in Puerto Rico"; first Puerto Rican mycologist; discovered the "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
  • , scientist; Chief of 's (JSC) Space and Health Care Systems Office
  • , first Puerto Rican Chief Scientist of the National Ice Center (2005–present)
  • , physician; first Hispanic and first woman U.S. Surgeon General (1990–93)
  • (born 1839), physician, medical researcher, and president of the
  • , pediatrician; founding director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the
  • , pediatrician; founder and President of Team Therapy Services For Children
  • , physiologist, educator and scientist; did important research on vitamin E
  • , scientist; first clinical andrologist and embryologist in Puerto Rico
  • , NASA scientist, played an instrumental role in the design and development of the
  • , NASA scientist; Program Scientist for the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program at ; recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers award, the highest honor bestowed by the on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers
  • , 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
  • , mechanical engineer, aerospace technologist; first Puerto Rican to work for NASA
  • , astronaut applicant and with NASA; pioneered the development of position-sensitive detectors
  • , 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
  • , 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
  • , lead physician attending to the wounded of the and later an expert witness at the trials of the "" as well as before the Hays Commission; held numerous government positions, including Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico; co-founded the
  • , first Puerto Rican, ; Admiral in the
  • Asdrubal García Ortiz, technology engineer; with fellow inventors Sunggyu Lee and John R. Wootton, was granted various patents, including for devices for detecting traffic anomalies and purifying water.
  • , cardiologist; first Hispanic to be designated a "Master" by the American College of Cardiology
  • , scientist; first Puerto Rican Director of the, with the world's largest single dish radio telescope
  • , ; founded the Association of Registered Nurses of Puerto Rico; wrote various books related to her field in which she denounced the discrimination against women and nurses in Puerto Rico[]
  • , ; first Puerto Rican ; pioneer in the fight against cancer in the island
  • , NASA engineer; highest ranking Hispanic at NASA Glenn Research Center; member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame
  • , NASA engineer; designs, builds and tests the electronics that regulate the solar array power at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • , 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
  • , aerospace engineer and technologist; author and or co-author of over 35 technical papers
  • , physicist; professor in the Department of Physics at the ; 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
  • , agricultural scientist and agronomist; discovered the bug (believed at first to be a germ) which was destroying Puerto Rico's sugar canes
  • , electronic engineer, aerospace technologist; leads the development of proposal guidelines, and the technical, management, and cost evaluation of the proposals For the Explorer Program
  • , 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
  • , computer engineer, aerospace technologist; Flight Systems and Software Branch software manager for the Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA Langley Research Center
  • , electronic engineer, rocket scientist; lead electrical engineer for the Space Experiment Module program at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility
  • ,, educator; author of numerous scientific publications; discovered a natriuretic hormone
  • , marine biologist, oceanographer; founder of "Red Caribeña de Varamientos"
  • , mechanical engineer; Chief of Crew Health Care Systems and Exercise Countermeasures at NASA
  • William G. Pagán, software engineer, IBM Master Inventor, and patent attorney; listed as an inventor on 73 U.S. patents as of 2016, and more than 120 published patent applications
  • , ; specialized in theory; recipient of the 's 2008 International Humanitarian Award
  • , 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
  • , inventor and workshop organizer; invented life-saving water filters based on pottery
  • , scientist and educator; founded the in Mayagüez, has discovered numerous animal species; author of several books
  • , NASA scientist; first Hispanic woman to hold the Deputy Directorship for the Environmental Sciences Division in the National Exposure Research Laboratory
  • , mechanical engineer; Chief of the Integration Office of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office
  • , inventor, mechanical engineer; director of a test laboratory at NASA; invented a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis
  • , 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
  • , dental scientist; discovered the bacteria which causes dental cavities
  • , scientist, microbiologist; helped build the
  • , 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
  • , Emmy-nominated astronomer, visual artist, and science communicator; astronomer at the in Chicago; member of the audiovisual ensemble
  • , of and descent; developed mechanical televisions and early terrestrial television broadcasts
  • , surgeon; wrote the first book in Spanish about organ transplants
  • , 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
  • , physician; performed the first simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in Puerto Rico
  • , electrical engineer, astronaut applicant; developed the Advanced Payload Transfer Measurement System (ASPTMS), an electronic 3D measuring system
  • , scientist in the fields of, and
  • , scientist, cardiologist, educator and hematologist; his investigations led to the identification of the proper and effective treatment of a type of known as Tropical Espru, the application of complex methods, such as and, to be used in clinics and the identification and treatment of the disease which causes
  • , scientist, agriculturist and entrepreneur; developed the Tanguis cotton in Peru and saved that nation's cotton industry
  • Dr., astrophysicist, television and radio host; Puerto Rican mother; director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City; host of the PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

Politicians[]

José de Diego - the "father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement" – President and principal leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party Kenneth McClintock – Secretary of State of Puerto Rico

19th century

  • , "the father of Puerto Rico's autonomy"
  • , "the father of Puerto Rico's statehood movement"
  • a.k.a. "El Ciudadano de las Américas" (the Citizen of the Americas), educator, philosopher, intellectual, lawyer, sociologist, and independence advocate
  • , senator, politician and lawyer; a co-founder of the Partido Popular Democrático de Puerto Rico
  • , "the father of the Puerto Rican independence movement"; elected to the House of Delegates, the only locally elected body of government allowed by the U.S.; presided 1904-1917
  • , first resident commissioner to the U.S.
  • , the only Puerto Rican to serve as the Mayor of under both Spanish and American rule; served in 1897 for the Liberal Reformista Party and 1900–01 for the Puerto Rican Republican Party
  • , leader of the second and last major revolt against Spanish colonial rule in Puerto Rico in the of 1897; mayor of Yauco 1904-06
  • , 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
  • , former Resident Commissioner, journalist, politician (father of )
  • , first Vice President of the (1810–1813)
  • , first president of Puerto Rico's Autonomic Cabinet
  • , President of the Republic of Puerto Rico (23 September 1868) during the revolt
  • , leader of the Grito de Lares revolt
  • , leader of cooperative movement in Puerto Rico

20th century

  • , former Resident Commissioner 1977–1985; Mayor of San Juan 1985–1989; 1988 NPP gubernatorial candidate, Secretary of State 1992–1995; Supreme Court Justice 1995–2005
  • ; former Mayor of San Juan; 1996 PDP gubernatorial candidate
  • , President and principal leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
  • , poet, writer, lawyer and politician; a founding member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and its president from 1928-30
  • , "champion of hábeas corpus"; former Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature
  • , first woman in Puerto Rico elected to a government legislative body
  • , politician, educator, attorney, public servant and sports leader
  • , first Puerto Rican woman elected to any state assembly, chair New York Hispanic Legislative Caucus
  • , first Puerto Rican to serve in U.S. Congress
  • , former president of (Puerto Rican father)
  • , founder of the ; first president of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
  • (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
  • , former Mayor of
  • , President of the
  • , "father of the Puerto Rican nation"; main leader of the revolution
  • , former president of (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , former Bronx (New York City) borough president
  • , former member of the New York State Assembly
  • , served as a member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, and was the Speaker from 1982 to 1985
  • , founder of the Puerto Rican Independence Party
  • , first President of
  • , founder of the
  • , activist and politician; in 1988, became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly
  • , former Mayor of
  • , Illinois State Senator; first Latino City Clerk of Chicago; 2011 mayoral candidate
  • , former New York State Assemblyman
  • , New York State Senator and religious leader
  • , New York State Senator
  • , first Puerto Rican cardiologist and Resident Commissioner
  • , co-founder of the Independence Association, one of three political organizations which merged to form the ; 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 PPD, who opposed the PPD's approval of the infamous Law 53, also known as "" and "Ley de La Mordaza", which violated the civil rights of those who favor(ed) Puerto Rican independence
  • , former Mayor of Miami, Florida
  • , former Bronx (New York City) borough president and New York City mayoral candidate
  • , 2008 gubernatorial candidate and founder of Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party
  • , former California State Assemblywoman
  • , former New York State Assemblyman, State Senator and U.S. Representative
  • , 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
  • , youngest Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico's history; the Mayagüez General Post Office was named after him
  • , the only woman in the Constitutional Convention of Puerto Rico, formed in 1951; the only woman to sign the 1952 Constitution of Puerto Rico
  • , United States Representative from Illinois
  • , founder of the first Puerto Rico Socialist Party, labor activist and former Resident Commissioner
  • , former New York City Council member and political activist
  • , 24th of the, 1978–1987
  • , New York State Senator
  • , member of Connecticut House of Representatives
  • , founder of the Movimiento Pro Independencia and the modern Puerto Rican Socialist Party
  • , first native-born Puerto Rican to become a district leader of a major political party in New York City
  • , first Puerto Rican New York State Senator
  • , New York City councilwoman and activist
  • , architect of ; former U.S. Ambassador to (1961–1964)
  • , 1992 PDP candidate for governor (daughter of )
  • , Senator; last surviving drafter of the Puerto Rico Constitution
  • , New York State Assemblyman, author of nation's first cellphone driving ban
  • , Mayor of
  • , former Mayor of San Juan, founder of the Puerto Rican Renewal Party
  • , former New York City Council member
  • , former Mayor of
  • , first woman to be elected senator in Puerto Rico
  • , longest serving President of the Senate of Puerto Rico
  • , former Speaker of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives
  • , United States Congressman (Puerto Rican father)
  • , former Senate President, educator; current columnist for the El Vocero newspaper
  • , first woman to be elected Mayor of a capital city in the ()
  • , Mayor of 1977–2001
  • , Mayor of
  • , Mayor of (1985–2000)
  • , former three-term Mayor of and Vice President of the, former senator
  • , most senior Puerto Rican congressman, Chair of House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services
  • , first Hispanic woman appointed as one of the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • , first Puerto Rican congresswoman, Chair of House Small Business Committee
  • , first Puerto Rican elected mayor in Texas ()

21st century

  • , 17th Surgeon General of the United States
  • , 66th Secretary of State of New York
  • , Pennsylvania's former Secretary of the Commonwealth; past President of National Association of Secretaries of State
  • , former Secretary of State of New York
  • , former New York State Assemblyman; Bronx Borough President (2009–present)
  • , first female mayor of Perth Amboy, New Jersey; first Puerto Rican, first woman, and first Latino elected mayor in New Jersey
  • , former Speaker of the
  • , Congressman representing in the
  • , 13th President of the Puerto Rico Senate; 22nd Secretary of State/Lieutenant Governor of Puerto Rico
  • ,former New York State Senator
  • ,14th Surgeon General of the U.S.; Vice Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
  • , Democratic nominee for
  • , 67th Secretary of State of New York
  • , former Attorney General of PR;, 2008–present; President, 2013–present
  • , co-chair of winning Hillary Clinton primary campaign; Democratic State Chair; former senator and PDP congressional candidate
  • , first Republican Party candidate of Puerto Rican ancestry elected to Florida House of Representatives
  • , 14th President of the
  • , three-term at-large legislator, two terms in House, one in Senate Senate;Caribbean Business journalist
  • , Mayor of
  • , Representative in Florida House of Representatives
  • , Puerto Rico's first Electoral Comptroller, and longest serving modern Secretary of the
  • , Minister of Information and Telecommunication for (Puerto Rican mother)

U.S. laws inspired by Puerto Ricans[]

  • - 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.
  • - 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.
  • - was a pioneer of the. In 1946, Mendez and her husband led an educational civil rights battle that changed California and set an important legal precedent for ending segregation in the United States. Their landmark desegregation case, known as, paved the way for meaningful, reform, and the.
– MLB first baseman, second Puerto Rican in Baseball Hall of Fame

A

  • , figure skater and Olympic medalist (Puerto Rican father)
  • , former baseball player, MLB All-Star, third Puerto Rican inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame (2011)
  • , former baseball player
  • , former baseball player
  • , NBA player, (Puerto Rican father)
  • , in 1995, the first Hispanic and first non-black in 52 years to play for the (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , soccer player (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , former NBA player, member and captain of the
  • , boxer, former Lightweight Champion
  • , baseball player, (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , baseball player, (Puerto Rican grandfather)

B

  • , baseball player,
  • , former basketball player; recipient of Puerto Rico Olympic Medal of Honor
  • , NBA player, ; first Puerto Rican to play for winning team in the NBA Finals
  • , Olympic, PanAm and Central American games swimmer
  • , WWE wrestler, real name Pamela Rose Martinez
  • , thoroughbred racing jockey
  • , baseball player, outfielder/,
  • , boxer, member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , retired fencer, former Secretary of Sports and Recreation
  • , baseball player, first Puerto Rican in Major League Baseball
  • , NBA player, (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , tennis player

C

  • , baseball player
  • , boxer, world champion
  • , boxer, former world champion and member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , swimmer, first Puerto Rican to reach final championships
  • , baseball player; born in Puerto Rico, "the father of Dominican baseball"
  • , baseball player, member of Baseball Hall of Fame
  • a.k.a. "Perucho" and "The Bull", baseball player; father of Orlando Cepeda; known as "the Babe Ruth of Puerto Rico"
  • , Puerto Rico's first professional boxer
  • , Olympic ice hockey player; forward on the U.S. women's ice hockey team; of Chinese and Puerto Rican descent
  • , bullfighter (Puerto Rican father)
  • , boxer, former welterweight champion (2006–08)
  • , 3,000-hit baseball player, first Puerto Rican member of Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Abdiel Colberg, first Hispanic professional rollerblader
  • , 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
  • , former professional wrestler and member of the WWE Hall of Fame
  • , professional wrestler
  • , jockey, member of Jockey Hall of Fame
  • , first pick of the 2012 MLB Draft; 2015
  • , first black Puerto Rican woman on the U.S. Olympic swimming team
  • , boxing referee; member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , basketball player, first Puerto Rican-born woman to play in the ; guard for the
  • , professional boxer, former light welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight world champion
  • , volleyball player
  • , baseball player whose number was retired by the Astros
  • , boxer; first professional boxer to publicly announce he is gay
  • , basketball player
  • , NFL football player
  • , Olympic athlete; bronze medalist; specialises in the 400 metre hurdles

D

  • , basketball player
  • , basketball player
  • , first boxer to win cruiserweight world title four times
  • , boxer, former world champion
  • , athlete, runner short track, long-jump, triple jump, gold, silver and bronze medallist, participant in two Olympic Games
  • , former baseball player,
  • , baseball player, ; by reaching his 50th strikeout in only 25 and a third innings, Díaz became the first pitcher to do so in at least 123 years

E

  • , inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame (2003)
  • , boxer, former world champion
  • , baseball player, youngest player ever drafted by an MLB organization; drafted in 2012 by the franchise
  • , baseball player, first Hispanic in the franchise
  • , boxer, first Puerto Rican world champion and member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , boxer, former champion

F

  • ,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
  • , softball player, Olympic gold medalist (Puerto Rican mother)
  • a.k.a. "the Puerto Rican Aquaman"; swimmer; first Puerto Rican to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar
  • , baseball pitcher, first Puerto Rican to win 20 games in Major League
  • , sailing

G

  • , first Puerto Rican to pitch and win a World Series game
  • , boxer, former world champion; member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , boxer, first Olympic medalist under the flag of Puerto Rico, 1984 Summer Olympics
  • , marathon runner
  • , former baseball player

H

  • a.k.a. "Cocoa Kid", boxer, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012
  • , track and field athlete
  • , NFL football player and former member of the
  • , baseball player, known colloquially as "Kiké"
  • , wrestling champion and member of the Latin-American Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • , Olympic gold and silver medalist; member of the United States women's gymnastics team
  • , former baseball player

J

  • , baseball player, member of Baseball Hall of Fame (Puerto Rican father)

K

L

  • , former Olympic swimmer; holds the island record for most medals won at CAC Games: 17 and 10 gold
  • , WWE Divas Champion
  • , basketball player; first Puerto Rican to play in and to play on the NBA play-offs as a member of the 79-80 Los Angeles Lakers
  • , track and field athlete
  • , baseball player,
  • , member of the Mexican national volleyball team
  • , baseball player,
  • , baseball player,

M

  • , German soccer star and coach (Puerto Rican father)
  • , former baseball player
  • ,
  • , boxer, former IBF Light Middleweight Champion
  • a.k.a. "El Gato", in 2008, became the first Puerto Rican-born basketball player to play for the
  • ,Olympian boxer
  • , basketball player
  • , Major League Baseball catcher and winner
  • , boxer, former world champion
  • , Major League Baseball catcher
  • , Major League Baseball catcher,, and Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner
  • , boxer and member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , basketball player
  • , wrestler, member of
  • , skier, first Puerto Rican member of the U.S. ski team

N

O

  • , first Puerto Rican to hit a home run in the World Series
  • , professional boxer
  • , Olympic gymnast
  • , boxer, former, Jr. welterweight and lightweight champion; member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , former basketball player, PDP candidate for elective office in 2008
  • , boxer, first Puerto Rican to win a silver Olympic medal

P

  • , member of Puerto Rican national volleyball team
  • , tennis player
  • , bullfighter, only Puerto Rican member of the Bullfighting Hall of Fame
  • , a.k.a. "Vic Power", baseball player, second black Puerto Rican in Major League Baseball
  • , baseball player,
  • , tennis player; in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, won Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medal

Q

  • , professional boxer, former World Boxing Organization's welterweight champion

R

  • , former NBA and international basketball player
  • , professional boxer
  • , professional football player, captain and top scorer
  • , former president of Puerto Rican Olympic Committee
  • , NBA and International basketball player
  • , boxer, a.k.a. "El Gallo"; WBA Super Welterweight Champion
  • , former UTEP star point guard and former point guard on Puerto Rico national basketball team
  • ,
  • , NFL football player, first Puerto Rican selected to
  • , NFL football player, first Puerto Rican in the and to coach an NFL team
  • , baseball player,
  • , basketball player
  • , boxer, first Puerto Rican to fight for the world heavyweight title
  • , "the trainer of stars"; personal trainer and self-made bodybuilding entrepreneur
  • , boxer, former lightweight and junior welterweight champion; member of International Boxing Hall of Fame (2006)
  • , golfer, member of Golf Hall of Fame
  • , a.k.a. "The Quietman", first Hispanic to become the heavyweight boxing champion of the world

S

  • , bodyboarding athlete; first Puerto Rican to win a gold medal at the ISA World Surfing Games
  • a.k.a. "El Nene Sanchez", boxer, former champion
  • , baseball player
  • , former MLB 1987 Rookie of the Year
  • , former NBA basketball player
  • , NFL player
  • , boxer, former world champion
  • , U.S. Olympic 2012 gold medal winner (Puerto Rican father)
  • , U.S. Olympic 2012 gold medal winner; sister of Jessica Steffens

T

  • , basketball coach
  • , baseball player,
  • , holds scoring record
  • , boxer, member of Boxing Hall of Fame
  • , boxer, former world champion

V

  • , WWE wrestler
  • , swimmer; current president of PR Swimming Federation; member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • , baseball player, active leader in strikeouts
  • , boxer, former champion
  • , former WWF wrestler
  • , jockey, member of Jockey Hall of Fame
  • , first Puerto Rican female boxer to win a championship
  • , boxer; first Puerto Rican to win an Olympic medal
  • , first person of Puerto Rican descent to coach an NBA team
  • , basketball player, led the team to six championships

W

Agüeybaná II (The Brave)
  • (Great Sun), Supreme Taíno chief, Supreme Cacique of Puerto Rico who welcomed to the island; based in
  • (The Brave), cacique and brother of Agueybaná; led the Taíno rebellion of 1511 against and his men; based in
  • , cacique, area of
  • , cacique, area of
  • , cacique, area of
  • , cacique, area of
  • , cacique, area of
  • , cacique, area of
  • , cacique, area that presently spans between and ; ordered the drowning of

Visual artists[]

José Campeche Francisco Oller
  • , painter, founder of the Fundación Alfonso Arana
  • , artist
  • , painter (Puerto Rican mother)
  • , sculptor of "El Jibaro Puertorriqueño" monument and Zeno Gandía statue
  • , painter and sculptor
  • , painter and sculptor from San Juan
  • , sculptor
  • , painter most known for his silk screening technique
  • , sculptor, photographer, video artist
  • , artist
  • , artist; President of Hispanic Art League, 1979
  • , New Zealand-born artist; sculptor of La Rogativa statue in San Juan
  • , painter and sculptor
  • , painter and activist
  • , mural artist
  • , artist and architect
  • , contemporary artist known as the "Puerto Rican Picasso"
  • , painter
  • , graphic artist
  • , fashion illustrator
  • (born 1957), artist, graphic designer and art professor
  • , contemporary painter known for creating socially conscious art since 1992
  • , painter and graphic artist
  • , visual artist and founder of the
  • , impressionist artist and painter
  • , painter, educator, and graphic artist
  • , painter, educator, and graphic artist
  • , photographer
  • , internationally known
  • , abstract expressionist painter
  • , sculptor

Miscellaneous[]

  • , dancer and choreographer
  • , criminal defense attorney; notable for his defense of accused child murderer
  • , nationalist and former
  • , "El Gigante de Carolina", the tallest Puerto Rican
  • , illusionist, magician (Puerto Rican father)
  • , founder of the Puerto Rican Girl Scouts
  • , cause celebre of the feminist movement
  • , political commentator, lawyer
  • , first Puerto Rican ; first pilot to fly on air mail carrying duties in Puerto Rico
  • , breakdancer, president of
  • , Puerto Rico's first female aviator
  • , World's oldest living person from December 11, 2006 - January 24, 2007; oldest verified military veteran and Puerto Rican ever
  • , commander in chief ("Responsible General") of the
  • , organizer of ; professor of film studies at
  • , head of division (2004–2008)
  • , "La Cháchara", "La Condesa", "La Comay"
  • , principal ballet dancer with the
  • , nationalist and former
  • , nationalist and former political prisoner

Gallery[]

See also[]





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