List of Puerto Ricans

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List of notable Puerto Ricans
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Puerto Rico

This is a list of notable Puerto Ricans[a] which includes people who were born in Puerto Rico, people who are of full or partial Puerto Rican ancestry, and some long-term continental American and other residents and/or immigrants of other ethnic heritages who have made Puerto Rico their home, and who are recognized for their life and/or work.

The list is divided into categories and, in some cases, sub-categories, which best describe the field for which the subject is most noted. Some categories such as "Actors, actresses, comedians and directors" are relative since a subject who is a comedian may also be an actor or director. In some cases a subject may be notable in more than one field such as Luis A. Ferré who is notable 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.


Actors, actresses, comedians and directors[edit]

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  • Juan Emilio Viguié, Pioneer movie producer
    Viguié produced "Romance Tropical", the first Puerto Rican film with sound.[24]

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Adult film entertainers[edit]

Television show hosts[edit]

Architects[edit]

Andrés Mignucci – architect

Authors, playwrights and poets[edit]

Alejandro Tapia y Rivera
José Rivera, playwright

A

  • Jack Agüeros, author, playwright, poet and translator.[37]
  • Quiara Alegría Hudes, author, playwright
    Wrote the book for Broadway's musical In the Heights. Winner of 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Her play, Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2007 and has been performed around the country and in Romania and Brazil.[38]
  • Miguel Algarín, poet, writer
    Co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café.[39]
  • Manuel A. Alonso, poet and author
    Considered by many to be the first Puerto Rican writer of notable importance.[40]
  • Alba Ambert, novelist
    Ambert 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".[41]
  • Francisco Arriví, writer, poet, and playwright
    Arriví known as "The Father of the Puerto Rican Theater".[42]
  • Rane Arroyo, poet, playwright and scholar[43]

B

  • Pura Belpré, author
    First Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.[44]
  • Samuel Beniquez, author
    Author of the autobiographical book entitled: Tu alto precio... Mi gran valor.[45]
  • María Bibiana Benítez, playwright
    Benitez is one of Puerto Rico's "first" poetesses.[46]
  • Alejandrina Benítez de Gautier, poet
    Benítez de Gautier's collaboration with the "Aguinaldo Puertorriqueño" (Collection of Puerto Rican Poetry) gave her recognition as a great poet.[47]
  • Tomás Blanco, writer and historian
    Blanco was the author of "Prontuario Historico de Puerto Rico" and "El Prejuicio Racial en Puerto Rico" (Racial Prejudice in Puerto Rico).[48]
  • Juan Boria, Afro-Caribbean poet
    Boria, also known as the Negro Verse Pharaoh, was a poet known for his Afro-Caribbean poetry.[49]
  • Giannina Braschi, poet
    Braschi is a vanguard poet, Spanglish novelist, and performer of spoken word.[50]

C

D

E

F

  • Héctor Feliciano, author
    Feliciano's book "The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art" has shed a light on an estimated 20,000 looted works; each one is owned by a museum or a collector somewhere.[64]
  • Isabel Freire de Matos, writer, educator and advocate of Puerto Rican independence.[65]
  • Rosario Ferré, writer[66]
  • Shaggy Flores, Nuyorican writer, poet
    African Diaspora Scholar, Founder of Voices for the Voiceless.[67]
  • Félix Franco-Oppenheimer, poet and writer
    His works include "Contornos", "Imagen y visión edénica de Puerto Rico", and "Antología poética".[68]

G

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L

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  • Hugo Margenat, poet
    Margenat was also the founder of the political youth pro-independence organizations "Acción Juventud Independentista" and "Federación de Universitarios Pro Independencia".[84]
  • René Marqués, playwright
    Marqués wrote "La Carreta" (The Oxcart) which helped secure his reputation as a leading literary figure in Puerto Rico.[85]
  • Nemir Matos-Cintrón, poet, novelist[86]
  • Francisco Matos Paoli, poet, critic, and essayist
    Matos Paoli was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1977. He was also a Secretary General of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.[87]
  • Concha Meléndez, poet, writer[88]
  • Manuel Méndez Ballester, writer[89]
  • Nancy Mercado, poet, playwright
    Mercado is the author of "It Concerns the Madness", seven theatre plays, and a number of essays. Her work has been extensively anthologized.[90]
  • Pedro Mir, former Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic (Puerto Rican mother)[91]
  • Nicholasa Mohr, writer
    Her works, among which is the novel Nilda, tell of growing up in the Puerto Rican communities of the Bronx and El Barrio and of the difficulties Puerto Rican women face in the United States.[92][93] In 1973, she became the first Hispanic woman in the modern times to have her literary works published by the major commercial publishing houses, and she has developed the longest career as a creative writer for these publishing houses than any other Hispanic female writer.[41]
  • Rosario Morales, author
    Coauthor of "Getting Home Alive" (1986) with her daughter Aurora Levins Morales.[94]
  • José Pablo Morales Miranda, writer, journalist
    First Puerto Rican journalist. He wrote in many liberal newspapers during the Spanish colonial era.[95]

N

O

  • Judith Ortiz Cofer, poet, writer and essayist.
    In 1994, she became the first Hispanic to win the O. Henry Prize for her story "The Latin Deli". In 1996, Cofer and illustrator Susan Guevara became the first recipients of the Pura Belpre Award for Hispanic children's literature.[41][97]
  • Micol Ostow, author
    Ostow wrote of "Mind Your Manners, Dick and Jane". Her novel, "Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa", was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age.[98]

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Beauty queens and fashion models[edit]

Zuleyka Rivera – Miss Universe

Business people and industrialists[edit]

José Ramon Fernández "Marqués de La Esperanza"
Juan Serrallés, industrialist, founder of Destilería Serralles, makers of Don Q rum
Eduardo Georgetti, wealthy sugar baron.

Cartoonists[edit]

Civil rights and/or political activists[edit]

Maria de las Mercedes Barbudo
José Maldonado Román
Helen Rodriguez-Trias, women's rights activist and recipient of the Presidential Citizen's Medal
Olga Viscal Garriga
  • Mariana Bracetti a.k.a. "Brazo de Oro" (Golden Arm) Political activist
    Bracetti was the leader of the "Lares's Revolutionary Council" during the Grito de Lares. Bracetti knit the first flag of the future "Republic of Puerto Rico".
  • Mathias Brugman Political activist
    Leader of the Grito de Lares. Brugman founded the first revolutionary committee in the City of Mayagüez. His revolutionary cell was code named: "Capa Prieto" (Black Cape).
  • María Cadilla Women rights activist
    Women rights activist and one of the first women in Puerto Rico to earn a doctoral degree.
  • Blanca Canales Political activist
    Nationalist leader who led the Jayuya Uprising in 1950 against U.S. colonial rule of Puerto Rico.
  • Rafael Cancel Miranda Political activist
    Cancel Miranda is a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and advocate of Puerto Rican independence who proceeded to attack the United States House of Representatives in 1954.
  • Luisa Capetillo Labor activist
    Capetillo was one of Puerto Rico's most famous labor organizers. She was also a writer and an anarchist who fought for workers and women's rights.
  • Oscar Collazo Political activist
    One of two nationalists who attempted to assassinate President Harry S. Truman.
  • Raimundo Díaz Pacheco Political activist - Commander in Chief of the Cadets of the Republic (Cadetes of the Republica)
    Díaz Pacheco served as the Comandante (Commander) of the Cadets of the Republic (Cadets of the Republica) also known as the "Ejército Libertador de Puerto Rico" (The Liberation Army of Puerto Rico), a quasi-military organization and official youth organization within the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.[148]
  • Tito Kayak, Political activist
    De Jesus Mercado gained notoriety when a group of Vieques natives and other Puerto Ricans, including De Jesus Mercado, 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. Naval bombing exercise.
  • Sylvia del Villard Afro-Puerto Rican activist
    Founder of the Afro-Boricua El Coqui Theater, was known to be 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 the Afro-Puerto Rican affairs of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture. (see also actresses)
  • Isabel González Civil Rights activist
    Young Puerto Rican mother who paved the way for Puerto Ricans to be given United States citizenship.[149]
  • Lolita Lebrón Political activist
    Nationalist leader and activist. Lebrón was the leader of a group of nationalists, who proceeded to attack the United States House of Representatives in 1954.
  • Tomás López de Victoria Political activist and Sub-Commander of the Cadets of the Republic
    López de Victoria was the Captain in charge of the cadets who participated in the peaceful march which ended up as the Ponce Massacre. He led the Nationalists in the Arecibo revolt in what is knoan as the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts of the 1950s.[150]
  • Oscar López Rivera Nationalist and a political prisoner.[151]
    Longest-incarcerated advocate for Puerto Rico's independence.
  • José Maldonado Román a.k.a. "Aguila Blanca" (White Eagle) Revolutionary
    Maldonado Román was considered an outlaw by the authorities and a hero along the lines of Robin Hood by the local "Jibaros" (humble farmers).[152]
  • Eliana Martinez, AIDS activist
    She was an activist in a notable Florida court case regarding the rights of HIV+ children in public schools.[153]
  • Felicitas Mendez (maiden name: Felicitas Gomez) Puerto Rican woman who became an American civil rights pioneer
    In 1946, Mendez and her husband took it upon themselves the task of leading a community battle that changed California and set an important legal precedent for ending de jure segregation in the United States. The landmark desegregation case, known as the Mendez v. Westminster case,[154] paved the way for integration and the American civil rights movement.[155]
  • Sylvia Mendez Civil Rights activist and educator
    Mendez, daughter of Felicita, was eight years old when she played an instrumental role in the Mendez v. Westminster case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946. The case successfully ended de jure segregation in California.[156] and paved the way for integration and the American civil rights movement.[155]
  • María de las Mercedes Barbudo Political activist
    Mercedes Barbudo is considered to be the first female from Puerto Rico "Independentista" meaning that she was the woman to become an avid advocate of the Puerto Rican Independence..[157]
  • Ana María O'Neill Women Rights activist and educator
    In 1929, O'Neill became the first female professor in the field of Comerence in the University of Puerto Rico, a discipline which she taught until 1951. As a women's rights activist, she urged women to participate in every aspect of civic life and to defend their right to vote.[101]
  • Manuel Olivieri Sanchez Civil Rights activist
    Olivieri Sanchez was a court interpreter and a civil rights activist who led the legal battle which granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans living in Hawaii.[158]
  • Ruth Mary Reynolds Educator, political and civil rights activist
    Reynolds was a native of South Dakota who became interested in the ideals of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. As the founder of "Americans for Puerto Rico's Independence", she devoted many years of her life to the cause of Puerto Rico's independence from the United States.<[159]
  • Sylvia Rivera Transgender activist
    Sylvia Rivera was a pioneer of the LGBT movement and was a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall riots.[160]
  • Isolina Rondón Political activist and Treasurer of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.
    She was one of the few witnesses of the killing of four Nationalists committed by local police officers in Puerto Rico during a confrontation with the supporters of the Nationalist Party that occurred on 24 October 1935, and which is known as the Río Piedras massacre.[161]
  • Isabel Rosado Political activist
    Rosado was imprisoned multiple times because of her commitment to the cause of Puerto Rican independence.[162]
  • Anthony Romero Civil rights leader
    Romero is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.[163]
  • Helen Rodriguez-Trias Physician and women's rights activist.
    Rodriguez-Trias was the first Latina president of the American Public Health Association, a founding member of the Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association, and the recipient of the Presidential Citizen's Medal. She is credited with helping to expand the range of public health services for women and children in minority and low-income populations in the United States, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.[164] (see also Educators and scientists)
  • Ana Roque Women Rights activist
    Roque was an educator and suffragist. She was also one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico.
  • Vidal Santiago Díaz Political activist
    Santiago Díaz was the barber of Pedro Albizu Campos. He made Puerto Rican media history when numerous police officers and National Guards men attacked him at his barbershop "Salon Boricua" because of his ideals of Puerto Rican independence. It was the first time in Puerto Rican history that an attack of such nature was transmitted via radio to the Puerto Rican public in general.[165]
  • Arturo Alfonso Schomburg Civil rights
    Schomburg was a pioneer in black history. He helped raise awareness of the great contribution that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society.
  • Pedro Julio Serrano Human Rights activist
    President of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, that strives for inclusion of LGBT community and for social justice for all in Puerto Rico. Serrano also work as Communication Manager at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.[166]
  • Pedro Guanikeyu Torres Taíno Indian civil rights activist, tribal leader, educator, Taíno language researcher, tribal historian and a Taino Indian Nationalist.
  • Griselio Torresola Political activist
    Nationalist who died in attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman in 1950.
  • Carlos Vélez Rieckehoff Political activist
    Former President of the New York chapter of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party in the 1930s. In the 1990s Rieckehoff was among the protesters who protested against the United States Navy's use of his birthplace, the island of Vieques, as a bombing range.[167]
  • Olga Viscal Garriga Political activist
    member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. During the late 1940s she became a student leader at the University of Puerto Rico and spokesperson of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party's branch in Río Piedras.
  • Marcos Xiorro House slave
    In 1821, Xiorro planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish Colonial government in Puerto Rico.[168]

Clergy[edit]

Painting of Arizmendi by Jose Campeche

Pre-20th century

20th century

21st century

Composers, contemporary singers, musicians and opera[edit]

Lloyd Banks, rapper
José Feliciano, singer and composer of "Feliz Navidad"
Marc Anthony – singer
Jim Jones, rapper
Ricky Martin, singer

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Opera[edit]

Antonio Paolí

Criminals and outlaws[edit]

Antonio Correa Cotto

Pre-20th century

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

20th century

21st century

Diplomats[edit]

Hans Hertell

20th century

21st century

Educators[edit]

Rafael Cordero
Eugenio María de Hostos
Angel M. Ramos
  • Ursula Acosta Educator
    One of the founding members of the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogía (Puerto Rican Genealogical Society)[220]
  • Alfredo M. Aguayo Educator and writer
    Established the first laboratory of child psychology at the University of Havana[221]
  • Carlos Albizu Miranda Psychologist, educator
    First Hispanic Educator to have a North American University renamed in his honor and one of the first Hispanics to earn a PhD in Psychology in the United States.[222]
  • Margot Arce de Vázquez Educator
    Founder of the Department of Hispanic Studies in the University of Puerto Rico.
  • Jaime Benítez Former Resident Commissioner
    Longest serving chancellor and president of the University of Puerto Rico
  • Frank Bonilla Educator
    Academic who became a leading figure in Puerto Rican Studies.[223]
  • Carlos E. Chardón Palacios, first Puerto Rican mycologist and first Puerto Rican appointed as Chancellor of University of Puerto Rico
  • Carlos A. Chardón López, Educator and public administrator
    Chardón was the only Puerto Rican to serve twice as Puerto Rico Secretary of Education
  • Edna Coll Educator and author
    Coll was President of the Society of Puerto Rican Authors in San Juan. She was also the founder of the Academy of Fine Arts in Puerto Rico.[224]
  • Celestina Cordero Educator
    In 1820, Cordero founded the first school for girls Puerto Rico.[225]
  • Rafael Cordero Educator
    Declared Venerable in 2004 by Pope John Paul II; process for beatification is now in motion with Benedictine Fr. Oscar Rivera as Procurator of the Cause.
  • Waded Cruzado first Hispanic president of Montana State University[226]
  • Eugenio María de Hostos Educator
    In Peru, Hostos 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 to 1873. During his stay there, he taught at the University of Chile and gave a speech titled "The Scientific Education of Women." He proposed in his speech that governments permit women in their colleges. Soon after, Chile allowed women to enter its college educational system. (see also Politicians and Authors)
  • Angelo Falcón Political scientist
    Author of "Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans" (2004) and co-editor of the book, "Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City" (2004).
  • José Ferrer Canales Educator, writer and activist.
  • Antonio García Padilla
    President, University of Puerto Rico, (2001–2009), former Dean of UPR Law School.
  • Megh R. Goyal Professor/Historian/Scientist
    Father of Irrigation Engineering in Puerto Rican, Professor in Agricultural & Biomedical Engineering University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez[227]
  • Concha Meléndez Educator, writer poet.
  • Ana G. Méndez Educator
    Founder of the Ana G. Méndez University System.
  • Antonio Miró Montilla
    "Architect, educator. First architect appointed head of a government agency, the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority, 1969 to1971. 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."[32]
  • Antonia Pantoja Educator
    Founder of "ASPIRA" was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • Ángel Ramos Educator
    Superintendent of the Sequoia Schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Ramos is one of the few deaf Hispanics to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University
  • Dr.Juan A. Rivero Educator
    Founded the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayagüez, has discovered numerous animal species and has written several books.
  • Ana Roque Educator and suffragist
    Roque was one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico.
  • Carlos E. Santiago
    Economist and Educator. Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.[228]
  • Ninfa Segarra
    President of the New York City Board of Education 2000–2002.
  • Victoria Leigh Soto Educator
    Soto, whose father is Puerto Rican, was an educator who emerged as a hero in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut when she hid students and died trying to protect them from alleged shooter Adam Lanza.[229]
  • Lolita Tizol Educator
    Early 1900s Educator: at a time when most people in Ponce, as most of Puerto Rico, did not know how to read and write, and when teachers were paid only $50 per month, even in the large cities, Tizol took it upon herself to overcome all challenges to help others.[230]
  • Nilita Vientós Gastón Educator
    Vientos Gaston was the first female lawyer to work for the Department of Justice of Puerto Rico. She defended the use of the Spanish language in the courts of Puerto Rico, before the Supreme Court, and won
  • Mariano Villaronga-Toro Educator and public servant
    Villaronga Toro was the first Commissioner of Public Instruction after the creation of the Estado Libre Asociado. He instituted the use of Spanish as the official language of instruction in the Puerto Rico public education system, displacing instruction in English which had been pushed by the US-appointed colonial governors.[231]

Governors of Puerto Rico[edit]

Juan Ponce de León II
Luis A. Ferré, governor, philanthropist and industrialist

Pre-20th century

20th century

21st century

First Ladies of Puerto Rico[edit]

Historians[edit]

Salvador Brau

Journalists[edit]

Geraldo Rivera

Judges, law enforcement and firefighters[edit]

Judges

Sonia Sotomayor – U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Law enforcement

Nick Estavillo
  • Nicholas Estavillo, NYPD Chief of Patrol (Ret.)
    In 2002, Estavillo became the first Puerto Rican and the first Hispanic in the history of the NYPD to reach the three-star rank of Chief of Patrol.[256]
  • Faith Evans, U.S. Marshal
    Hawaiian-Puerto Rican, first woman to be named U.S. Marshal.
  • Alejandro González Malavé, Undercover police officer
    controversial undercover police officer.
  • Irma Lozada, New York City Transit Police
    Lozada was the first female police officer to die in the line of duty in New York City.[214]
  • José Meléndez-Pérez, INS officer
    INS Officer who was named in 9/11 Commission Report; denied entry to terrorist in August 2001.
  • Benito Romano, United States Attorney in New York
    First Puerto Rican to hold the United States Attorney's post in New York on an interim basis.[257]
  • Joe Sánchez, Former New York City police officer
    Sánchez is a highly decorated former New York City police officer and author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department."[258]
  • Pedro Toledo, Puerto Rico Police Superintendent
    Retired FBI senior agent and longest-serving state police superintendent.

Firefighters

  • Raúl Gándara-Cartagena, Puerto Rico State fire chief
    Gándara-Cartagena was the first and longest-serving Commonwealth fire chief in Puerto Rico. He served from 1942 to 1972.[259]
  • Carlos M. Rivera, Former Fire Commissioner of the City of New York
    Rivera is the first Hispanic commissioner in the New York City Fire Department's 127-year history.[260]

Military[edit]

16th century 16th century

  • Agüeybaná II, Cacique of "Borikén" (Puerto Rico)
    Agüeybaná II led the Taínos in the fight against Juan Ponce de León and the conquistadores in what is known as the "Taíno Rebellion of 1511."

17th century

  • Juan de Amezquita, Captain, Puerto Rican Militia
    Defeated Captain Balduino Enrico (Boudewijn Hendricksz), who in 1625 was ordered by the Dutch to capture Puerto Rico.[261]

18th century

  • Rafael Conti, Colonel, Spanish Army
    In 1790, Conti 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.[262]
  • Antonio de los Reyes Correa, Captain, Spanish Army
    Puerto Rican hero who defended the town Arecibo in 1702 from an invasion by defeating the British. He 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 of "Captain of Infantry".[263]
  • José and Francisco Díaz, Sergeants, Puerto Rican militia
    The Díaz were cousins in the Toa Baja Militia who helped defeat Sir Ralph Abercromby and defend Puerto Rico from a British invasion in 1797.[264]
  • Miguel Henríquez, Captain, Spanish Navy
    In 1713, Henríquez defeated the British in Vieques and was awarded the La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie (The Gold Medal of the Royal Effigy).[265]

19th century

20th century

  • Humberto Acosta-Rosario, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    Acosta-Rosario was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized); 25th Infantry Division, United States Army. He is currently the only Puerto Rican MIA whose body has never been recovered.[277]
  • Ricardo Aponte, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    Aponte is the former Director of the Innovation and Experimentation Directorate, United States Southern Command, the first Puerto Rican to hold said position.[278]
  • Félix Arenas Gaspar, Captain, Spanish Army
    Arenas Gapar was posthumously awarded the Cruz Laureada de San Fernando (Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand – Spain's version of the Medal of Honor) for his actions in the Rif War.[279]
  • Domingo Arroyo, Jr., Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
    Arroyo was the first American serviceman to be killed in Operation Restore Hope during the Somalian Civil War.[280]
  • Joseph (José) B. Aviles, Sr., CWO2, U.S. Coast Guard
    On 28 September 1925, Aviles became the first Hispanic Chief Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard. During World War II he received a war-time promotion to Chief Warrant Officer, becoming the first Hispanic to reach that level as well.[281]
  • Rafael Celestino Benítez, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Benítez was a highly decorated submarine commander who led the rescue effort of the crew members of the USS Cochino which was involved in the first American undersea spy mission of the Cold War.[282]
  • Carlos Betances Ramírez, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Betances Ramírez was the first Puerto Rican to command a battalion in the Korean War. In 1952, he assumed the command of the 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment.[283]
  • José M. Cabanillas, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    In World War II Cabanillas was Executive Officer of the USS Texas (BB-35) and participated in the invasions of Africa and Normandy (D-Day).[284]
  • Richard Carmona, Vice Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
    Carmona served as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States under President George W. Bush.[285]
  • Modesto Cartagena, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
    Cartagena, 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.[54]
  • Carlos Fernando Chardón, Major General, Puerto Rico National Guard
    Chardón was the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico from 1969 to 1973 and the Puerto Rico Adjutant General from 1973 to 1975.
  • Felix M. Conde-Falcon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army,
    Conde-Falcon will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014m 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.[286]
  • Carmen Contreras-Bozak, Tech4, U.S. Women's Army Corps
    Contreras-Bozak was the first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Women's Army Corps. She served as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions during World War II.[287]
  • Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Army
    Cordero was a Battalion Commander of the 31st Infatry Regiment who documented his experiences as a prisoner of war and his participation in the infamous Bataan Death March of World War II.[288]
  • Juan César Cordero Dávila, Major General, U.S. Army
    Cordero Dávila was the commanding officer of the 65th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War, thus becoming one of the highest ranking ethnic officers in the Army.[289]
  • Encarnación Correa, Sergeant, U.S. Army
    Correa was 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 21 March 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.[290]
  • Ruben A. Cubero, Brigadier General U.S. Air Force
    Cubero, who is Puerto Rican descent, was a highly decorated member of the United States Air Force who in 1991, became the first Hispanic graduate of the United States Air Force Academy to be named Dean of the Faculty of the academy.[291]
  • Pedro del Valle, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps
    Del Valle was the first Hispanic three-star Marine general. His military career included service in World War I, Haiti and Nicaragua during the so-called Banana Wars of the 1920s, and in the seizure of Guadalcanal and later as Commanding General of the U.S. 1st Marine Division during World War II played an instrumental role in the defeat of the Japanese forces in Okinawa.[292]
  • Carmelo Delgado Delgado, Lieutenant, Abraham Lincoln International Brigade
    Delgado was the first Puerto Rican and one of the first U.S. citizens to fight and to die in the Spanish Civil War against General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalists.[293]
  • Alberto Díaz, Jr. Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Diaz is the first Hispanic to become the Director of the San Diego Naval Medical District.[294]
  • Luis R. Esteves, Major General, U.S. Army
    In 1915, Esteves became the first Puerto Rican and therefore the first Hispanic to graduate from the United States Military Academy. Esteves also organized the Puerto Rican National Guard.[295]
  • Salvador E. Felices, Major General, U.S. Air Force
    Felices was the first Puerto Rican general in the U.S. Air Force. In 1953, Felices flew in 19 combat missions over North Korea, during the Korean War. In 1957, he participated in a historic project that was given to Fifteenth Air Force by the Strategic Air Command headquarters known as "Operation Power Flite", the first around the world non-stop flight by all-jet aircraft.[296]
  • Michelle Fraley (née Hernández), Colonel, U.S. Army
    Fraley became in 1984, the first Puerto Rican woman to graduate from West Point Military Academy. She is the former chief of staff of the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command.[297][298]
  • Rose Franco, CWO3, U.S. Marine Corps
    Franco was the first Hispanic woman Chief Warrant Officer in the Marine Corps. In 1965, Franco was named Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, Paul Henry Nitze by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.[299]
  • Edmund Ernest García, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    During World War II García was commander of the destroyer USS Sloat (DE-245) and saw action in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and France.[300]
  • Fernando Luis García, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
    Garcia was the first Puerto Rican awarded the Medal of Honor. He was posthumously awarded the medal for his actions against enemy aggressor forces in the Korea War on 5 September 1952.[301]
  • Linda Garcia Cubero, Captain, U.S. Air Force
    In 1980, Garcia Cubero, who is of Mexican-American/Puerto Rican heritage, became the first Hispanic woman graduate of any of the U.S. military academies when she graduated from the United States Air Force Academy.[302]
  • Carmen García Rosado, Private First Class, U.S. Women's Army Corps
    García Rosado was among the first 200 Puerto Rican women to be recruited into the WAC's during World War II and the 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), which is 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.[303]
  • Mihiel Gilormini, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    World War II hero, recipient of 5 Distinguished Flying Cross's and who together with Brig. General Alberto A. Nido and Lt. Col. Jose Antonio Muñiz founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. Gilormini had previously flown for the Royal Canadian Air Force(1941) and the Royal Air Force (1941–1942).[304]
  • Manuel Goded Llopis, General, Spanish Army
    Goded Llopis was a Puerto Rican in the Spanish Army who was one of the first generales to join General Francisco Franco, in the revolt against the Spanish Republican government (also known as Spanish loyalists) in what is known as the Spanish Civil War. Previously, Goded Llopis had distinguished himself in the Battle of Alhucemas of the Rif War.[305]
  • César Luis González, First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force
    Gonzalez was the first Puerto Rican pilot in the United States Army Air Force and the first Puerto Rican pilot to die in World War II.
  • Diego E. Hernández, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Hernández was the first Hispanic to be named Vice Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command. He flew two combat tours in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and in 1980, took command of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).[306]
  • Zak Hernández, Sergeant, U.S. Army
    Hernández was killed in Panama on the eve of President George H. W. Bush's visit. His accused murderer, Pedro Miguel González Pinzón, was acquitted and later elected President of Panamá's National Congress, an event which has generated protests from the governments of the United States and Puerto Rico.[307]
  • Haydee Javier Kimmich, Captain, U.S. Navy
    Kimmich was the highest ranking Hispanic female in the Navy. She was assigned as the Chief of Orthopedics at the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda and she reorganized Reservist Department of the medical center during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.[308]
  • Orlando Llenza, Major General, U.S. Air Force
    Llenza is the second Puerto Rican to reach the rank of Major General (two-star General) in the United States Air Force. He was the Adjutant General of the Puerto Rico National Guard.[309]
  • Carlos Lozada, Private First Class, U.S. Army
    Lozada was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 20 November 1967, at Dak To in the Republic of Vietnam.[310]
  • Carmen Lozano Dumler, 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Women's Army Corps
    Dumler was 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.[308]
  • Antonio Maldonado, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    In 1965, Maldonado became the youngest person to pilot a B-52 aircraft. His active participation in the Vietnam War included 183 air combat missions.[311]
  • Joseph (José) R. Martínez, Private First Class, U.S. Army
    Martinez destroyed a German Infantry unit and tank in Tuniz by providing heavy artillery fire, saving his platoon from being attacked in the process. He received the Distinguished Service Cross from General George S. Patton, becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration.[312]
  • Lester Martínez López, MPH, Major General, U.S. Army
    Martínez López was the first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command.[313]
  • Gilberto José Marxuach, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Marxuach, the son of Teofilo Marxuach, is "The Father of the San Juan Civil Defense"[314]
  • Teófilo Marxuach, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
    Marxuach fired a hostile shot from a cannon located at the Santa Rosa battery of "El Morro" fort, in what is considered to be the first shot of World War I fired by the regular armed forces of the United States against any ship flying the colors of the Central Powers,[315] forcing the Odenwald to stop and to return to port where its supplies were confiscated.[316]
  • George E. Mayer, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Mayer was the first Hispanic Commander of the Naval Safety Center. He led an international naval exercise known as Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2003 from his flagship, the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72). It 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.[317]
  • Angel Mendez Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
    Mendez, who was of Puerto Rican descent, was awarded the Navy Cross in Vietnam and is being considered for the Medal of Honor. He saved the life of his Lieutenant – Ronald D. Castille, who went on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.[318]
  • Enrique Méndez, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army
    Méndez was the 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.[319]
  • Virgil R. Miller, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Miller was the Regimental Commander of the 442d Regimental Combat Team (RCT), a unit which was composed of "Nisei" (second generation Americans of Japanese descent), during World War II. He led the 442nd in its rescue of the Lost Texas Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division, in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France.[320]
  • José Antonio Muñiz Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force
    Muñiz 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.[321]
  • William A. Navas, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army
    Navas is the first Puerto Rican named Assistant Secretary of the Navy. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Navas was nominated in 2001 by President George W. Bush to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).[322]
  • Juan E. Negrón, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army
    Negron will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014, for his 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.[286]
  • Héctor Andrés Negroni, Colonel, U.S. Air Force
    Negroni was the first Puerto Rican graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Negroni was awarded the Aeronautical Merit Cross, Spains highest Air Force peacetime award for his contributions to the successful implementation of the United States-Spain Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.[323]
  • Alberto A. Nido, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    Nido was 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. Nido served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the British Royal Air Force and in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.[321]
  • Ramón Núñez-Juárez, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
    Núñez-Juárez was listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, second highest medal after the Medal of Honor, that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy. He was the only Puerto Rican member of the United States Marine Corps whose remains have never been recovered and who was listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War.[324]
  • Jorge Otero Barreto, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
    Otero Barreto 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.[325][326]
  • Dolores Piñero, U.S. Army Medical Corps
    Piñero, who despite the fact that she was not an active member of the military, was the first Puerto Rican woman doctor to serve in the Army under contract during World War I. At first she was turned down, however after writing a letter to the Army Surgeon General in Washington, D.C. she was ordered her to report to Camp Las Casas in Santurce, Puerto Rico. On October 1918, She signed her contract with the Army.
  • José M. Portela, Brigadier General U.S. Air Force
    Portela served in the position of Assistant Adjutant General for Air while also serving as commander of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. In 1972, Portela became the youngest C-141 Starlifter aircraft commander and captain at age 22. Portela is also the only reservist ever to serve as director of mobility forces for Bosnia.[327]
  • Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano, Captain, U.S. Navy
    Ramírez de Arellano was the first Hispanic submarine commander. He was awarded two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star for his actions against the Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II.[328][329]
  • Antonio J. Ramos, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    Ramos was the 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.[330]
  • Agustín Ramos Calero, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
    With 22 military decorations Ramos Calero was the most decorated soldier in all of the United States during World War II.[283]
  • Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci, Major, U.S. Air Force
    Ribas-Dominicci was one of the pilots who participated in the Libyan air raid as member of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing. His F-111F was shot down in action over the disputed Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast. Ribas-Dominicci and his weapons systems officer, Capt. Paul Lorence, were the only U.S. casualties of Operation El Dorado Canyon.[331]
  • Frederick Lois Riefkohl, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Riefkohl was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and in World War I became the first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Navy Cross. [332]
  • Rudolph W. Riefkohl, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Riefkohl played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic.[333]
  • Félix Rigau Carrera, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
    Rigau Carrera was the first Puerto Rican pilot and the first pilot to fly on air mail carrying duties in Puerto Rico.During World War I he served in the U.S. Army Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps. While serving in the Army he became the first Puerto Rican parachutist [334]
  • Demensio Rivera, Private, U.S. Army
    Rivera will receive 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.[286]
  • Manuel Rivera, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps
    Rivera, who was of Puerto Rican descent, was the first U.S. serviceman to die in Operation Desert Shield.[335]
  • Pedro N. Rivera, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    In 1994, Rivera became the first Hispanic to be named medical commander in the Air Force. He was responsible for the provision of health care to more than 50,000 patients.[336]
  • Horacio Rivero, Admiral, U.S. Navy
    In 1964, Rivero became the first Puerto Rican and second Hispanic Admiral (four-star) in the U.S. Navy. Rivero participated in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and in 1962, Admiral Rivero was the commander of the American fleet sent by President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis to set up a quarantine (blockade) of the Soviet ships in an effort to stop the Cold War from escalating into World War III.[337][338]
  • Pedro Rodríguez, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army
    Rodriguez was a member of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry. He earned two Silver Stars within a seven-day period during the Korean War..[339]
  • Antonio Rodríguez Balinas, Brigadier General, U.S. Army
    Rodríguez Balinas was the first commander of the Office of the First U.S. Army Deputy Command. During the Korean War he fought with Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment and was awarded the Silver Star Medal[340]
  • Maria Rodriguez Denton, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
    Rodriguez Denton was the first woman from Puerto Rico who became an officer in the United States Navy as member of the WAVES. It was Lt. Denton who forwarded the news (through channels) to President Harry S. Truman that the war had ended.[341]
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas, Major, U.S. Army
    Rodríguez Vargas was an odontologist (dentist), scientist and a Major in the U.S. Army who in 1921 discovered the bacteria which causes dental caries.[342][343]
  • Eurípides Rubio, Captain, U.S. Army
    Rubio was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Tay Ninh Province in the Republic of Vietnam on 8 November 1966.[344]
  • Jaime Sabater, Sr., Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
    Sabater commanded the 1st Battalion 9th Marines during the Bougainville amphibious operations in World War II.[345]
  • José L. Santiago, Sergeant Major, U.S. Marine Corps
    Santiago has the distinction of being the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines first Hispanic Sergeant Major and its first Sergeant Major since its reactivation on 13 July 2007.[346]
  • Héctor Santiago-Colón, Specialist Four, U.S. Army
    In 1968, Santiago-Colón was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam as member of Company B of the 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.[347]
  • Antulio Segarra, Colonel, U.S. Army
    In 1943, Segarra became the first Puerto Rican Regular Army officer to command a Regular Army Regiment when he assumed the command of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment which at the time was conducting security missions in the jungles of Panama.[348]
  • Frankie Segarra, Master Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
    Segarra is the first Puerto Rican to reach the grade of Master Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps within his MOS.[349]
  • Rafel Toro, Private, U.S. Marine Corps
    Toro was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his "extraordinary heroism in battle"[350] while fighting in Nicaragua during the second Nicaragua campaign in 1927.
  • Miguel A. Vera, Private , U.S. Army
    Vera 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.[286]
  • Humbert Roque Versace, Captain, U.S. Army
    Versace, was of Italian and Puerto Rican descent, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War. He was the first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity.[351]
  • Raúl G. Villaronga, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Villaronga was the first Puerto Rican to be elected as Mayor of a Texas city (Killeen).[352]

21st century

  • Iván Castro, Captain, U.S. Army
    Castro, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is one of three blind active-duty officers who serves in the US Army and the only blind officer serving in the United States Army Special Forces.[353]
  • Ramón Colón-López, Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force
    On 13 June 2007, Colon-López a pararescueman, was the first and only Hispanic among the first six airmen to be awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He is the Commandant of the Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer School[354]
  • Olga E. Custodio, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force
    Custodio made history when she became the first female Hispanic U.S. military pilot. She holds the distinction of being first Latina to complete U.S. Air Force military pilot training. After retiring from the military she became the first Latina to become a commercial airline captain.[355]
  • Emilio Díaz Colón, Major General, U.S. Army; PRNG
    Díaz-Colón is the first Superintendent of the Puerto Rican Police who once served as the Adjutant General of the Puerto Rican National Guard.[356][357]
  • Hila Levy, Captain, U.S. Air Force
    In 2007 Levy became the first Puerto Rican Rhodes scholar.[358][359]
  • María V. Martínez, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
    Martínez is the first Puerto Rican female to reach the rank of Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army. She serves as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Director of the Army Diversity Office in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C..[360]
  • Rafael O'Ferrall, Brigadier General, U.S. Army
    O'Ferrall is the first Hispanic and person of Puerto Rican descent to become the Deputy Commanding General for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, Cuba while simultaneously serving as Assistant Adjutant General (Army) and Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Force Headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico.[361]
  • María Inés Ortiz, Captain, U.S. Army
    Ortiz, who was of Puerto Rican descent, was the first United States Army nurse to die in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first to die in combat since the Vietnam War..[362]
  • Evelio Otero, Jr., Colonel. U.S. Air Force
    Otero led the establishment of the first ever U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Qatar. He founded the Polish and Colombian Joint Special Operations Commands while he was assigned to United States Special Operations Command.[363]
  • Hector E. Pagan, Brigadier General, U.S. Army
    Pagan is the first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to become Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[364]
  • Lizbeth Robles, SPC., U.S. Army
    In 2005, Robles was the first female soldier born in Puerto Rico to die in combat as an active soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom.[365]
  • Maritza Sáenz Ryan, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Sáenz Ryan, who is of Puerto Ricana and Spanish descent, is the head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy. She is the first woman and first Hispanic (Puerto Rican and Spanish heritage) West Point graduate to serve as an academic department head. She also has the distinction of also being the most senior ranking Hispanic Judge Advocate.[204][366]
  • Marc H. Sasseville, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
    On 11 September 2001, then - Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville (whose mother is Yita Joan Frontera Lluch from Yauco, Puerto Rico)[367]) was the acting operations group commander under the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard. He was one of four fighter pilots commissioned with finding and destroying United Flight 93 by any means necessary, including ramming the aircraft in midair.[368][369]
  • Frances M. Vega, SPC., U.S. Army
    On 2 November 2003, Vega became the first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to die in a combat zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom.[370]
  • Maria Zumwalt, Colonel, U. S. Army
    Zumwalt, a native of Bayamon, was the commander of the 48th Chemical Brigade.[371]

Physicians, scientists and inventors[edit]

Agustin Stahl
Fermín Tangüis
Joseph Acaba
Antonia Novello – Surgeon General of the United States
Joxel García – Assistant Secretary of Health for President George W. Bush
Olga D. González-Sanabria - Member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.
  • Joseph M. Acaba Astronaut, scientist, educator
    First Puerto Rican astronaut
  • José Ramón Alcalá, anatomist
    In 1972, Alcalá was appointed assistant professor in the Wayne School of Medicine. There he conducted research which would make him the foremost expert on cell makeup of the human eye lens. Alcalá developed laboratory methods to study the histology of ocular tissue, which ultimately helped to explain the development of cataracts, among other maladies of the eye[41][372]
  • Carlos Albizu Miranda Psychologist, educator
    First Hispanic Educator to have a North American University renamed in his honor and one of the first Hispanics to earn a PhD in Psychology in the United States.[222]
  • Ricardo Alegría Anthropologist, archaeologist and educator
    "Father of Modern Puerto Rican Archaeology".
  • Jorge N. Amely Vélez - Inventor
    Amely Vélez is an electrical engineer and inventor who holds various patents in the field of Medical Technology.[373]
  • Bailey K. Ashford doctor, parasitologist, author and soldier.
    Ashford, a Colonel in the U.S. Army, arrived in Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War and made the island his home. He organized and conducted a parasite treatment campaign, which cured approximately 300,000 persons (one-third of the Puerto Rico population) and reduced the death rate from this anemia by 90 percent.[374][375]
  • Pedro Beauchamp Surgeon
    The first Puerto Rican specialist certified by the American Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Board, who performed the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique on the island in 1985.[376]
  • Víctor Manuel Blanco Astronomer
    In 1959, Blanco discovered a "Blanco 1", a galactic cluster.[377] Blanco was the second Director of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, which has the largest 4-m telescope in the Southern Hemisphere,[378] In 1995, the telescope was dedicated in his honor and named the "Víctor M. Blanco Telescope" and is also known as the "Blanco 4m"[379]
  • Rafael L. Bras Former chair of Civil Engineering at MIT
    One of the world's leading experts in hydrometeorology and global warming.
  • Anthony M. Busquets Electronic engineer, aerospace technologist
    Busquets is involved in the development and application of multifunction control/display switch technology in 1983 and Development and application of a microprocessor-based I/O system for simulator use in 1984.
  • Carlos E. Chardón a.k.a. the "Father of Mycology in Puerto Rico"
    Chardón is the first Puerto Rican mycologist. Discovered the aphid "Aphis maidis", the vector of the mosaic of sugar cane, in 1922. Author of the "Chardón Plan" and first Puerto Rican to hold the position of Chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico.[380]
  • Nitza Margarita Cintron Scientist
    Chief of NASA's (JSC) Space and Health Care Systems Office.
  • Pablo Clemente-Colon
    First Puerto Rican Chief Scientist of the National Ice Center (2005-present)
  • Antonia Coello Novello
    First Hispanic and first woman U.S. Surgeon General (1990–93).
  • Martín Corchado
    Physician, medical researcher, and president of the Autonomist Party of Puerto Rico.
  • José F. Cordero Pediatrician
    Cordero is the founding director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.[381]
  • Milagros J. Cordero pediatrician
    She is the founder and President of Team Therapy Services For Children (ITT’S for Children)[54]
  • María Cordero Hardy physiologist, educator and scientist,
    Cordero Hardy's research on vitamin E helped other scientists understand about how the vitamin works in the human body.[382]
  • Juan R. Correa-Pérez scientist, clinical andrologist and embryologist
    Correa-Pérez is a scientist who is credited with becoming the first clinical Andrologist and Embryologist in Puerto Rico.
  • Juan R. Cruz NASA scientist
    Played an instrumental role in the design and development of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) parachute.
  • Carlos Del Castillo NASA scientist
    Del Castillo was the Program Scientist for the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program at NASA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C.. Del Castillo is also the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.[383]
  • Manuel de la Pila Iglesias
    Multi-faceted physician who specilized in various medical disciplines. Introduced the first EKG and X-ray machines into Puerto Rico. Founded a medical clinic that today is a respected medical center in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He is considered to be "one of the giants of Puerto Rican medicine".[384]
  • Alfonso Eaton Mechanical Engineer, Aero-Space Technologist
    First Puerto Rican to work for NASA.
  • Enectalí Figueroa-Feliciano Astronaut applicant and astrophysicist in NASA
    Figueroa pioneered the development of position-sensitive detectors.
  • Orlando Figueroa Mechanical engineer at NASA
    previously the NASA Mars Czar Director for Mars Exploration and the Director for the Solar System Division in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters is now the Director, Applied Engineering & Technology at the NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (as the "Director of Engineering" he manages the full scope of engineering activities at Goddard.[385]
  • Adolfo Figueroa-Viñas Astrophysicist at NASA
    Figueroa-Viñas is the first Puerto Rican astrophysicist at NASA working in solar plasma physics. As a senior research scientist he is involved in many NASA missions such as Wind, SOHO, Cluster and MMS projects in which he is the author and co-author of numerous scientific papers in his field.[386]
  • José N. Gándara
    Lead physician attending to the wounded of the Ponce Massacre, and later the expert witness at the trials of the accused Nacionalistas as well as before the Hays Commission. Held numerous government positions, including Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico. He was also one of the founders of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico.[387][388]
  • Joxel García
    First Puerto Rican Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and an Admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.[389]
  • Asdrubal Garcia Ortiz Technology Engineer
    Together with fellow inventors Sunggyu Lee and John R. Wootton, Garcia Ortiz was granted various patents. A sample of these patents includes: US Patent No 6,177,885, "System and method for detecting traffic anomalies", US Patent No 7,186,345, "Systems for water purification through supercritical oxidation", and US Patent No 7,688,605, "Systems and methods for reducing the magnitude of harmonics produced by a power inverter".[390][391]
  • Mario R. García Palmieri, Cardiologist
    García Palmieri is the first Hispanic to have the distinction of being designated a "Master" by the American College of Cardiology[392]
  • Sixto González Scientist
    First Puerto Rican Director of the Arecibo Observatory the world's largest single dish radio telescope.
  • Rosa González, Registered nurse
    Founder of "The Association of Registered Nurses of Puerto Rico" and author of various books related to her field where she denounced the discrimination against women and nurses in Puerto Rico.[393]
  • Isaac González Martínez urologist
    González Martínez was the first Puerto Rican urologist and a pioneer in the fight against cancer in the island.[394]
  • Olga D. González-Sanabria NASA engineer
    Is the highest ranking Hispanic at NASA Glenn Research Center and a member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.
  • Amri Hernández-Pellerano NASA engineer
    Hernández-Pellerano designs, builds and tests the electronics that will regulate the solar array power in order to charge the spacecraft battery and distribute power to the different loads or users inside various spacecraft at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Gloria Hernandez Physical Scientist, aerospace technologist
    Hernandez is the Science Manager for the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III on ISS) at NASA Langley Research Center. Her career has included supersonic aerodynamic research that has resulted in economic advances in supersonic flight.[395]
  • Lucas G. Hortas Aerospace engineer, aerospace technologist
    Hortas is the author and or co-author of over 35 technical papers in the areas of system identification, vibration control and isolation, optimal control design and implementation, optimal actuator/sensor placement, model testing, and experimental verification of control methodologies
  • Ramón E. López Physicist
    Lopez, a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and recipient of the 2002 Nicholson Medal for Humanitarian Service. He is the co-author of a book on space weather entitled "Storms from the Sun"[396]
  • Fernando López Tuero Agricultural scientist and agronomist
    López Tuero discovered the bug (believed at first to be a germ) which was destroying Puerto Rico's sugar canes.[397]
  • Carlos A. Liceaga Electronic engineer, aerospace technologist
    Liceaga leads the development of proposal guidelines; and the technical, management, and cost evaluation of the proposals For the Explorer Program.
  • Gerónimo Lluberas Physician, writer, educator, medical missionary
  • Ariel Lugo Scientist and ecologist
    Lugo is the Director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry within the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, based in Puerto Rico. He is a founding Member of the Society for Ecological Restoration and Member-at-Large of the Board of the Ecological Society of America.[47]
  • Debbie Martínez Computer engineer, aero-space technologist
    Martinez is the "Flight Systems and Software Branch" software manager for the new Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA Langley Research Center.
  • Lissette Martinez Electronic engineer, rocket scientist
    Martinez is the lead electrical engineer for the Space Experiment Module program at the Wallops Flight Facility located in Virginia which is part of NASA's Goddard Flight Facility.
  • Manuel Martínez Maldonado is a Nephrologist, educator, poet and author
    Martínez Maldonado has authored numerous scientific publications and discovered a natriuretic hormone.[398]
  • Antonio Mignucci
    Marine Biologist and oceanographer. Founder of the Red Caribeña de Varamientos.
  • Carlos Ortiz Longo Mechanical engineer
    Chief of Crew Health Care Systems and Exercise Countermeasures in NASA.
  • William G. Pagán Software Engineer and IBM Master Inventor
    One of the most prolific Puerto Rican inventors in history. As of February 2012, he was listed as an inventor on 24 United States patents[399] and just under 90 published patent applications.[400]
  • Joseph O. Prewitt Díaz psychologist
    Prewitt Díaz specialized in psychosocial theory. He was the recipient of the American Psychological Association's 2008 International Humanitarian Award.[401]
  • Mercedes Reaves Research engineer and scientist
    Reaves is responsible for the design of a viable full-scale solar sail and the development and testing of a scale model solar sail at NASA Langley Research Center.
  • Ron Rivera Inventor and workshop organizer
    Invented life-saving water filters based on pottery.[402]
  • Juan A. Rivero Scientist, educator
    Founded the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayagüez, has discovered numerous animal species and has written several books.
  • Miriam Rodon-Naveira Puerto Rican NASA scientist
    Rodón-Naveira was the first Hispanic woman to hold the Deputy Directorship for the Environmental Sciences Division within the National Exposure Research Laboratory.
  • Miguel Rodríguez, mechanical engineer,
    Chief of the Integration Office of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office.
  • Pedro Rodriguez Inventor, Mechanical Engineer
    Rodríguez is the director of a test laboratory at NASA. He invented a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis.
  • Helen Rodriguez-Trias Physician and activist
    Rodriguez-Trias was a physician and activist. She was the first Latina president of The American Public Health Association, a founding member of the Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association and the recipient of the Presidential Citizen's Medal.(see also Civil rights activists)[164]
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas, Dentist, scientist
    Rodríguez Vargas discovered the bacteria which causes dental cavity (See also: Military).
  • Monserrate Roman Scientist, microbiologist
    Roman helped build the International Space Station.
  • Gualberto Ruaño biotechnology pioneer and founder of Genomas, Inc.
    Ruaño is a pioneer in the field of personalized medicine and the inventor of molecular diagnostic systems, Coupled Amplification and Sequencing (CAS) System (U.S. patent 5,427,911), used worldwide for the management of viral diseases. Ruaño is President and Founder of Genomas, a genetics-related company and now the bio-tech anchor of Hartford Hospital's Genetic Research Center; he also serves as Director of genetics research at the Center.[403]
  • José Francisco Salgado Emmy-nominated astronomer, visual artist, and science communicator
    Salgado works as an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and is a member of the audiovisual ensemble Bailey-Salgado Project.[404]
  • Eduardo Santiago Delpín Surgeon
    Santiago Delpin wrote the first book in Spanish about organ transplant.[405]
  • Yajaira Sierra Sastre
    Sierra Sastre was chosen to take part in a new NASA project that will help to determine why astronauts don’t eat enough, having noted that they get bored with spaceship food and end up with problems like weight loss and lethargy that put their health at risk. She will live for four months isolated in a planetary module at a base in Hawaii to simulate what life will be like for astronauts at a future base on Mars. Sierra Sastre is an aspiring astronaut.[406][407]
  • Diego R. Solís Physician
    Solís made Puerto Rican medical history when he performed the first simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in Puerto Rico.[408]
  • Félix Soto Toro Electrical engineer, astronaut applicant
    Soto Toro developed the Advanced Payload Transfer Measurement System (ASPTMS)(Electronic 3D measuring system).
  • Agustín Stahl Botanist
    Scientist the fields of botany, ethnology and zoology.
  • Ramón M. Suárez Calderon Scientist, cardiologist, educator and hematologist
    His investigations led to the identification of the proper and effective treatment of a type of anemia known as Tropical Espru, the application of complex methods, such as electrocardiography and radioisotope, to be used in clinics and the identification and treatment of the disease which causes heart rheumatism.[397]
  • Fermín Tangüis Scientist, businessman, agriculturist and
    Tangüis developed the Tanguis cotton in Peru and saved that nation's cotton industry.[409]
  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysicist, television and radio host
    Dr. deGrasse Tyson, whose mother is Puerto Rican, is the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Dr. deGrasse Tyson is the host of the PBS series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage".[410].

Politicians[edit]

José de Diego - "The Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement"
Federico Degetau – writer, author, and resident commissioner
Pedro Albizu Campos - President and principal leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.
José E. Serrano – U. S. Congressman for New York City
Maurice Ferré – Mayor of Miami
Nydia Velázquez – Congresswoman from New York City
Luis Gutiérrez – Congressman from Chicago
Kenneth McClintock - the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico

19th century

20th century

21st century

Sports[edit]

Orlando Cepeda – MLB first baseman, second Puerto Rican in Baseball Hall of Fame
José Juan Barea – professional basketball player with the Dallas Mavericks
Carlos Delgado – MLB player, New York Mets
Edgar MartínezMLB player with the Seattle Mariners
Alfredo L. EscaleraKansas City Royals outfielder. Youngest player ever drafted
Mike LowellMLB third baseman
Juan Evangelista Venegas – Olympic medalist

A

B

C

D

E

F

  • Gigi Fernández
    tennis player, the first female athlete from her native Puerto Rico to turn professional,[439] the first Puerto Rican woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal and the first to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[440]
  • Lisa Fernandez
    softball, Olympic gold medalist, (Puerto Rican mother).
  • Orlando Fernández a.k.a. "The Puerto Rican Aquaman"
    Swimmer, the first Puerto Rican to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar.[441]
  • Ed Figueroa
    baseball pitcher, first Puerto Rican to win 20 games in Major League.
  • Enrique Figueroa
    sailing

G

H

J

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

K

L

M

N

O

  • Luis Olmo
    first Puerto Rican to hit home run in World Series.
  • Fres Oquendo
    professional boxer.
  • John Orozco
    Olympic gymnast
  • Carlos Ortiz
    boxer, former, Jr. welterweight and lightwieght champion; member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
  • José Ortiz
    former basketball player, PDP candidate for elective office in 2008.
  • Luis Ortiz
    boxer, first Puerto Rican to win a Silver Olympic medal.

P

Q

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

R

S

T

V

W

Taínos[edit]

Agüeybaná

Visual artists[edit]

José Campeche
Francisco Oller

Miscellaneous[edit]

Notable Puerto Ricans[edit]

See also[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^

References[edit]

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  5. ^ Puerto Rican TV Pioneer Paquito Cordero Dies
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  7. ^ New York Times; A Surprise at the Door, Joey Dedio Stars as ‘Tio Papi’
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  51. ^ Authors Den
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  82. ^ Ponceños Ilustres. Municipality of Ponce.
  83. ^ Official Home Page: Ciudad Seva
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  85. ^ La Muerte no entra en un Palacio
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  87. ^ Francisco Matos Paoli
  88. ^ Casa Biblioteca Concha Meléndez
  89. ^ Sala Museo Manuel Méndez Ballester- Interamerican University
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  91. ^ Hijos de Inmigrantes en República Dominicana from ariskelvyn.com
  92. ^ Dictionary of Literary Biography intro online
  93. ^ Heath Anthology bio
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  97. ^ Honoree - Georgia Writers Hall of Fame
  98. ^ Princeton's Children's Book Festival
  99. ^ "XVIII Hombre del Pasado"; By; Eugenio Astol; El Libro de Puerto Rico
  100. ^ "Luis Palés Matos: Poeta". Estudiantes Al Dia (in Spanish). Zonai.com. March 2001. 
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  105. ^ The Hispanic Caribbean Literature Collection
  106. ^ Jose Rivera awards and nominations at IMDB.com. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  107. ^ Marie Teresa Rios
  108. ^ "JUSTIPRECIACIÓN DE LA OBRADE FRANCISCO ROJAS TOLLINCHI"; by Ada Hilda Martínez de Alicea; Dept. Estudios Hispánicos Pontificia Universidad Católica de PR.
  109. ^ Fundación Nacional para la Cultura
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  125. ^ Biography from www.emanuelxavier.com
  126. ^ La Charca
  127. ^ [3][dead link]
  128. ^ MAYOR ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT BY LARGEST HISPANIC BANK IN UNITED STATES TO REMAIN IN NEW YORK CITY
  129. ^ COLSA
  130. ^ José R. Fernández y Martínez "Marqués de La Esperanza"
  131. ^ Puerto Rico Herald 2000
  132. ^ "Eduardo Giorgetti Y Su Mundo: La Aparente Paradoja De Un Millonario Genio Empresarial Y Su Noble Humanismo"; by Delma S. Arrigoitia; Publisher: Ediciones Puerto; ISBN 0-942347-52-8; ISBN 978-0-942347-52-4
  133. ^ Ralph Mercado, Impresario, Dies at 67 from The New York Times 11 March 2009
  134. ^ Three Centuries of Communications
  135. ^ highest-ranking Latina in network television
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  137. ^ Camalia Valdez – Bio
  138. ^ NSHMBA Seattle
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  140. ^ El Diario/La Prensa
  141. ^ Interview with David Alvarez
  142. ^ Michigan State University Libraries
  143. ^ Comic Book
  144. ^ "Contributors: George Pérez", The New Teen Titans Archives, Volume 1 (DC Comics, 1999).
  145. ^ Hispanic Heritage Plaza
  146. ^ Comic Vine
  147. ^ Haciendo Punto en Otro Son
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  149. ^ Journal of American Ethnic History
  150. ^ “¡Atención, firmes, de frente, marchen!”- Tomás López de Victoria - Por José Manuel Dávila Marichal
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  152. ^ "1898-La Guerra Despues de la Guerra"; By: Fernando Pico; Publishers: Ediciones Huracan; ISBN 0-940238-25-X
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  156. ^ Geisler, Lindsey (11 September 2006). "Mendez case paved way for Brown v. Board". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 5 April 2007. 
  157. ^ Mercedes – La primera Independentista Puertorriquena
  158. ^ Puerto Ricans in Hawaii begin centennial celebration
  159. ^ Guide to the Ruth M. Reynolds Papers 1915-1989
  160. ^ Gan, Jessi. "'Still at the Back of the Bus': Sylvia Rivera's Struggle." CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies 19.1 (Spring 2007): 124–139.
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  162. ^ Ecu Red
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  164. ^ a b Changing the Face of Medicine
  165. ^ The Nationalist Insurrection of 1950
  166. ^ Bio - Pedro Julio Serrano. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  167. ^ Carlos Vélez Rieckehoff
  168. ^ "Slave revolts in Puerto Rico: conspiracies and uprisings, 1795-1873"; by: Guillermo A. Baralt; Publisher Markus Wiener Publishers; ISBN 1-55876-463-1, ISBN 978-1-55876-463-7
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  170. ^ Diocese of Olympia’
  171. ^ http://carlosalomar.com/bio.html
  172. ^ Henry Arana
  173. ^ Lloyd Banks
  174. ^ Keshia Chanté Biography
  175. ^ Inauguration of the Aristides Chavier Housing Project. Chavier was also the piano instructor of Luis A. Ferré (see Ferre)
  176. ^ Robert Clivilles Interview
  177. ^ Music: Cordero Plays Guitar, Peter G. Davis, 30 January 1978, New York Times
  178. ^ Biography, Photos, Lyrics (SalsaClasica.com)
  179. ^ Primera Hora
  180. ^ Interview-Hector Fonseca: Getting in with the Grammy's from themovementz.com 30 October 2007
  181. ^ "Jenilca" (in Spanish). PrimeraHora.com. 
  182. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-8162905.html Eddie Gómez: In Demand and Unpredictable from the Boston Globe 2 March 1990
  183. ^ Puerto Rican pop Culture
  184. ^ Mundovibe: Gonzalez of Masters at Work
  185. ^ Interview with Hex Hector from www.djtimes.com, June 2001.
  186. ^ MANNY DREAMS: QV Catches Up with DJ Manny Lehman from www.qvmagazine.com, March 2004
  187. ^ American Idol: Scotty McCreey Called "True Artist" by Jennifer Lopez, Confirms Puerto Rican Heritage from Fox News 5 May 2011
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  189. ^ "Ahora es "Mala"". Primera Hora (in Spanish). 6 October 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008. [dead link]
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  194. ^ Worldcats identity
  195. ^ Chamaco Ramirez
  196. ^ Interview with Chino Rodriguez
  197. ^ Recordando a PELLÍN RODRÍGUEZ a 22 años de su partida
  198. ^ Jimmy Sabater
  199. ^ Latin Grammy Trustees Award
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