|Born||June 4, 1918
Isabela, Puerto Rico
|Died||December 1, 1979
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Estrada was born in the town of Isabela, Puerto Rico where he received his primary education. During the Great Depression, many Puerto Ricans either emigrated to the United States (mainly to the northeastern coast area) or joined the armed forces, with the hope of improving their economic situation. At the outbreak of World War II, Estrada joined and served in the United States Army. Being away from his homeland for the first time in his life would in the future serve him as inspiration when composing his world-renowned bolero "En mi viejo San Juan". In his youth, he joined Fi Sigma Alfa Fraternity.
Estrada became a government employee after being honorably discharged from the Army. He was a protocol official for the State Department. It was during the 1940s and 1950s that he felt his true calling for composing and that he wrote and interpreted his songs in Puerto Rico and in the U.S.
Among the many songs which he wrote were the following: "El Romance del Cafetal" (Romance of the coffee field); "Verde Navidad" (Green Christmas); "El Amor del Jíbaro" (The poor farmers Love); "Pobre Amor" (Poor Love); "Pedacito de Borinquen" (A piece of Puerto Rico); "Amor del Alma" (Love of the Soul); "Lo Nuestro Termino" (Our love is Finished); etcetera. However, it was "En mi Viejo San Juan" (In my Old San Juan) that would bring Estrada international acclaim.
"En Mi Viejo San Juan"
|You may listen to Luciano Quiñones piano interpretation of Estrada 's "En mi viejo San Juan"|
|and an interpretation of the song by "Javier Solis" and "El Trio Los Panchos"|
Estrada composed "En mi Viejo San Juan" in the 1940s, in New York. It is Estrada's most popular composition, and is considered a second national anthem by many Puerto Ricans, especially those who live abroad. The City of San Juan honored Estrada as an adopted citizen and would later adopt the song as its official city anthem.
Estrada's composition "Mi romantico San Juan" (My romantic San Juan) won a first prize in the "Festival of the Puerto Rican Composer". In 1966, the City of San Juan honored Estrada by declaring him its adopted son.
Noel Estrada died in the City of San Juan in 1979. San Juan and the town of Isabela have honored Estrada's memory by naming streets and a school after him.
- Rodríguez-Luis, Julio, ed. (1999). Re-reading Jose Marti (1853-1895): One Hundred Years Later. State University of New York. p. 61.
- Santiago Toro, Clarissa. "Noel Estrada". Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular.
- "Pagina Oficial de la Gran Fraternidad Fi Sigma Alfa est. 1928 Puerto Rico". Fisigmaalfa.org. Retrieved 2011-01-01.