List of Stateside Puerto Ricans

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This is a list of notable Puerto Ricans in the United States, including people born in the U.S. who are Puerto Rican descent and Puerto Ricans who live in the United States. Since Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, Puerto Ricans can migrate to this country more easily than any other ethnic group. Currently, more than four million Puerto Ricans and their descendants live in the United States. The following list contains members of the Puerto Rican community.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Stateside Puerto Ricans in United States or must have references showing they are Stateside Puerto Ricans and are notable.


Television show hosts[edit]


Actors and Actresses[edit]

Directors, producer and screenwriters of films, theater and TV[edit]

Singers and musicians[edit]

Alphabetized by surname[edit]

Marc Anthony – singer
  • Marc Anthony - American singer of Puerto Ricans parents[47]
  • Johnny Albino - (1919–2011) was a Puerto Rican bolero singer.
  • Adrienne Bailon - American singer and actress of Puerto Rican mother and an Ecuadorian father[48]
  • Lloyd Banks - American rapper, member of G-Unit. He is of Puerto Rican and African American descent[49]
  • Ray Barretto - (1929–2006) Puerto Rican jazz musician.[50]
  • Manolo Badrena - Puerto Rican percussionist most noted for his work with Weather Report from 1976 to 1977.
  • Eddie Benitez - Puerto Rican guitarist.
  • John Benitez (better known as "Jellybean Benitez") - American drummer, guitarist, songwriter, DJ, remixer and music producer of Puerto Rican descent.
  • Samuel Beníquez - Puerto Rican writer, composer, music producer, businessman, publicist, activist, and philanthropist
  • Obie Bermúdez - Puerto Rican-American R&B/Salsa singer and composer
  • Angela Bofill - American R&B vocalist and songwriter. He was born to a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother
  • Vico C - Puerto Rican rapper and reggaeton artist. He is considered one of the founding fathers of reggaeton and has played an influential role in the development of Latin American hip hop. He is American of Puerto Rican descent and raised in Puerto Rico.[51]
  • José Feliciano - Puerto Rican singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer known for many international hits. He was raised in New York[59]
  • Hector Fonseca - internationally acclaimed house music DJ.
  • Luis Fonsi - Puerto Rican singer of Pop - Ballad and Pop - Rock resident in Florida.[60]
  • Angelo Garcia - former member of Puerto Rican boy band Menudo from 1988 to 1990.
  • Mayte Garcia - dancer and American singer of Puerto Rican ancestry.
  • Gisselle - American Merengue singer of Puerto Rican parents.[61]
  • Jenilca Giusti - Puerto Rican singer, songwriter and actress. She lived in Florida since she had 8 years.[62]
  • Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez - American dance musician.
  • Sergio George - pianist and American record producer, known for working with many famous performers of salsa music. His parents are Puerto Ricans.
  • Hex Hector - American dance remixer. He is of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent.[63]
  • Oscar Hernández - Puerto Rican musician[64]
  • Lee Holdridge - Haitian-born American composer and orchestrator. He is of Puerto Rican and American descent.[65]
  • La India - Puerto Rican singer
  • Nicky Jam - He was born to a Dominican mother and a Puerto Rican father. He is a reggaeton singer.
  • Fat Joe - American Rapper by parents of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent[66]
  • Jim Jones, American Rapper Of Puerto Rican and Aruban descent[67]
  • Alexis Jordan - American singer and actress. She is daughter to a mother of African American, American Indian, and European descent and a Puerto Rican father.[68]
  • George Lamond - American Freestyle music singer, who is of Puerto Rican descent.
  • Héctor Lavoe - (1946–1993) Puerto Rican Singer, resident in New York[69]
  • Manny Lehman - American house music DJ and producer.
  • Toby Love - Puerto Rican American singer-songwriter of Puerto Rican parents.
  • Lumidee - American singer-songwriter and rapper
  • Kelis - American musical artist. Her father is African - American Jazz musician, and her mother is of Chinese half Puerto Rican descent.[70]
  • Kurious - Hip Hop American artist of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent[71]
  • Adrianne Leon, American singer-songwriter, chef, personal fitness trainer, model and actress. she is of Puerto Rican and Italian and Canadian descent[9]
  • Lisa Lisa - She was part of Cult Jam band, an urban contemporary band.
Ricky Martin, singer
Tito Puente, singer
  • Tito Puente - (1923–2000) Puerto Rican Singer and musician[83]
  • Big Pun - (1971–2000) American Rapper of Puerto Rican descent[84]
  • Ivy Queen Puerto Rican, reggaeton composer and singer[85]
  • Ismael Quintana - singer and American composer of salsa music.
  • Domingo Quiñones - American singer of salsa music.
  • Chamaco Ramirez - (1941–1983) was a famous Puerto Rican salsa singer and composer. He died in New York.
  • Val Ramos - American of Puerto Rican parents.
  • Richie Ray - virtuoso pianist, singer, music arranger, composer and religious minister
  • Ray Reyes - American born and Puerto Rican raised.
  • Ron Reyes - American musician most noted as the second singer for the group Black Flag. He is of Puerto Rican descent.
  • Gabriel Ríos - Puerto Rican Pop singer
  • Graciela Rivera - (1921–2011) was the first Puerto Rican to sing a lead role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
  • DJ Mighty Mike (Rivera) Disc Jockey Producer
  • Robbie Rivera - Disc Jockey Producer
  • Daniel Rodríguez - American operatic tenor from New York City.
  • Tito Rodríguez - (1923–1973), Puerto Rican singer and bandleader, known as "El inolvidable".[86]
  • Mon Rivera
  • Draco Rosa - American musician, dancer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor.
  • Willie Rosario - musician, composer and Puerto Rican bandleader of salsa music.
  • Felipe Rose - (born January 12, 1954) American founding member of the disco group the Village People. His mother is a Puerto Rican and his father is a Native American.
  • Gilberto Santa Rosa - American Salsa Singer of Puerto Rican descent.
  • Frankie Ruiz - (1958–1998) Puerto Rican salsa singer.[87]
  • Hilton Ruiz - (1952–2006) was a Puerto Rican American jazz pianist in the Afro-Cuban jazz mold. Ruiz was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.[88]
  • Jimmy Sabater, Sr.- (1936–2012) was an American Latin musician. His parents were Puerto Ricans.[89]
  • Sa-Fire - American singer.
  • Bobby Sanabria - American drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, producer, and writer specializing in Latin jazz. He is of Puerto Rican descent.[90]
  • Claudio Sanchez - American writer and musician
  • Herman Santiago - Puerto Rican born and Nuyorucan raised. He is a rock and roll pioneer and songwriter who claimed to have written the iconic hit "Why Do Fools Fall In Love".
  • Daniel Santos - (1916–1992) was a singer and Puerto Rican composer of boleros that died in Florida.
  • Ray Santos - American Latin Grammy award winning musician
  • Romeo Santos - American singer, featured composer and lead singer of the Bachata group Aventura. He is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descend.[91]
  • Ray Sepúlveda - Puerto Rican American salsa (music) singer
  • Brenda K. Starr - American singer-songwriter. He was born to a Jewish American father and Puerto Rican mother.[92]
  • Lil Suzy - half Italian, half Puerto Rican American Latin freestyle, pop-, and dance-music singer
  • Olga Tañon - Puerto Rican singer resident in Orlando, Florida.[93]
  • Juan Tizol - (1900–1984) was a Puerto Rican trombonist and composer
  • Manoella Torres - "the woman who was born to sing", is an American singer and actress of Puerto Rican people descent resident in Mexico.[94]
  • Tommy Torres - Puerto Rican producer, singer, and songwriter
  • Tony Touch - American hip hop break dancer, rapper, DJ, producer and actor of Puerto Rican descent.[95]
  • Mario Vazquez - Pop and R&B American singer of Puerto Rican parents.[96]
  • Little Louie Vega - American musician and one half of the Masters At Work musical production team
  • Alan Vega - American vocalist
  • Veronica - American dance music singer and theatrical actress. Her parents were Puerto Rican.[97]
  • Yomo - Puerto Rican reggaeton recording artist.[98]
  • Big Daddy Kane - American rapper who started his career in 1986 as a member of the rap group the Juice Crew.
  • Daddy Yankee - Puerto Rican singer of Reggaeton
  • Y-Love - American hip-hop artist to an Ethiopian father and Puerto Rican mother.[99]


  • Kane & Abel - rap duo formed by twin brothers Daniel and David Garcia. They are of African American and Puerto Rican descent.
  • TKA - Latin Freestyle trio that was prominent in the 1980s and early 1990s
  • Sweet Sensation - Puerto Rican female freestyle-dance music trio of New York.
  • Nina Sky - twin sister singers. American of Puerto Ricans parents.[100]
  • Wisin & Yandel - Puerto Rican Group

Models and dancers[edit]

  • Arthur Aviles - dancer/choreographer. He is of Puerto Rican descent.[101]
  • Carmella DeCesare - American model who was Playboy magazine's Miss April 2003 and Playmate of the Year for 2004. She is of Italian and Puerto Rican descent.
  • Susie Castillo - former beauty queen who held the Miss USA title and competed in the Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants. to a Dominican father and Puerto Rican mother [102]
  • Michelle Font - Beauty queen who won Miss Washington USA and competed in the Miss USA pageant on April 11, 2008 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent.
  • Jaslene Gonzalez - Puerto Rican - American model, Puerto Rican born[103] and American raised[104]
  • Melanie Iglesias - American model and actress. She is of Puerto Rican, Italian, and Filipino heritage.[105]
  • Crazy Legs - Breakdancer, president of Rock Steady Crew.
  • Danielle Polanco - dancer and choreographer; Dominican-Puerto Rican American
  • Pam Rodriguez - American glamour model of Guatemalan and Puerto Rican descent.[106]
  • Jock Soto - principal ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet.


  • Eddie Alvarez - American mixed martial artist. He is of Puerto Rican and Irish descent.[107]
  • Benjamin Agosto - figure skater. American of Puerto Rican father and American mother of Romanian and Russian descent.[108]
  • Harry Arroyo - former American boxer who gained international recognition as the IBF Lightweight Champion of the World from 1984 to 1985. He is of Puerto Rican descent,[109]
  • Carmelo Anthony - NBA player of Basketball. American of Puerto Rican and African American descent.[110]
  • Carlos Arroyo - Professional basketball point guard who last played for the Boston Celtics.
  • José Juan Barea, NBA player. He is a Puerto Rican resident in Miami.[111]
  • Wilfred Benítez - American boxer.
  • Héctor Camacho - Puerto Rican professional boxer
  • Héctor Camacho, Jr. - Puerto Rican boxer and son Héctor Camacho
  • Eddie Casiano - American born and Puerto Rican raised. He is of Puerto Rican descent.[112] He is a basketball player.
  • Orlando Cepeda - Puerto Rican born, but American raised.
  • Julie Chu - American Olympic ice hockey player who plays the position of forward on the United States women's ice hockey team. She is of Chinese and Puerto Rican.[113]
  • Roberto Clemente - (1934–1972) was a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball right fielder Hall of Fame.
  • James "Chico" Hernandez - American Accomplished athlete in the sport of Sambo and a seven-time member of the Team USA National Team.
  • Shawn Hernandez - American professional wrestler of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, better known by his ring names, "Hotstuff Hernandez" and "Hernandez".
  • Oscar Hernandez - musician, musical arranger and American producer of Puerto Rican descent.[64]
  • Guillermo Diaz - Puerto Rican professional basketball player and player of NBA
  • Nelson Erazo - American professional wrestler of Puerto Rican descent, better known by his ring name, Homicide.
  • Justin Fargas - American football running back who is a Free Agent in the National Football League. He is son of Antonio Fargas´s actor.
  • Sunny Garcia - American is a surfer profecional.
  • Herbert Lewis Hardwick a.k.a. "Cocoa Kid" (1914–1966), was a boxer inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012. Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and African American father.[114]
  • Reggie Jackson - nicknamed "Mr. October" for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the New York Yankees, is a former American Major League Baseball right fielder.His father was Martinez Jackson, a half Puerto Rican[115]
  • Michael Lowell - Puerto Rican Major League Baseball third baseman for the Boston Red Sox. He is a Puerto Rican born but American raised.[116]
  • Travis Pastrana - American motorsports competitor and stunt performer.
  • Butch Lee - NBA player. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in New York.
  • Edgar Martínez - nicknamed "Gar" and "Papi", is a former Major League Baseball third baseman and designated hitter.
  • Vanessa Martínez - Puerto Rican swimmer, represented Puerto Rico at the 2003 Pan American Games.
  • Denise Masino - American professional female bodybuilder from the United States.
  • Carlos Ortiz - Puerto Rican who was a three time world boxing champion, twice in the lightweight division and once in the Jr. Welterweights.
  • Sam Parrilla - (1943–1994) left fielder and pinch-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1970. He played in the minor leagues from 1963 to 1972. He is father of actress Lana Parrilla.
  • Orlando Perez - American footballer of C.D. Chivas USA.
  • Rico Ramos - American Super Bantamweight boxer and current WBA world super bantamweight champion
  • Ramón Rivas - He was born in New York and is of Puerto Rican descent. Puerto Rican professional basketball player.
  • Chi Chi Rodriguez - Puerto Rican professional golfer
  • Olando Rivera - Puerto Rican professional kickboxer and boxer. 5x World Kickboxing Champion and the youngest martial artist to be inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.
  • Jorge Rivera (fighter) - American mixed martial artist who was featured on The Ultimate Fighter 4. Rivera is of Puerto Rican descent and, although, was born in Massachusetts, lived in Puerto Rico for a short time as a child.[117]
  • John Ruiz - former American professional boxer.[118]
  • Daniel Santiago - professional American basketball player of Puerto Rican descent.
  • Lisa Marie Varon - American professional wrestler, bodybuilder and fitness competitor of Puerto Rican and Turkish descent.


  • Salvador Agron - (1943–1986), a.k.a. "The Capeman", was a Puerto Rican gang member who murdered two teenagers in a Hell's Kitchen park in 1959.
  • Raymond Márquez - a.k.a. "Spanish Raymond" is a reputed American gangster. His parents are from Puerto Rico.[119]
  • José Padilla - also known as Abdullah al-Muhajir or Muhajir Abdullah, is an American convicted of aiding terrorists.
  • Joshua Rosa - American convicted murderer in the State of Florida. His parents are Puerto Rican.


Mari Carmen Aponte


  • Joseph M. Acaba - Educator, hydrogeologist, and NASA astronaut. American of Puerto Rican parent.[121]
  • Edwin David Aponte - Educator, author, and religious leader, born in Connecticut of Puerto Rican parents. A scholar of Latino religions and cultures.
  • Frank Bonilla - (1925–2010)American academic of Puerto Rican descent who became a leading figure in Puerto Rican Studies.
  • Ramón E. López - American Space Physicist and author, who played an instrumental role in the implementation of a hands-on science. program in elementary and middle grades Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland.
  • Andres Ramos Mattei - (1940–1987) was a Puerto Rican sugar industry historian. He died in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[122]
  • Carlos Albizu Miranda - (1920–1984) first Hispanic educator to have a North American University renamed in his honor and one of the first Hispanics to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology in the United States. Puerto Rican born and American raised.[123]
  • Antonia Pantoja - (1922–2002), educator, social worker, feminist, civil rights leader and founder of ASPIRA, the Puerto Rican Forum, Boricua College and Producir.
  • Ángel Ramos - was the founder of the National Hispanic Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Superintendent of the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind, and was one of the few deaf person of Hispanic descent to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University
  • Carlos E. Santiago - Puerto Rican American labor economist and the 7th chancellor of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
  • Ninfa Segarra - is the last President of the New York City Board of Education.


  • Carmen Dominicci - television journalist.
  • Tai Hernandez - reporter for WNYW and a former correspondent for ABC News.
  • Alycia Lane - American television journalist of Puerto Rican and Welsh descent.[126]
  • Lynda López - Emmy Award-winning Puerto Rican American journalist and the youngest sister of actress and singer Jennifer Lopez.
  • Jackie Guerrido - Puerto Rican television weather forecaster and journalist.
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle - American cable news personality and is currently one of the rotating co-hosts on The Five on Fox News Channel at 5 pm EST, as well as the host of an Internet-only crime-related program for Fox News. She is the daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and an Irish father.
  • Juan Gonzalez - Puerto Rican born. She is investigative journalist[127]
  • Natalie Morales - television journalist.[128]
  • Denisse Oller - Puerto Rican broadcaster, journalist, newspaper columnist, and a former cooking show host and news anchor at WXTV in New York City.
  • Audrey Puente - American meteorologist for WWOR-TV in New York City. She is daughter of Tito Puente.
  • Carlos D. Ramirez - (1946–1999) was an American publisher who purchased El Diario La Prensa — the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States.

Judges and law enforcement[edit]

  • Jose Baez - criminal defense attorney; notable for his defense of accused child murderer Casey Anthony. best known as the lead attorney for Casey Anthony.
  • José A. Cabranes - judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Formerly a practicing lawyer, government official, and law teacher, he was the first Puerto Rican appointed to a federal judgeship in the continental United States
  • Albert Diaz - American judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. His parents are Puerto Ricans.[134]
  • Nicholas Estavillo - the first Puerto Rican and the first Hispanic in the history of the NYPD to reach the three-star rank of Chief of Patrol.[135]
  • Faith Evans - Hawaiian-Puerto Rican, first woman to be named U.S. Marshal.
  • Julio M. Fuentes - United States Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Fuentes is the first Hispanic judge to serve the Third Circuit. He is Puerto Rican born and American raised.[136]
  • Juan Manuel García Passalacqua - (1937–2010) Political commentator, lawyer. Puerto Rican that died in Ohio.[137]
  • Dora Irizarry - Puerto Rican that is a Federal Judge in New York.
  • Irma Lozada - the first female police officer to die in action in New York.[138]
  • José Meléndez-Pérez - Puerto Rican-born United States Customs and Border Protection Inspector at Orlando International Airport who became a key figure for the 9/11 Commission when he refused entry to an alleged terrorist prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • Carmen Ortiz - American born, Prosecutor Attorney Boston, Mass. Will be prosecuting the Boston Terrorist.
  • Juan Pérez-Giménez - Puerto Rican born - United States federal judge in senior status.
  • Roberto A. Rivera-Soto - American born, but Puerto Rican raised, he is an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the U.S. state of New Jersey
  • Vanessa Ruiz - Puerto Rican associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest court for the District of Columbia.[139]
  • Benito Romano - The first American of Puerto Rican hereditary to hold the United States Attorney's post in New York on an interim basis.
  • Joe Sánchez - An American highly decorated former New York City police officer and author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department. His parents are Puerto Rican.[140]
  • Sonia Maria Sotomayor - Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. Sotomayor is the Court's 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice.[141]
  • Edwin Torres - New York state supreme court judge and author. His parents are Puerto Ricans.[142]
  • Juan R. Torruella - Puerto Rican jurist, who currently serves as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is the first and to date only Hispanic to serve in that court.


  • Domingo Arroyo, Jr. (1971–1993), a United States Marine, was the first Puerto Rican and American serviceman to be killed in Operation Restore Hope during the Somalian Civil War. His family moved to the United States when he was 14, seeking better living conditions.
  • Joseph B. Aviles, Sr. (1897–1990) served in the U.S. Navy and later in the Coast Guard. On September 28, 1925, Aviles became the first Hispanic Chief Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard. Puerto Rican residing in Maryland.[143]
  • Wilbert Berrios – First Chief Information Officer for the US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Rafael Celestino Benítez (1917–1999) was a highly decorated submarine commander who led the rescue effort of the crew members of the USS Cochino during the Cold War.
  • Carmen Contreras-Bozak (1919– ) was the first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Women's Army Corps where she served as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions. Puerto Rican that lives in Tampa, Florida.[144]
  • José M. Cabanillas (1901–1979) was a Puerto Rican that died in Virginia. He was an executive Officer of the USS Texas which participated in the invasions of North Africa and the Battle of Normandy (also known as D-Day) during World War II.
  • Iván Castro - U.S. Army officer who has continued serving on active duty in the Special Forces despite losing his eyesight. His parents are Puerto Rican.[145]
  • Richard Carmona – American physician and public health administrator.[146]
  • Héctor Santiago-Colón (1942–1968) is one of five Puerto Ricans who have been posthumously presented with the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. Puerto Rican from New York[147]
  • Ruben A. Cubero is a highly decorated member of the United States Air Force who became the first Hispanic graduate of the United States Air Force Academy to be named Dean of the Faculty of the academy. His parents were Puerto Ricans.[148]
  • Linda Garcia Cubero - Former United States Air Force officer, of Mexican-American-Puerto Rican descent.
  • Alberto Díaz, Jr.- Puerto Rican born and raised, he is first Hispanic to become the Director of the San Diego Naval District and Balboa Naval Hospital.
  • Rafael O'Ferrall - United States Army officer who is the first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to become the Deputy Commanding General for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • Salvador E. Felices - (1923–1987) was the first Puerto Rican to reach the rank of Major General (2-Star) in the United States Air Force. He died in Florida.
  • Diego E. Hernández - Puerto Rican resident in Miami. He is a retired United States Navy officer who was the first Hispanic to be named Vice Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command.
  • Lester Martínez López - MD, MPH, (born 1955) is the first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
  • Carlos Lozada - ( 1946–1967) Puerto Rican born, but raised in New York City. Member of the United States Army who was one of five Puerto Ricans who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for their actions in combat.
  • María V. Martínez - Puerto Rican born and American raised, she was the first Puerto Rican female to reach the rank of Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army.[149]
  • Angel Mendez - (1946–1967) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
  • Virgil Rasmuss Miller - (1900–1968) was a United States Army officer who served as 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.[150]
  • Héctor Andrés Negroni - Puerto Rican historian, senior aerospace defense executive, author and the first Puerto Rican graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Currently he reside in Vienna, Virginia.[151]
  • Antonia Novello - Puerto Rican physician and public health administrator. U.S. Surgeon General
  • Hector E. Pagan - United States Army officer who 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
  • José M. Portela - retired officer of the United States Air Force who served in the position of Assistant Adjutant General for Air while also serving as commander of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.
  • Evelio Otero, Jr. - former officer in the United States Air Force who led the establishment of the first ever U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Qatar.
  • María Inés Ortiz - (1967–2007), was the first American nurse to die in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Army nurse to die in combat since the Vietnam War. His parents were Puerto Rican.
  • Marion Frederic Ramirez de Arellano - (1913–1980), submarine commander in the United States Navy and the first Hispanic submarine commanding officer.
  • Frederick Lois Riefkohl - (1889–1969), Puerto Rican officer in the United States Navy and the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and to be awarded the Navy Cross. He lived and died in Florida.[152]
  • Rudolph W. Riefkohl - (1885–1950), was an officer in the United States Army, who played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic.[153]
  • Manuel Rivera, Jr. - (1959–1991), was the first American of Puerto Rican descent serviceman to die in Operation Desert Shield.[154]
  • Pedro N. Rivera - retired Puerto Rican of United States Air Force officer who in 1994 became the first Hispanic to be named medical commander in the Air Force. He currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.[155]
  • Augusto Rodríguez - Puerto Rican who served as an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He immigrated to the United States in the 1850s.[156]
  • Pedro Rodríguez (soldier) - (1912–1999), Puerto Rican that died in Washington, D.C. Earned two Silver Stars within a seven-day period during the Korean War.[157]
  • Elmelindo Rodrigues Smith (1935–1967) – United States Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War. He was of Puerto Rican descent.
  • Maritza Sáenz Ryan is a United States Army officer, and the head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy. She is the first woman and first Hispanic West Point graduate to serve as an academic department head. She is daughter of a Puerto Rican father and Spanish mother.[158]
  • Frankie Segarra - first Hispanic to reach the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant in his Military Occupational Specialty, 0451 air delivery specialist. His parents were Puerto Ricans.[159]
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas - (1888–1932) Puerto Rican odontologist (dentist), scientist and a Major in the U.S. Army who discovered the bacteria which causes dental caries. He died in Washington, D.C.
  • Frances M. Vega (1983–2003) was the first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to die in a combat zone in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Pedro del Valle (1893–1978) was a United States Marine Corps officer who became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of Lieutenant General. In 1900 his family emigrated to the United States and they became U.S. citizens.[160]
  • Humbert Roque Versace (1937–1965) – American of United States Army officer of Puerto Rican-Italian descent who was awarded the United States' highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War.[161]


Rubén Díaz, Jr.
Maurice Ferre
  • Maurice Ferre - Puerto Rican former six-term Mayor of Miami.
  • Bonnie Garcia - former representative of California's 80th Assembly District, serving eastern Riverside County and all of Imperial County.
  • Robert García - former Democratic United States Representative who represented New York's 21st district between 1978 and 1990.
  • Luis Gutiérrez - American of Puerto Rican descent. United States Representative[165]
  • Raúl Labrador - Puerto Rican born. He is U.S. Representative for Idaho's 1st congressional district.[166]
  • Margarita López - Openly lesbian former New York City Council Member who represented New York City Council's 2nd district from 1998 to 2005.
  • Evelyn Mantilla - American politician from Connecticut who served from 1997 to 2007 as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Melissa Mark-Viverito - elected Speaker of the New York City Council in January 2014.
  • Olga A. Méndez - (1925 — 2009) was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to a state legislature in the United States mainland.
  • Rosie Mendez - American Democratic Party politician in New York.
  • Hiram Monserrate - former member of the New York State Senate.
  • Félix Ortiz - American politician, currently representing New York's 51st Assembly District.
  • George Pabey - former mayor of East Chicago, Indiana, United States.
  • Cesar A. Perales - American who is Secretary of State of New York. He is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent.
  • Eddie Perez - Politician born in Puerto Rico and raised in United States[167]
Josie Serrano
Gloria Tristani

Visual arts[edit]

  • Olga Albizu - (1924–2005) Puerto Rican abstract expressionist painter that emigrant to New York in 1948.[174]
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat - (1960–1988) Visual artist. He was an African-American of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent.[175]
  • David Blaine - American illusionist, magician, and endurance artist. He is of Puerto Rican - Russian Jewish descent.[176]
  • Rafael Ferrer (artist) - Puerto Rican artist. He was a 1993 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a 2011 recipient of an Annalee and Barnett Newman Foundation Grant.
  • Juan M. Fuentes Vizcarrondo - Puerto Rican, born in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Artist, Photographer, Educator, Singer, Actor, and PhotoJournalist, founder of local Hartford, CT Spanish language community newspaper El Observador.
  • Elizabeth Marrero - Puerto Rican performance artist, comedian, and drag king who is best known as Macha, the "papi chulo drag king," a character she created in 1999. He live in United States.
  • Soraida Martinez Contemporary abstract expressionist artist who creates hard-edge paintings. She is American of Puerto Rican descent.[177]
  • Ralph Ortiz - American artist, educator, and founder of El Museo del Barrio.
  • Manuel Rivera-Ortiz - Puerto Rican documentary photographer that lives in United States.[178]
  • Filipo Tirado - "Pepe Locuaz", a Puerto Rican puppeteer.

Civil rights and activists[edit]

Physicians and Scientists[edit]

  • Joseph M. Acaba - American educator, hydrogeologist, and NASA astronaut. His parents are Puerto Ricans.[121]
  • Víctor Manuel Blanco - PhD (1918–2011) was a Puerto Rican astronomer who in 1959 discovered "Blanco 1," a galactic cluster. He died in Florida.[187]
  • Rafael L. Bras - Puerto Rican born and American Civil Engineer and currently serves as Provost to the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Enectalí Figueroa-Feliciano - a.k.a. "Tali", Ph.D., is an astrophysicist and researcher with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who pioneered the development position-sensitive detectors.
  • Ramón E. López - Space Physicist and author.
  • Gerónimo Lluberas - (1956–2003) was a Puerto Rican physician, humanitarian, writer and composer.
  • Lissette Martinez - lead electrical engineer for the Space Experiment Module program at the Wallops Flight Facility
  • Joseph O. Prewitt Díaz - PhD is a retired psychologist who specialized in psychosocial theory. First Puerto Rican recipient of the American Psychological Association, 2008 International Humanitarian Award.[188]
  • Pedro Rodriguez - Ph.D., is the Director of a test laboratory at NASA and inventor of a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis.
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas - DDS (1888–1932) was an odontologist (dentist), scientist and a Major in the U.S. Army who discovered the bacteria which causes dental cavities.
  • Gualberto Ruaño - MD, PhD, is a pioneer in the field of personalized medicine and the inventor of molecular diagnostic systems used worldwide for the management of viral diseases.


  • Nicky Cruz - (born December 6, 1938) is a Christian evangelist, the founder of Nicky Cruz Outreach, an evangelistic Christian ministry.
  • Alberto Cutié - Puerto Rican Episcopal cleric better known as Padre Alberto. Cutié was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1995 and became an internationally recognizable name by hosting television and radio programs.
  • José Luis de Jesús - founder and leader of Creciendo en Gracia´s Christian ministry (Growing In Grace International Ministry, Inc.), based in Miami, Florida.
  • Victor Manuel Rivera - (1916–2005) Puerto Rican born American Episcopalian priest and bishop.
  • Bavi Edna Rivera - a.k.a. "Nedi". American suffragan bishop and Episcopal priest. She is daughter to the late bishop Victor Manuel Rivera and to an Anglo mother.[189]


  • Jack Agüeros - community activist, poet, writer, and translator.
  • Quiara Alegría Hudes - American playwright and author best known for writing the book for the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights. She is of Jewish and Puerto Rican descent.[190]
  • Miguel Algarín - Puerto Rican poet, writer, co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café,
  • Rane Arroyo - (1954–2010) was an American poet, playwright, and scholar of Puerto Rican descent
  • Pura Belpré - (1899 or 1903–1982) author and first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.[191]
  • Giannina Braschi - Puerto Rican poet and novelist that lives in New York.[192]
  • Julia de Burgos - (1914–1953) is considered by many as the greatest Puerto Rican poet and one of the greatest female poets of Latin America. She died in New York.[193]
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer - Puerto Rican born and American raised, es acclaimed author.[194]
  • Jesús Colón (1901–1974) was a Puerto Rican writer known as the Father of the Nuyorican Movement.[195]
  • Victor Hernández Cruz - Puerto Rican poet resident in New York.[196]
  • Nicholas Dante - (1941 – 1991) American dancer and writer to Puerto Rican parents[197]
  • Sandra María Esteves - American poet, playwright, and graphic artist. She is of Puerto Rican, Dominican and African American descent.[198]
  • Pedro J. Labarthe - (1905–1966) Puerto Rican poet, journalist, essayist, and novelist.
  • Tato Laviera - Nuyorican poet. Born in Puerto Rico, but moved to New York City with his family in 1960.
  • Muna Lee - (1895–1965) American author and poet who became widely known for her writings that promoted Pan-Americanism and Feminism.
  • Erika Lopez - American cartoonist, novelist, and performance artist of Puerto Rican and German American descent.[199]
  • Caridad de la Luz - a.k.a. "La Bruja" (The "Good" Witch), is a poet, actress and activist. His parents are Puerto Ricans.[200]
  • Nemir Matos-Cintrón - Puerto Rican author who currently resides in Florida.
  • John Melendez - commonly known as "Stuttering John," is an American television writer and former radio personality.
  • Nicholasa Mohr - One of the best known Nuyorican writers.[201]
  • Micol Ostow - American author, editor and educator born to a Jewish-American father and a Puerto Rican mother[202]
  • George Pérez - Puerto Rican-American writer and illustrator of comic books. His family moved from Caguas to the New York area in the 1940s.[203]
  • Pedro Pietri - (1944–2004), Puerto Rican born and American raised. He was a Nuyorican poet and playwright who co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.[204]
  • Carmen M. Pursifull - former New York City Latin dance and Latin American music figure of the 1950s, and since 1970 in Illinois, is an English-language free verse poet. She is of Puerto Rican and Spanish descent.[205]
  • Marie Teresa Ríos - (1917–1999) American author of a book which was the basis for the 1960s television sitcom, The Flying Nun. She was of Puerto Rican and Irish descent.[citation needed]
  • Esmeralda Santiago - Puerto Rican author and former actress known for her novels and memoirs
  • Arturo Alfonso Schomburg - a.k.a. as Arthur Schomburg, (1874–1938) Puerto Rican historian, writer, and activist in the United States who researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society. Schomburg immigrated to New York on April 17, 1891.[206]
  • Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes - Puerto Rican author, scholar, and performer that lives in Michigan.
  • Piri Thomas - (1928–2011) writer and American poet born to a Puerto Rican mother and Cuban father, whose memoir Down These Mean Streets became a best-seller.
  • Edwin Torres - Nuyorican poet.
  • Ed Vega - (1936–2008) Puerto Rican novelist and short-story writer.[207]
  • Irene Vilar - editor, a literary agent and an author of several books dealing with national and generational trauma and women's reproductive rights.
  • William Carlos Williams - (1883–1963) American poet of English and Puerto Rican descent, that was closely associated with modernism and Imagism.[208]
  • James Stevens-Arce - novelist, screenwriter, short story writer, and advertising creative director born to a mother from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and a father from Rantoul, Illinois, whose first novel Soulsaver won the 1997 UPC Award, presented annually to the best short science fiction novel in English, Spanish, French, or Catalán by Spain's Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya. Currently resides in North Carolina.


See also[edit]


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External links[edit]