List of Puerto Ricans

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List of notable people from Puerto Rico
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Puerto Rico

This is a list of notable people from Puerto Rico which includes people who were born in Puerto Rico ("Borinquen"), people who are of full or partial Puerto Rican background, and some long-term continental American and other residents and/or immigrants of other ethnic heritages who have made Puerto Rico their home.

The list is divided into categories and, in some cases, sub-categories, which best describe the field for which the subject is most noted. Some categories such as "Actors, actresses, comedians and directors" are relative since a subject who is a comedian may also be an actor or director. In some cases a subject may be notable in more than one field, such as Luis A. Ferré, who is notable both as a former governor and as an industrialist. However, the custom is to place the subject's name under the category for which he/she is most noted.

Actors, actresses, comedians and directors[edit]

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Adult film entertainers[edit]

Hosts/presenters[edit]

Architects[edit]

Andrés Mignucci, architect

Authors, playwrights and poets[edit]

José Rivera, playwright

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  • Jack Agüeros, author, playwright, poet and translator[34]
  • Quiara Alegría Hudes, author, playwright; wrote the book for the Broadway musical In the Heights; winner of 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; her play, Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2007 and has been performed around the country and in Romania and Brazil[35]
  • Miguel Algarín, poet, writer, co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café[36]
  • Manuel A. Alonso, poet and author, considered by many to be the first Puerto Rican writer of notable importance[37]
  • Alba Ambert, novelist; in 1996 became the first Hispanic author to win the Carey McWilliams Award for Multicultural Literature, presented by the Multicultural Review, for her novel A Perfect Silence[38]
  • Francisco Arriví, writer, poet, and playwright ; known as "the father of the Puerto Rican theater"[39]
  • Rane Arroyo, poet, playwright and scholar[40]

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  • Héctor Feliciano, author; his book The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art has shed light on an estimated 20,000 looted works; each one is owned by a museum or a collector somewhere[65]
  • Isabel Freire de Matos, writer, educator and advocate of Puerto Rican independence[66]
  • Rosario Ferré, writer[67]
  • Shaggy Flores, Nuyorican writer, poet; African diaspora scholar; founder of Voices for the Voiceless[68]
  • Félix Franco-Oppenheimer, poet and writer; works include Contornos, Imagen y visión edénica de Puerto Rico, and Antología poética[69]

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  • Judith Ortiz Cofer, poet, writer and essayist; in 1994, became the first Hispanic to win the O. Henry Prize for her story "The Latin Deli"; in 1996, she and illustrator Susan Guevara became the first recipients of the Pura Belpre Award for Hispanic children's literature[38][99]
  • Micol Ostow, author of Mind Your Manners, Dick and Jane and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa[100]

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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; leader of the Lares's Revolutionary Council during the Grito de Lares; knit the first flag of the future Republic of Puerto Rico
  • Mathias Brugman, political activist; leader of the Grito de Lares; founded the first revolutionary committee in the City of Mayagüez; his revolutionary cell was code named "Capa Prieto" (Black Cape)
  • María Cadilla, women's rights activist; 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 US colonial rule of Puerto Rico
  • Rafael Cancel Miranda, political activist; 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; one of Puerto Rico's most famous labor organizers; 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); 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; gained notoriety when a group of Vieques natives and other Puerto Ricans began protesting and squatting on U.S. Navy bombing zones after the 1999 death of Puerto Rican civilian and Vieques native David Sanes, who was killed during a U.S. Naval bombing exercise.[citation needed]
  • Sylvia del Villard, Afro-Puerto Rican activist; founder of the Afro-Boricua El Coqui Theater; an outspoken activist who fought for the equal rights of the Black Puerto Rican artist; in 1981, she became the first and only director of the office of 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; the leader of a group of nationalists, who proceeded to attack the United States House of Representatives in 1954.[citation needed]
  • Lillian López, librarian and labor activist; founder of the New York Public Library South Bronx Project; advocate for library and education services for Spanish-speaking communities[150]
  • Tomás López de Victoria, political activist and Sub-Commander of the Cadets of the Republic; the captain in charge of the cadets who participated in the peaceful march which ended up as the Ponce Massacre; led the Nationalists in the Arecibo revolt in what is known as the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party Revolts of the 1950s[151]
  • Oscar López Rivera, longest-incarcerated nationalist prisoner in the U.S.[152]
  • José Maldonado Román, a.k.a. "Aguila Blanca" (White Eagle) revolutionary.[153]
  • Eliana Martínez, AIDS activist; was in a notable Florida court case regarding the rights of HIV+ children in public schools[154]
  • Felicitas Mendez (née Gomez), activist, who, with her husband, in 1946, led a community battle which set an important legal precedent for ending de jure segregation in the United States (see Mendez v. Westminster),[155] and is credited with paving the way for integration and the American civil rights movement[156]
  • María de las Mercedes Barbudo, political activist; often called the first female Puerto Rican "Independentista".[157]
  • Ana María O'Neill, women's rights activist and educator; in 1929, became the first female professor in the field of commerce in the University of Puerto Rico, which she taught until 1951; urged women to participate in every aspect of civic life and to defend their right to vote[158]
  • Manuel Olivieri Sanchez, civil rights activist; court interpreter and a civil rights activist who led the legal battle which granted U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans living in Hawaii[159]
  • Cesar A. Perales, civil rights lawyer; founder of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now LatinoJustice PRLDEF); won precedent-setting lawsuits combating discrimination; New York Secretary of State.[160]
  • Sylvia Rae Rivera, transgender activist; veteran of the 1969 Stonewall riots[161]
  • Isolina Rondón, political activist and Treasurer of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; one of the few witnesses of the October 24, 1935 killing of four Nationalists by local police officers in Puerto Rico during a confrontation with the supporters of the Nationalist Party, known as the Río Piedras massacre[162]
  • Isabel Rosado, political activist; imprisoned multiple times.[163]
  • Anthony Romero, civil rights leader; executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union[164]
  • Helen Rodriguez-Trias, physician and women's rights activist; first Latina president of the American Public Health Association; a founding member of the Women's Caucus of the American Public Health Association; recipient of the Presidential Citizen's Medal; credited with helping to expand the range of public health services for women and children in minority and low-income populations in the US, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East[165] (see also "Educators" and "Scientists")
  • Ana Roque, women's rights activist, educator and suffragist; a founder of the University of Puerto Rico.[citation needed]
  • Vidal Santiago Díaz, political activist; barber of Pedro Albizu Campos; made Puerto Rican media history when numerous police officers and National Guardsmen attacked him at his barbershop due to his promotion of Puerto Rican independence; this was the first time in Puerto Rican history that such an attack was transmitted via radio to the public.[166]
  • Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, civil rights activist; pioneer in black history who; helped raise awareness of the contributions by Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans to society.[167]
  • Pedro Julio Serrano, human rights activist; President of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, which strives for inclusion of LGBT community and for social justice for all in Puerto Rico; Communication Manager at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force[168]
  • 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 was among the protesters who protested against the United States Navy's use of his birthplace, Vieques, as a bombing range.[169]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Marcos Xiorro, house slave; in 1821, planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish Colonial government in Puerto Rico[170]

Clergy[edit]

Painting of Alejo de Arizmendi

Pre-20th century

20th century

21st century

Composers, contemporary singers, musicians and opera[edit]

José Feliciano, singer and composer of "Feliz Navidad"
Marc Anthony, singer
Jim Jones, rapper
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Grammy, Tony, and MacArthur-winning composer/actor
Ricky Martin, singer
Carli Muñoz, pianist

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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), his exploits 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
Drawing of Angelo Falcón
  • 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 US[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 the University of Puerto Rico
  • Carlos A. Chardón López, educator and public administrator; the only Puerto Rican to serve twice as Puerto Rico Secretary of Education
  • Edna Coll, educator and author; President of the Society of Puerto Rican Authors in San Juan; founder of the Academy of Fine Arts in Puerto Rico[224]
  • Celestina Cordero, educator; in 1820, founded the first school for girls in Puerto Rico[225]
  • Rafael Cordero, educator; declared Venerable in 2004 by Pope John Paul II; the process for beatification is now in motion with Benedictine Fr. Oscar Rivera as Procurator of the Cause
  • Waded Cruzado, first Hispanic president of Montana State University[226]
  • Eugenio María de Hostos, educator; in Peru, he helped to develop that country's educational system and spoke against the harsh treatment given to the Chinese who lived there. He stayed in Chile from 1870-73. During his stay there, he taught at the University of Chile and gave a speech titled "The Scientific Education of Women;" he proposed that governments permit women in their colleges; soon after, Chile allowed women to enter its college educational system (see also "Politicians" and "Authors)
  • Angelo Falcón, political scientist; author of Atlas of Stateside Puerto Ricans (2004) and co-editor of Boricuas in Gotham: Puerto Ricans in the Making of Modern New York City (2004)
  • José Ferrer Canales, educator, writer and activist.[227]
  • Megh R. Goyal, professor, historian, scientist; "father of irrigation engineering in Puerto Rico"; Professor in Agricultural & Biomedical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.[228]
  • Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, educator; president of Queens College, City University of New York.[229]
  • 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, 1969–71; first dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, 1971–78; Chancellor of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, 1978-85.[29]
  • 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; one of the few deaf Hispanics to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University.[230]
  • Dr. Juan A. Rivero, educator; founded the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayagüez; discovered numerous animal species and has written several books
  • Ana Roque, educator and suffragist; one of the founders of the University of Puerto Rico.[231]
  • Carlos E. Santiago, economist and educator; Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee[232]
  • Ninfa Segarra, New York City Council member; president of the New York City Board of Education from 2000–02.[233]
  • Victoria Leigh Soto, 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; her father is Puerto Rican[234]
  • Lolita Tizol, early 1900s educator; at a time when most people in Ponce, as most of Puerto Rico, did not know how to read and write, and when teachers were paid only $50 per month, even in the large cities, Tizol took it upon herself to overcome all challenges to help others[235]
  • Nilita Vientós Gastón, educator; first female lawyer to work for the Department of Justice of Puerto Rico; defended the use of the Spanish language in the courts of Puerto Rico, before the Supreme Court, and won
  • Mariano Villaronga-Toro, educator and public servant; first Commissioner of Public Instruction after the creation of the Estado Libre Asociado; instituted the use of Spanish as the official language of instruction in the Puerto Rico public education system, displacing English, which had been pushed by the US-appointed colonial governors.[236]

Governors of Puerto Rico[edit]

Juan Ponce de León II

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, 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[273]
  • Faith Evans, Hawaiian-Puerto Rican, first woman to be named U.S. Marshal
  • Alejandro González Malavé, controversial undercover police officer
  • Irma Lozada, New York City transit police; first female police officer to die in the line of duty in New York City[274]
  • José Meléndez-Pérez, 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[275]
  • Joe Sánchez, former New York City police officer and author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department[276]
  • Pedro Toledo, retired FBI senior agent and longest-serving state police superintendent

Firefighters

Military[edit]

16th century

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.[279]

18th century

  • Rafael Conti, Colonel, Spanish Army; in 1790, captured 11 enemy ships involved in smuggling stolen goods. In 1797, he helped defeat Sir Ralph Abercromby and defend Puerto Rico from a British invasion in his hometown, Aguadilla. In 1809, he organized a military expedition fight with the aim of returning Hispaniola, which now comprise the nations of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, back to Spanish rule.[280]
  • Antonio de los Reyes Correa, Captain, Spanish Army; Puerto Rican hero who defended the town Arecibo in 1702 from an invasion by defeating the British; was awarded La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie (The Gold Medal of the Royal Image), by King Philip V of Spain and given the title "Captain of Infantry"[281]
  • José and Francisco Díaz, Sergeants, Puerto Rican militia; cousins in the Toa Baja Militia who helped defeat Sir Ralph Abercromby and defend Puerto Rico from a British invasion in 1797[282]
  • Miguel Henríquez, Captain, Spanish Navy; in 1713, defeated the British in Vieques and was awarded the La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie (The Gold Medal of the Royal Effigy)[283]

19th century

20th century

  • Humberto Acosta-Rosario, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized); 25th Infantry Division, United States Army; currently the only Puerto Rican MIA whose body has never been recovered[295]
  • Ricardo Aponte, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; former Director of the Innovation and Experimentation Directorate, United States Southern Command, the first Puerto Rican to hold this position[296]
  • Félix Arenas Gaspar, Captain, Spanish Army; 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[297]
  • Domingo Arroyo, Jr., Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps; first American serviceman to be killed in Operation Restore Hope during the Somalian Civil War[298]
  • Joseph (José) B. Aviles, Sr., CWO2, U.S. Coast Guard; on 28 September 1925, he 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.[citation needed]
  • Rafael Celestino Benítez, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; 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[299]
  • Carlos Betances Ramírez, Colonel, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican to command a battalion in the Korean War; in 1952, he assumed the command of the 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment[300]
  • José M. Cabanillas, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; in World War II he was Executive Officer of the USS Texas (BB-35) and participated in the invasions of Africa and Normandy (D-Day)[301]
  • Richard Carmona, Vice Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; served as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States under President George W. Bush[302]
  • Modesto Cartagena, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army; the most decorated Hispanic soldier in history; distinguished himself in combat during the Korean War as a member of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry and is being considered for the Medal of Honor[303]
  • Carlos Fernando Chardón, Major General, Puerto Rico National Guard; Secretary of State of Puerto Rico from 1969–73, and the Puerto Rico Adjutant General from 1973–75
  • Felix M. Conde-Falcon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; received the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014 for his courageous actions while serving as an acting Platoon Leader in Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Ap Tan Hoa, Republic of Vietnam on April 4, 1969[304]
  • Carmen Contreras-Bozak, Tech4, U.S. Women's Army Corps; first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Women's Army Corps; served as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions during World War II[305]
  • Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Army; a Battalion Commander of the 31st Infantry Regiment who documented his experiences as a prisoner of war and his participation in the infamous Bataan Death March of World War II.
  • Juan César Cordero Dávila, Major General, U.S. Army; commanding officer of the 65th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War, thus becoming one of the highest ranking ethnic officers in the Army[306]
  • Encarnación Correa, Sergeant, U.S. Army; the person who fired the first warning shots in World War I on behalf of the United States against a ship flying the colors of the Central Powers, when on March 21, 1915, under the orders of then-Lieutenant Teófilo Marxuach, he manned a machine gun and opened fire on the Odenwald, an armed German supply ship trying to force its way out of the San Juan Bay[307]
  • Ruben A. Cubero, Brigadier General U.S. Air Force; is of Puerto Rican descent; 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.[308]
  • Pedro del Valle, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps; 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[309]
  • Carmelo Delgado Delgado, Lieutenant, Abraham Lincoln International Brigade; 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[310]
  • Alberto Díaz, Jr., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; the first Hispanic to become the Director of the San Diego Naval Medical District[311]
  • Luis R. Esteves, Major General, U.S. Army; in 1915, he became the first Puerto Rican and therefore the first Hispanic to graduate from the United States Military Academy; organized the Puerto Rican National Guard[312]
  • Salvador E. Felices, Major General, U.S. Air Force; the first Puerto Rican general in the U.S. Air Force; in 1953, he flew in 19 combat missions over North Korea during the Korean War; in 1957, he participated in a historic project that was given to Fifteenth Air Force by the Strategic Air Command headquarters known as "Operation Power Flite", the first around the world non-stop flight by all-jet aircraft[313]
  • Michelle Fraley (née Hernández), Colonel, U.S. Army; became in 1984 the first Puerto Rican woman to graduate from West Point Military Academy; former chief of staff of the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command[314][315]
  • Rose Franco, CWO3, U.S. Marine Corps; the first female Hispanic Chief Warrant Officer in the Marine Corps; in 1965, she was named Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, Paul Henry Nitze by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.[316]
  • Edmund Ernest García, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; during World War II he was commander of the destroyer USS Sloat (DE-245) and saw action in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and France[317]
  • Fernando Luis García, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps; the first Puerto Rican awarded the Medal of Honor; posthumously awarded the medal for his actions against enemy aggressor forces in the Korean War on 5 September 1952
  • Linda Garcia Cubero, Captain, U.S. Air Force; of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage; in 1980 became the first female Hispanic graduate of any of the U.S. military academies when she graduated from the United States Air Force Academy[318]
  • Carmen García Rosado, Private First Class, U.S. Women's Army Corps; was among the first 200 Puerto Rican women to be recruited into the WAC's during World War II; author of LAS WACS-Participacion de la Mujer Boricua en la Segunda Guerra Mundial (The WACs – The participation of the Puerto Rican women in the Second World War), the first book which documents the experiences of the first 200 Puerto Rican women to participate in said conflict as members of the armed forces of the United States[319]
  • Mihiel Gilormini, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; World War II hero, recipient of 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses; together with Brig. General Alberto A. Nido and Lt. Col. Jose Antonio Muñiz, founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard; previously flew for the Royal Canadian Air Force (1941) and the Royal Air Force (1941–1942)[320]
  • Manuel Goded Llopis, General, Spanish Army; 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 distinguished himself in the Battle of Alhucemas of the Rif War.[321]
  • César Luis González, First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force; 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; first Hispanic to be named Vice Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command; flew two combat tours in Vietnam during the Vietnam War; in 1980, took command of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)[322]
  • Haydee Javier Kimmich, Captain, U.S. Navy; highest ranking Hispanic female in the Navy; Chief of Orthopedics at the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda and she reorganized Reservist Department of the medical center during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm[323]
  • Orlando Llenza, Major General, U.S. Air Force; second Puerto Rican to reach the rank of Major General (two-star General) in the United States Air Force; Adjutant General of the Puerto Rico National Guard.[324]
  • Carlos Lozada, Private First Class, U.S. Army; posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 20 November 1967, at Dak To in the Republic of Vietnam[325]
  • Carmen Lozano Dumler, 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Women's Army Corps; one of the first Puerto Rican women Army officers; in 1944, she was sworn in as a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 161st General Hospital in San Juan[323]
  • Antonio Maldonado, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; in 1965, became the youngest person to pilot a B-52 aircraft; his active participation in the Vietnam War included 183 air combat missions[326]
  • Joseph (José) R. Martínez, Private First Class, U.S. Army; destroyed a German Infantry unit and tank in Tuniz by providing heavy artillery fire, saving his platoon from being attacked in the process; received the Distinguished Service Cross from General George S. Patton, becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration[327]
  • Lester Martínez López, MPH, Major General, U.S. Army; first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command[328]
  • Gilberto José Marxuach, Colonel, U.S. Army.[329]
  • Teófilo Marxuach, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army; fired a hostile shot from a cannon located at the Santa Rosa battery of El Morro fort, in what is considered to be the first shot of World War I fired by the regular armed forces of the United States against any ship flying the colors of the Central Powers,[330] forcing the Odenwald to stop and to return to port where its supplies were confiscated[331]
  • George E. Mayer, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; first Hispanic Commander of the Naval Safety Center; led an international naval exercise known as Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2003 from his flagship, the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72); this was the first time in the 31-year history of BALTOPS that the exercise included combined ground troops from Russia, Poland, Denmark and the United States[332]
  • Angel Mendez, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps; of Puerto Rican descent; was awarded the Navy Cross in Vietnam and is being considered for the Medal of Honor; saved the life of his lieutenant, Ronald D. Castille, who went on to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania[333]
  • Enrique Méndez, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican to assume the positions of Army Deputy Surgeon General, Commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs[334]
  • Virgil R. Miller, Colonel, U.S. Army; 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; 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[335]
  • José Antonio Muñiz Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force; together with then-Colonels Alberto A. Nido and Mihiel Gilormini, founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard; in 1963, the Air National Guard Base, at the San Juan International airport in Puerto Rico, was renamed "Muñiz Air National Guard Base" in his honor[336]
  • William A. Navas, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army; first Puerto Rican named Assistant Secretary of the Navy; a veteran of the Vietnam War; nominated in 2001 by President George W. Bush to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)[337]
  • Juan E. Negrón, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army; received the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014, for courageous actions while serving as a member of Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kalma-Eri, Korea, on April 28, 1951.[304]
  • Héctor Andrés Negroni, Colonel, U.S. Air Force; first Puerto Rican graduate of the United States Air Force Academy; a veteran of the Vietnam War; was awarded the Aeronautical Merit Cross, Spai'ns highest Air Force peacetime award for his contributions to the successful implementation of the United States-Spain Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation[338]
  • Alberto A. Nido, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force; a World War II war hero who together with Lt. Col. Jose Antonio Muñiz, co-founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and served as its commander for many years; served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the British Royal Air Force and in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II[339]
  • Ramón Núñez-Juárez, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps; listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest medal after the Medal of Honor, that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy; the only Puerto Rican member of the United States Marine Corps whose remains have never been recovered and who was listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War[340]
  • Jorge Otero Barreto, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army; with 38 decorations, which includes 3 Silver Star Medals, 5 Bronze Star Medals with Valor, 4 Army Commendation medals, 5 Purple Heart Medals and 5 Air Medals, has been called the most decorated U.S. soldier of the Vietnam War[341]
  • Dolores Piñero, U.S. Army Medical Corps; despite the fact that she was not an active member of the military, she was the first Puerto Rican woman doctor to serve in the Army under contract during World War I; at first she was turned down, but after writing a letter to the Army Surgeon General in Washington, D.C. she was ordered 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 the only reservist ever to serve as director of mobility forces for Bosnia.[342]
  • 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.[343][344]
  • 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.[345]
  • 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.[300]
  • 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.[346]
  • Frederick Lois Riefkohl, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Born Luis Federico Riefkohl Jaimieson, he was one of the first Puerto Ricans to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and in World War I became the first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Navy Cross.[347]
  • Rudolph W. Riefkohl, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Riefkohl played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic.[348]
  • Demensio Rivera, Private, U.S. Army
    Rivera [received] the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014, for his courageous actions while serving as an automatic rifleman with 2d Platoon, Company G, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Changyong-ni, Korea on May 23, 1951.[304]
  • 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.[349]
  • 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.[350]
  • 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.[351][352]
  • 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.[353]
  • 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[354]
  • 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.[355]
  • 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.[356][357]
  • Eurípides Rubio, Captain, U.S. Army
    Rubio was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Tây Ninh Province in the Republic of Vietnam on 8 November 1966.[358]
  • Jaime Sabater, Sr., Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
    Sabater commanded the 1st Battalion 9th Marines during the Bougainville amphibious operations in World War II.[359]
  • 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.[360]
  • 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.[361]
  • 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.[362]
  • 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.[363]
  • Rafel Toro, Private, U.S. Marine Corps
    Toro was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his "extraordinary heroism in battle"[364] 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.[304]
  • Humbert Roque Versace, Captain, U.S. Army
    Humbert Roque Versace, 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.[365]
  • Raúl G. Villaronga, Colonel, U.S. Army
    Villaronga was the first Puerto Rican to be elected as Mayor of a Texas city (Killeen).[366]

21st century

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.[38][386]
  • Carlos Albizu Miranda, psychologist and 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, electrical engineer and inventor
    Amely Vélez is an electrical engineer and inventor who holds various patents in the field of Medical Technology.[387]
  • Bailey K. Ashford, author, doctor, soldier, and parasitologist.
    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.[388][389]
  • 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.[390]
  • Víctor Manuel Blanco, astronomer
    In 1959, Blanco discovered a "Blanco 1", a galactic cluster.[391] 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.[392] In 1995, the telescope was dedicated in his honor and named the "Víctor M. Blanco Telescope" and is also known as the "Blanco 4m."[393]
  • Rafael L. Bras, former chair of Civil Engineering at MIT
    A leading expert on hydrometeorology and global warming.[394]
  • 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.[395]
  • 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.[396]
  • 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, physician
    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.[397] was born on 25 April 1839 in Isabela, 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).[398]
  • Milagros J. Cordero, pediatrician
    Founder and President of Team Therapy Services For Children (ITT'S for Children)
  • 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.[399]
  • 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
    Cruz played an instrumental role in the design and development of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) parachute.[400]
  • 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 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.[401]
  • Manuel de la Pila Iglesias
    multi-faceted physician who specialized in various medical disciplines. Introduced the first EKG and X-ray machines into Puerto Rico. Founded a medical clinic which today houses a respected medical center in Ponce, Puerto Rico.[402]
  • Alfonso Eaton, mechanical engineer, aerospace technologist
    First Puerto Rican to work for NASA.[403]
  • Enectalí Figueroa-Feliciano, astronaut applicant and astrophysicist in NASA
    Figueroa pioneered the development of position-sensitive detectors.
  • Orlando Figueroa, mechanical engineer at NASA
    Previously served as 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 Director of Engineering he manages the full scope of engineering activities at Goddard.[404]
  • Adolfo Figueroa-Viñas, NASA astrophysicist
    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.[405]
  • José N. Gándara
    lead physician attending to the wounded of the Ponce Massacre and later an expert witness at the trials of the "Nacionalistas" as well as before the Hays Commission. Held numerous government positions, including Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico and co-founded the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico.[406][407]
  • 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.[408]
  • Asdrubal García Ortiz, technology engineer
    Together with fellow inventors Sunggyu Lee and John R. Wootton, García 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".[409][410]
  • Mario R. García Palmieri, cardiologist
    García Palmieri is the first Hispanic to be designated a "Master" by the American College of Cardiology.[411]
  • Sixto González scientist
    First Puerto Rican Director of the Arecibo Observatory the world's largest single dish radio telescope.[412]
  • Rosa A. González, registered nurse
    Founded the Association of Registered Nurses of Puerto Rico and authored various books related to her field in which she denounced the discrimination against women and nurses in Puerto Rico.[clarification needed][413]
  • Isaac González Martínez, urologist
    González Martínez was the first Puerto Rican urologist and a pioneer in the fight against cancer in the island.[414]
  • Olga D. González-Sanabria, NASA engineer
    The highest ranking Hispanic at NASA Glenn Research Center and a member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.[415]
  • 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.[416]
  • Gloria Hernandez, physical scientist, aerospace technologist
    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.[417]
  • Lucas G. Hortas, aerospace engineer and 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.[418]
  • 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 co-authored a book on space weather, "Storms from the Sun".[419]
  • 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.[420]
  • 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.[418]
  • 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.[421]
  • Debbie Martínez, computer engineer, aerospace technologist
    Martinez is the "Flight Systems and Software Branch" software manager for the new Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA Langley Research Center.[422]
  • 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, nephrologist, educator, and author
    Manuel Martínez Maldonado has authored numerous scientific publications and discovered a natriuretic hormone.[423]
  • Antonio Mignucci, marine biologist and oceanographer.
    Founder 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, IBM Master Inventor, and patent attorney
    As of March 2016, Pagán was listed as an inventor on 73 United States patents[424] and more than 120 published patent applications.[425]
  • 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.[426]
  • 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.[427]
  • Ron Rivera, inventor and workshop organizer
    Invented life-saving water filters based on pottery.[428]
  • Juan A. Rivero, scientist and educator
    Founded the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayagüez, has discovered numerous animal species and has written several books.[429]
  • Miriam Rodon-Naveira, 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.[395]
  • Miguel Rodríguez, mechanical engineer
    Chief of the Integration Office of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office.[430]
  • Pedro Rodriguez, inventor, mechanical engineer
    Rodriguez is the director of a test laboratory at NASA. He invented a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis.[431]
  • 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.[165]
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas, dental scientist.
    Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas discovered the bacteria which causes dental cavity.[432]
  • Monserrate Roman, scientist, microbiologist
    Monserrate Roman helped build the International Space Station.[357][433]
  • 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 serves as Director of genetics research at the Center.[434]
  • 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.[435]
  • Eduardo Santiago Delpín, surgeon
    Santiago Delpín wrote the first book in Spanish about organ transplant.[436]
  • Yajaira Sierra Sastre, astronaut
    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.[437][438]
  • Diego R. Solís, physician
    Solís made Puerto Rican medical history when he performed the first simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in Puerto Rico.[439]
  • Félix Soto Toro electrical engineer, astronaut applicant
    Soto Toro developed the Advanced Payload Transfer Measurement System (ASPTMS), an Electronic 3D measuring system.
  • Agustín Stahl, botanist
    Scientist in the fields of botany, ethnology and zoology.[440]
  • 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.[420]
  • Fermín Tangüis, scientist, agriculturist and entrepreneur
    Tangüis developed the Tanguis cotton in Peru and saved that nation's cotton industry.[441]
  • 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. He is the host of the PBS series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage".[442]

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.
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
Mónica Puig – Olympic gold medalist
Juan Evangelista Venegas – Olympic medalist

A

B

C

D

E

F

  • Gigi Fernández
    tennis player, in the 1992 Olympics celebrated in Barcelona, Spain, she became the first female athlete from her native Puerto Rico win an Olympic gold medal. She was also the first female athlete from Puerto Rico to turn professional,[503] the first Puerto Rican woman to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[504]
  • 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.[505]
  • 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 lightweight 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]

Visual artists[edit]

José Campeche
Francisco Oller

Miscellaneous[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Awilda Carbia obituary, elnuevodia.com; accessed April 4, 2016.
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  6. ^ A Surprise at the Door, Joey Dedio Stars as 'Tio Papi', nytimes.com, September 6, 2013; accessed April 4, 2016.
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  8. ^ "Melodie Diaz", Paper, September 11, 2009.
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  13. ^ La Fountain-Stokes, Lawrence. "Entre boleros, travestismos y migraciones translocales: Manuel Ramos Otero, Jorge Merced y El bolero fue mi ruina del Teatro Pregones del Bronx." Revista Iberoamericana 71.212 (July–September 2005): pp. 887–907.
  14. ^ Rodríguez-Matos, Carlos. "Frances Negrón-Muntaner" In David William Foster, ed., Latin American Writers on Gay and Lesbian Themes (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994): pp. 288-90; ISBN 0-313-28479-2
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  16. ^ "Lana Parrilla as The Evil Queen | Once Upon A Time". Abc.go.com. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  17. ^ Is 'Glee' Star Naya Rivera Singing Love Songs to Costar Mark Salling? from Latina, March 19, 2010.
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  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2009. 
  20. ^ Smith, Patricia Juliana (2002). "Troche, Rose". glbtq.com. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  21. ^ La Fountain-Stokes, Lawrence. Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009. ISBN 0816640920
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007. 
  23. ^ Barnard, Christopher. "Her Name is Rio". Papermag. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  24. ^ "Gina Lynn Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple" (Press release). AdultFYI. May 8, 2006. 
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
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