List of Puerto Ricans
|List of notable people from Puerto Rico
Flag of Puerto Rico Coat of arms of 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.
- 1 Actors, actresses, comedians and directors
- 2 Architects
- 3 Authors, playwrights and poets
- 4 Beauty queens and fashion models
- 5 Business people and industrialists
- 6 Cartoonists
- 7 Civil rights and/or political activists
- 8 Clergy
- 9 Composers, contemporary singers, musicians and opera
- 10 Criminals and outlaws
- 11 Diplomats
- 12 Educators
- 13 Governors of Puerto Rico
- 14 Historians
- 15 Journalists
- 16 Judges, law enforcement and firefighters
- 17 Military
- 18 Physicians, scientists and inventors
- 19 Politicians
- 20 Sports
- 21 Taínos
- 22 Visual artists
- 23 Miscellaneous
- 24 Gallery
- 25 See also
- 26 Notes
- 27 References
Actors, actresses, comedians and directors
- Kirk Acevedo, actor (television series Band of Brothers, film Invincible)
- José Miguel Agrelot, "Don Cholito", comedian
- Jorge Alberti, actor
- Trini Alvarado, actress (Little Women, The Perez Family)
- Miguel Ángel Álvarez, actor and comedian
- La La Anthony, actress, MTV VJ
- Marc Anthony, actor and singer
- Victor Argo, actor (King of New York)
- Yancey Arias, actor (Kingpin)
- Raymond Arrieta, comedian and television host
- Miguel Arteta, film/television director (film The Good Girl, television series Six Feet Under)
- Rick Aviles, actor and comedian (film Ghost)
- Charlotte Ayanna, actress
- Ivonne Belén, documentary director and producer
- Rosa Blasi, theatrical actress
- Giselle Blondet, actress and television host
- Diego Boneta, actor and singer (Puerto Rican grandfather), singer, songwriter and actor (film Rock of Ages, television series 90210 and Peck h)
- Lucy Boscana, television and theatrical actress
- Paul Bouche, comedian and television host
- Paul Calderón, actor (The Last Castle)
- Armando Calvo, actor
- Norma Candal, actress and comedian
- Irene Cara, actress and singer (Fame, Flashdance)
- Awilda Carbia, actress and comedian
- Carmen Carrera, transgender reality television personality (television series RuPaul's Drag Race)
- Braulio Castillo, actor
- Braulio Castillo, hijo, actor
- David Castro, actor (Puerto Rican father) (Where God Left His Shoes, Palindromes)
- Raquel Castro, actress (Puerto Rican father) (Jersey Girl)
- Melwin Cedeño, comedian
- Iris Chacón, Puerto Rican singer and dancer
- Abdiel Colberg, film director and television producer
- Ivonne Coll, actress (The Godfather II, Jane the Virgin)
- Míriam Colón, actress and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (Scarface)
- Liza Colón-Zayas, film and theatrical actress
- Paquito Cordero, comedian and television producer
- Kevin Corrigan, actor
- Mapita Cortés, actress; niece of Mapy Cortés
- Mapy Cortés, actress
- Mara Croatto, actress
- Alexis Cruz, actor (Stargate, Stargate SG-1, Touched by an Angel)
- Wilson Cruz, actor (My So-Called Life, Party Monster)
- Ismael Cruz Cordova, actor (The Good Wife; In the Blood, White Alligator and Chaser); plays "Mando", the first Puerto Rican Sesame Street muppet character.
- Dagmar, actress, singer and television host
- Henry Darrow, actor (The High Chaparral)
- Raúl Dávila, actor (All My Children)
- Rosario Dawson, actress (He Got Game, Men in Black II, The Rundown, Rent)
- Blanca de Castejón, actress
- Kamar de los Reyes, actor (One Life to Live)
- Joey Dedio, actor, writer, producer (Musical Chairs, Captain Planet and the Planeteers)
- Idalis DeLeón, actress, former MTV VJ, singer (Seduction)
- Benicio del Toro, Academy Award-winning actor (Traffic)
- Sylvia del Villard, actress, choreographer and dancer
- Michael DeLorenzo, actor (New York Undercover, Head of the Class)
- Alba Nydia Díaz, actress
- Melonie Diaz, actress (Raising Victor Vargas, Nothing Like the Holidays)
- Gloria Garayua, actress (television series Grey's Anatomy)
- Aimee Garcia, actress (film Spanglish, television series Dexter)
- Mayte Garcia, actress, dancer, former wife of Prince
- Luis Gatica, actor, son of Mapita Cortés
- Marilyn Ghigliotti, actress (Clerks)
- Julián Gil, television and film actor, model
- Joyce Giraud, actress, former Miss Puerto Rico Universe titleholder
- Ian Gómez, actor (television series The Drew Carey Show (father's side)
- Marga Gomez, actress, playwright
- Reagan Gomez-Preston, actress
- Rick Gonzalez, actor (films The Rookie, Coach Carter)
- Meagan Good, actress
- Javier Grillo-Marxuach, television and film producer
- Luis Guzmán, actor (films Carlito's Way, Traffic, The Count of Monte Cristo)
- Luis Roberto Guzmán, television and film actor
- Justina Machado, actress (Six Feet Under, Final Destination 2, Torque)
- Sonia Manzano, actress ("María" on Sesame Street)
- Eddie Marrero, actor
- Elizabeth Marrero, male impersonator and performance artist/actress
- Tony Martínez (1920–2002) actor, singer, and bandleader;remembered for having played Pepino Garcia in The Real McCoys television series
- Alexis Mateo, female impersonator, reality television personality (reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race)
- Claribel Medina, actress
- Jorge Merced, theatre actor and director
- Ángela Meyer, actress, comedian and producer
- Ari Meyers, actress (Kate and Allie)
- René Monclova, actor and comedian
- Mario Montez, female impersonator/actor; member of Warhol Superstars, an artistic clique of artists who appeared in many of Andy Warhol's various artworks and films
- Esai Morales, actor
- Jacobo Morales, director, actor (film Bananas)
- Alicia Moreda, actress, comedian
- Rita Moreno, actress, first female Puerto Rican and first Hispanic woman to win the following four major awards: an Oscar, a Tony Award, an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award
- Frankie Muniz, actor (Malcolm in the Middle; My Dog Skip, Agent Cody Banks, Big Fat Liar) (Puerto Rican father)
- Tommy Muñiz, television producer, comedian
- Rafo Muñiz, comedian and producer; son of Tommy Muñiz
- Lymari Nadal, actress (American Gangster, Battlestar Galactica)
- Taylor Negron, actor/comedian
- Frances Negrón-Muntaner, filmmaker, writer, and scholar 
- Micaela Nevárez, actress; first Puerto Rican to win a Goya Award
- Amaury Nolasco, actor (2 Fast 2 Furious, Transformers; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Prison Break)
- Tony Oliver, voice actor
- Karen Olivo, actress (Puerto Rican father); winner of 2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress
- Ana Ortiz, actress (television series Ugly Betty)
- Elin Ortiz, actor, television producer
- John Ortiz, actor (films Fast & Furious, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem)
- Marian Pabón, actress, singer and comedian
- Antonio Pantojas, drag queen
- Lana Parrilla, actress (Puerto Rican father) (television series Once Upon a Time, Spin City and Boomtown)
- Rosie Perez, actress (films White Men Can't Jump, Fearless)
- Aubrey Plaza, actress (films Safety Not Guaranteed; television series Parks & Recreation)
- Freddie Prinze, Jr., actor (films I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scooby-Doo) (Puerto Rican grandmother)
- Freddie Prinze, comedian, actor (television series Chico and the Man) (Puerto Rican mother)
- Luis Antonio Ramos, actor
- Gina Ravera, actress
- Carmen Belen Richardson, comedian/actress
- Armando Riesco, actor (films World Trade Center; Garden State; Fever Pitch)
- Osvaldo Ríos, actor and singer
- Chita Rivera, actress Broadway legend, winner of two Tony Awards
- José Rivera, playwright; first Puerto Rican nominated for an Oscar in "Best Adapted Screenplay" category
- Luis Antonio Rivera, also known as "Yoyo Boing", comedian
- Marquita Rivera, first Puerto Rican actress to appear in a major Hollywood motion picture, Road to Rio
- Naya Rivera, actress (television series Glee (Puerto Rican father)
- Ramón Rivero, also known as "Diplo", comedian; organized the world's first known Walk-A-Thon in 1953
- Adalberto Rodríguez, "Machuchal", comedian
- Adam Rodríguez, actor (CSI: Miami, Roswell)
- Freddy Rodríguez, actor (Six Feet Under)
- Gina Rodriguez, actress (Jane the Virgin)
- Gladys Rodríguez, comedian, actress
- Michelle Rodriguez, actress (films Avatar, The Fast and the Furious; television series Lost)
- Ramón Rodríguez, actor (television series The Wire and Charlie's Angels)
- Marta Romero, actress and singer
- Johanna Rosaly, actress
- Zoe Saldana, actress (films Star Trek, Avatar) (Puerto Rican mother)
- Olga San Juan, film actress
- Jaime Sánchez, actor (musical West Side Story, film The Wild Bunch)
- Kiele Sanchez, actress
- Marcelino Sánchez, actor (films The Warriors, The Bloodhound Gang)
- Roselyn Sánchez, actress (films Rush Hour 2, Chasing Papi)
- Esther Sandoval, actress
- Renoly Santiago, actor (film Dangerous Minds)
- Saundra Santiago, actress (television series Miami Vice; film Carlito's Way)
- Ruben Santiago-Hudson, actor (film Mr. Brooks) and playwright (play Lackawanna Blues)
- Jon Seda, actor (film Selena; television series Chicago P.D.)
- Jimmy Smits, actor (television series L.A. Law, The West Wing, and NYPD Blue, film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith) (Puerto Rican mother)
- Yara Sofia, female impersonator, reality television personality (reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race)
- Luis F Soto, director
- Talisa Soto, actress, model (films Licence to Kill, Mortal Kombat)
- Miguel Ángel Suárez, actor, playwright, stage director (films Stir Crazy, Under Suspicion)
- Rachel Ticotin, actress (films Total Recall, Con Air)
- Liz Torres, actress (television series Gilmore Girls)
- Rose Troche, film/television director (film Go Fish, television series Six Feet Under, The L Word)
- Joseph Vásquez, film director, screenwriter (film Hangin' with the Homeboys)
- Nadine Velazquez, actress (television series My Name Is Earl)
- Lauren Vélez, actress (television series New York Undercover, Oz, Dexter)
- Loraine Vélez, actress
- Christina Vidal, actress and singer (television series Taina)
- Lisa Vidal, actress (Night in the City, television series ER)
- Juan Emilio Viguié, pioneer movie producer; produced Romance Tropical, the first Puerto Rican film with sound
- Otilio Warrington, also known as "Bizcocho", comedian
- Jessica Wild, female impersonator, reality television personality (reality television series RuPaul's Drag Race)
- Holly Woodlawn, female impersonator, actor; member of Warhol Superstars, an artistic clique of artists who appeared in many of Andy Warhol's various artworks and films
- David Zayas, actor (television series Oz, Dexter)
- Marcos Zurinaga, film director/screenwriter (film La Gran Fiesta)
Adult film entertainers
- Alfred D. Herger, television host, psychologist
- Daisy Martinez, host of PBS cooking show Daisy Cooks!
- John Melendez, once known as "Stuttering John" (Howard Stern Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno)
- Rogelio Mills, television host, author and recording artist
- Eddie Miró, television host, comedian; hosted El Show de las 12 (The 12 pm Show) for over 40 years
- Silverio Pérez, show host, musician and author
- Antonio Sánchez, radio and television personality
- Alani Vázquez, also known as "La La"; MTV veejay
- Luis Vigoreaux, created ¡Sube, Nene, Sube! (Go up, Man, Go up!) and ¡Pa'rriba, Papi, Pa'rriba! (Higher, Daddy, Higher!)
- Luisito Vigoreaux, hosted Sábado en Grande (Big Saturday, also with Roberto), El Show del Mediodía (The Midday Show) and De Magazin
- Roberto Vigoreaux, hosted Parejo, Doble y Triple (Square, Double and Triple)
- Jesús Eduardo Amaral, architect, educator; first director of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
- Félix Benítez Rexach, architect and engineer; designed the Normandie Hotel, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Pedro Adolfo de Castro y Besosa, architect; first Puerto Rican to graduate from an American architecture university; work highlights include Casa de España, Castillo Serrallés
- Toro Ferrer, pioneering Puerto Rican architectural firm led by Osvaldo Toro FAIA and Miguel Ferrer FAIA, both Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and responsible for such landmarks as the Caribe Hilton, the Supreme Court, the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport and the Hotel La Concha.
- Henry Klumb, German-born architect responsible for many Puerto Rico designs from 1944 to 1984; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
- Andrés Mignucci, architect, urbanist; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects; Henry Klumb Award 2012
- Antonio Miró Montilla, architect, educator; first architect appointed head of a government agency, the Puerto Rico Public Buildings Authority, 1969 to 1971; first dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, 1971 to 1978; Chancellor of the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, 1978 to 1985
- Antonin Nechodoma, Czech architect
- Francisco Porrata-Doria, designed the Ponce Cathedral, Banco de Ponce, and Banco Crédito y Ahorro Ponceño
- Jorge Rigau, architect, educator; first dean of the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico; Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
- Blas Silva, creator of the Ponce Creole architectural style; designed, among many others, the Casa de la Masacre, Font-Ubides House, and the Subira House
- Alfredo Wiechers Pieretti, early 20th-century architect from Ponce; designed many historical buildings now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including his own home (the Wiechers-Villaronga Residence) in the Ponce Historic Zone, which today is home to the Puerto Rico Museum of Architecture
Authors, playwrights and poets
- Jack Agüeros, author, playwright, poet and translator
- 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
- Miguel Algarín, poet, writer, co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café
- Manuel A. Alonso, poet and author, considered by many to be the first Puerto Rican writer of notable importance
- Alba Ambert, novelist; in 1996 became the first Hispanic author to win the Carey McWilliams Award for Multicultural Literature, presented by the Multicultural Review, for her novel A Perfect Silence
- Francisco Arriví, writer, poet, and playwright ; known as "the father of the Puerto Rican theater"
- Rane Arroyo, poet, playwright and scholar
- Pura Belpré, author; first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City
- Samuel Beniquez, author of the autobiographical book Tu alto precio ... Mi gran valor
- María Bibiana Benítez, playwright, poet
- Alejandrina Benítez de Gautier, poet whose collaboration with the "Aguinaldo Puertorriqueño" (collection of Puerto Rican poetry) gave her recognition as a great poet
- Tomás Blanco, writer and historian; author of Prontuario Historico de Puerto Rico and El Prejuicio Racial en Puerto Rico (Racial Prejudice in Puerto Rico)
- Juan Boria, Afro-Caribbean poet, also known as the Negro Verse Pharaoh; known for his Afro-Caribbean poetry
- Giannina Braschi, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow; author of the bestselling Spanglish classic Yo-Yo Boing! and United States of Banana
- María Cadilla Colón de Martinez, writer, educator and women's rights activist
- Zenobia Camprubí, writer/poet (Puerto Rican mother); wife of Nobel Prize winning author Juan Ramón Jiménez
- Nemesio Canales, essayist and poet
- Jesús Colón, writer; "father of the Nuyorican Movement"
- Manuel Corchado y Juarbe, poet, journalist and politician; defended the abolition of slavery and the establishment of a University in Puerto Rico
- Juan Antonio Corretjer, poet; journalist and pro-independence political activist who opposed United States rule in Puerto Rico
- Nicholas Dante, 'Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright who is best known for the worldwide musical hit A Chorus Line
- José Antonio Dávila, well-known poet during Puerto Rico's postmodern era of poetry
- Virgilio Dávila, poet, considered by many to be one of Puerto Rico's greatest representatives of the modern literary era
- Julia de Burgos, Poet
- Eugenio María de Hostos, wrote La Peregrinación de Bayoán, the founding text of Puerto Rican literature (see also "Educators" and "Politicians")
- Caridad de la Luz a.k.a. "La Bruja", poet; writer/actor of Boogie Rican Blvd
- Nelson Denis, novelist; Editorial Director of El Diario La Prensa; New York State Assemblyman
- Abelardo Díaz Alfaro, writer
- 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
- Isabel Freire de Matos, writer, educator and advocate of Puerto Rican independence
- Rosario Ferré, writer
- Shaggy Flores, Nuyorican writer, poet; African diaspora scholar; founder of Voices for the Voiceless
- Félix Franco-Oppenheimer, poet and writer; works include Contornos, Imagen y visión edénica de Puerto Rico, and Antología poética
- Magali García Ramis, writer
- José Gautier Benítez, Poet of the Romantic Era
- José Luis González, one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century, particularly for his El país de cuatro pisos (1980)
- Migene González-Wippler, new-age author, Santería researcher
- Victor Hernández Cruz, poet; in 1969, became the first Hispanic to be published by a mainstream publishing house when Random House published his poem "Snaps;" in 1981, Life Magazine named him one of America's greatest poets
- Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, writer; author of Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails
- Enrique A. Laguerre, writer; nominated in 1998, for the Nobel Prize in literature
- Tato Laviera, poet; author of AmeRícan
- Georgina Lázaro, children's poet
- Muna Lee, Mississippi-born writer; first wife of Luis Muñoz Marín
- Aurora Levins Morales, writer and poet; author of Medicine Stories (1998) and Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (1998)
- Teresita A. Levy, author of The History of Tobacco Cultivation in Puerto Rico, 1898–1940, a study of the tobacco-growing regions in the eastern and western highlands of Puerto Rico from 1898 to 1940
- Luis Lloréns Torres, poet
- Washington Lloréns, journalist, writer, linguist, and scholar
- Luis López Nieves, writer
- Hugo Margenat, poet; founder of the political youth pro-independence organizations Acción Juventud Independentista and Federación de Universitarios Pro Independencia
- René Marqués, playwright; wrote La Carreta (The Oxcart), which helped secure his reputation as a leading literary figure in Puerto Rico
- Nemir Matos-Cintrón, poet, novelist
- Francisco Matos Paoli, poet, critic, and essayist; nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1977; a Secretary General of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party
- Concha Meléndez, poet, writer
- Manuel Méndez Ballester, writer
- Nancy Mercado, poet, playwright; author of It Concerns the Madness, seven theatre plays, and a number of essays; her work has been extensively anthologized
- Pedro Mir, former Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic (Puerto Rican mother)
- Nicholasa Mohr, writer; her works, among which is the novel Nilda, tell of growing up in the Bronx and El Barrio and of the difficulties Puerto Rican women face in the United States; in 1973, she became the first Hispanic woman in modern times to have her literary works published by the major commercial publishing houses, and she has developed the longest career as a creative writer for these publishing houses than any other Hispanic female writer
- Rosario Morales, author; co-author of Getting Home Alive (1986) with her daughter Aurora Levins Morales
- José Pablo Morales Miranda, writer; first Puerto Rican journalist; wrote in many liberal newspapers during the Spanish colonial era
- Mercedes Negrón Muñoz, a.k.a. "Clara Lair"; influential poet whose work dealt with the everyday struggles of the common Puerto Rican
- 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
- Micol Ostow, author of Mind Your Manners, Dick and Jane and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa
- José Gualberto Padilla a.k.a. "El Caribe", poet, physician, journalist and politician; advocate for Puerto Rico's independence; was imprisoned for his role in the El Grito de Lares revolt
- Luis Palés Matos, poet of Afro-Caribbean themes
- Antonio S. Pedreira, writer and educator whose most important book was Insularismo, in which he explores the meaning of being Puerto Rican
- Pedro Pietri, poet, playwright; co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café
- Miguel Piñero, playwright, writer; co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café
- Manuel Ramos Otero, writer, poet
- Evaristo Ribera Chevremont, poet
- José Rivera, playwright; first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Oscar
- Marie Teresa Ríos, author of the novel The Fifteenth Pelican, which was the basis for the popular 1960s television sitcom The Flying Nun
- Lola Rodríguez de Tió, poet; wrote the lyrics to the revolutionary "La Borinqueña"
- Francisco Rojas Tollinchi, poet, civic leader and journalist
- Luis Rafael Sánchez, playwright
- Wilfredo Santa-Gómez, writer, journalist.
- Esmeralda Santiago, author
- Mayra Santos-Febres, poet, novelist
- Pedro Juan Soto, writer/novelist; father of slain independence activist Carlos Soto Arriví
- Clemente Soto Vélez, poet and activist
- Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, writer and poet; "the father of Puerto Rican literature"
- Piri Thomas, writer, poet whose autobiography Down These Mean Streets was a best-seller
- Edwin Torres, Nuyorican Movement poet
- Judge Edwin Torres, writer; New York Supreme Court Justice; wrote Carlito's Way
- Lourdes Vázquez, writer and poet
- Edgardo Vega Yunqué, novelist, also known as Ed Vega
- Irene Vilar, author and literary agent; granddaughter of independence activist Lolita Lebrón
Beauty queens and fashion models
- Deborah Carthy-Deu, Miss Universe 1985
- Susie Castillo, Miss USA 2003 (Puerto Rican mother)
- Vanessa De Roide, Nuestra Belleza Latina 2012
- Noris Díaz ("La Taína"), model
- Stella Díaz, fashion model
- Jaslene Gonzalez, fashion model, winner of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8
- Marisol Malaret, first Puerto Rican Miss Universe, 1970
- Marisol Maldonado, fashion model
- Melissa Marty, Nuestra Belleza Latina 2008
- Wilnelia Merced, the first and, to date, the only Puerto Rican Miss World, 1975
- Astrid Muñoz, fashion model
- Cynthia Olavarría, Miss Puerto Rico 2005
- Aleyda Ortiz, Nuestra Belleza Latina 2014
- Miriam Pabón, beauty queen, the first contestant in half a century to represent Puerto Rico in the Miss America pageant
- Ada Perkins, Miss Puerto Rico 1978
- Denise Quiñones, Miss Universe 2001
- Ingrid Marie Rivera, Miss Puerto Rico World 2005
- Zuleyka Rivera, Miss Universe 2006
- Chay Santini, fashion model
- Laurie Tamara Simpson, Miss International 1987
- Joan Smalls, fashion model and host of MTV's series House of Style
- Dayanara Torres, Miss Universe 1993
- Irma Nydia Vázquez, first Miss Puerto Rico in the Miss America pageant, breaking the color barrier, 1948
Business people and industrialists
- Carlota Alfaro, fashion designer
- Aída Álvarez, first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic woman to hold a sub-cabinet-level position in the White House (Small Business Administrator 1997–2000)
- José Berrocal, youngest president of PR Government Development Bank; annual scholarships are awarded in his memory
- Rafael Carrión, Sr., patriarch of one Puerto Rico's financial dynasties; a founding father of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, the largest bank in Puerto Rico and the largest Hispanic bank in the United States
- Richard Carrión, Chairman of the Board Banco Popular; chairman International Olympic Committee's finance committee
- Kimberly Casiano, member of the Board of Directors of the Ford Motor Company
- Ramiro L. Colón, first administrator of Cooperativa de Cafeteros de Puerto Rico, Café Rico (official coffee of the Vatican)
- Francisco J. Collazo, founder of COLSA Corporation, a first-rate provider of engineering and support services in Huntsville, Alabama
- Atilano Cordero Badillo, founder of Supermercados Grande
- Carmen Ana Culpeper, former SBA Regional Director; first female PR Treasury Secretary and PR Telephone Company President
- Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer (Puerto Rican father)
- Fernando Fernández, founder of Ron del Barrilito and Alcoholado Santa Ana
- José Ramon Fernández, "Marqués de La Esperanza", the wealthiest sugar baron in Puerto Rico in the 19th century; considered one of the most powerful men of the entire Spanish Caribbean
- Antonio Luis Ferré, owner of the Ferré-Rangel media emporium
- Jaime Fonalledas, President and CEO of Empresas Fonalledas, which owns Plaza Las Américas, the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean and one of the top retail and entertainment venues in the world; Fonalledas' companies include Plaza Del Caribe, Tres Monjitas, Vaqueria Tres Monjitas, Ganaderia Tres Monjitas, and franchise Soft & Creamy
- José Juan García, founder of Hogares Crea
- Eduardo Georgetti, agriculturist, businessman, philanthropist, politician and sugar baron.
- María Elena Holly, widow of rock legend Buddy Holly; owns the rights to Buddy's name, image, trademarks, and other intellectual property
- Ramón López Irizarry, inventor of Coco López
- Héctor Maisonave, organized 7,000 salsa concerts; owned the Casa Blanca dance club; managed Héctor Lavoe and other salsa artists
- Miguel A. García Méndez, founder of Western Federal Savings Bank, which later became the Westernbank Puerto Rico (now defunct)
- Gildo Massó, founder of Massó Enterprises and Casa's Massó
- Ralph Mercado, founder of RMM Records and music producer
- Luis Miranda Casañas, CEO of the multi-state Universal insurance emporium
- Lisette Nieves, founder of ATREVETE
- Luis D. Ortiz, real estate broker and reality television personality (series Million Dollar Listing New York)
- Wilbert Parkhurst, in 1921, founded Empresas La Famosa, Inc., a fruit processing company that by 1971 consisted of Frozen Fruits Concentrates, Inc., Toa Canning Co., La Concentradora de Puerto Rico" and Bayamón Can Company
- Rafael Pérez Perry, in 1960 founded television channel 11, also known as Telecadena Pérez Perry, and became known as Tele Once in 1986
- Samuel A. Ramirez, Sr., President and founder of Ramirez and Co., an investment banking firm on Wall Street
- Ángel Ramos, founder of the Telemundo television network
- Gaspar Roca, founder of newspaper El Vocero
- Miguel Ruíz, founder of Café Yaucono
- Herb Scannell, former Chairman of MTV Networks and president of Nickelodeon
- Juan Serrallés, founder of Don Q rum
- Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment; the highest profile Latina in network television and one of the few executives who has the power to greenlight series
- Joseph A. Unanue, former president and CEO of Goya Foods; son of the company's founder
- Alfonso Valdés Cobián, co-founder of Cervecería India, Inc. and the Puerto Rican winter baseball league; owner of the Indios de Mayagüez (Mayagüez Indians)
- Camalia Valdés, President and CEO of Cerveceria India, Inc., Puerto Rico's largest brewery
- Salvador Vassallo, founder of Vassallo Industries Inc. and subsidiaries.
- Richard Velazquez, businessman and community leader; former President of NSHMBA Puerto Rico; co-founder and former President of NSHMBA Seattle; First Puerto Rican automotive designer for Porsche, first Puerto Rican product planner for Xbox 360.
- Maria Vizcarrondo-De Soto, the first woman and Latina to become the President and CEO of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson
- David Álvarez, creator of the comic strip Yenny, illustrator and storyboard artist for DC Comics' Looney Tunes series
- Ricardo Álvarez-Rivón, creator of the comic Turey
- Ernie Colón, comic book artist.
- Rags Morales, comic book artist; co-creator, along with Brian Augustyn, of the 1990s version of Black Condor
- George Pérez, Marvel and DC Comics comic book artist
- John Rivas, creator of the comic strip Bonzzo
- Kenneth Rocafort, Marvel and DC Comics comic book artist
- José Vega Santana, creator of the Remi comic and impersonator of "Remi, The Clown"
- Alex Schomburg, comic book cover artist
- Angelo Torres, Mad magazine artist
Civil rights and/or political activists
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Oscar López Rivera, longest-incarcerated nationalist prisoner in the U.S.
- José Maldonado Román, a.k.a. "Aguila Blanca" (White Eagle) revolutionary.
- Eliana Martínez, AIDS activist; was in a notable Florida court case regarding the rights of HIV+ children in public schools
- Felicitas Mendez nèe 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), and is credited with paving the way for integration and the American civil rights movement
- María de las Mercedes Barbudo, political activist; often called the first female Puerto Rican "Independentista".
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Sylvia Rae Rivera, transgender activist; veteran of the 1969 Stonewall riots
- 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
- Isabel Rosado, political activist; imprisoned multiple times.
- Anthony Romero, civil rights leader; executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union
- 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 (see also "Educators" and "Scientists")
- Ana Roque, women's rights activist, educator and suffragist; a founder of the University of Puerto Rico.
- Vidal Santiago Díaz, political activist; barber of Pedro Albizu Campos; made Puerto Rican media history when numerous police officers and National Guards men attacked him at his barbershop Salon Boricua because of his ideals of Puerto Rican independence; this was the first time in Puerto Rican history that such an attack was transmitted via radio to the public.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Olga Viscal Garriga, political activist; member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party; during the late 1940s she became a student leader at the University of Puerto Rico and spokesperson of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party's branch in Río Piedras.
- Marcos Xiorro, house slave; in 1821, planned and conspired to lead a slave revolt against the sugar plantation owners and the Spanish Colonial government in Puerto Rico
- Juan Alejo de Arizmendi, first Puerto Rican Roman Catholic bishop
- Francisco Ayerra de Santa María, priest and poet
- Diego de Torres Vargas, first priest to write about the history of Puerto Rico.
- David Andrés Álvarez-Velázquez, second native Puerto Rican to serve as bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Rico of the Episcopal Church
- Luis Aponte Martínez, Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of San Juan; the only Puerto Rican cleric to date to be named cardinal
- Yiye Ávila, Pentecostal leader
- Nicky Cruz, former gangster turned minister
- Sister Isolina Ferré, Roman Catholic nun awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Juanita García Peraza, founder of the "Mita" religion [clarification needed]
- Roberto González Nieves, Archbishop of San Juan
- Jorge Raschke, outspoken Pentecostal pastor
- Francisco Reus-Froylan, first native Puerto Rican bishop of the Episcopal Church
- Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago, beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001; the first Puerto Rican and the first Caribbean-born layperson to be beatified.
- José Luis de Jesús Miranda, controversial religious leader
- Bavi Edna Rivera, the 12th woman and first Hispanic woman to become a bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Composers, contemporary singers, musicians and opera
- Mary Ann Acevedo Rivera, singer, songwriter
- Juan F. Acosta, composer of folklore music
- Agallah, rapper/producer
- Johnny Albino, singer
- Natalie and Nicole Albino, members of R&B duo Nina Sky
- Rafael Alers, Danza composer; first Puerto Rican to compose a Hollywood musical score
- Carlos Alomar, guitarist, composer, arranger, producer; associated artists include David Bowie, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Luther Vandross, Brian Eno, Roxy Music, James Brown, Alicia Keys
- Henry Arana, composer
- Félix Astol, composer, "La Borinqueña", the Puerto Rican anthem
- Chucho Avellanet, singer
- Corina Katt Ayala, a.k.a. "Corina", singer, actress
- Raymond Ayala, a.k.a. "Daddy Yankee", reggaeton singer
- Manolo Badrena, percussionist
- Adrienne Bailon, singer, actress, songwriter; part of the former girl group trio 3LW, and of The Cheetah Girls
- Puchi Balseiro, composer
- Lloyd Banks, rapper (Puerto Rican mother)
- Ray Barretto, percussionist, jazz and salsa leader
- Eddie Benitez, guitarist
- John Benitez, a.k.a. "Jellybean Benítez", music producer and remixer
- Lucecita Benítez, a.k.a. "Lucecita", singer
- Samuel Beniquez, music producer, composer and musician
- Obie Bermúdez, singer and composer
- Big Pun, rapper
- Angela Bofill, singer
- Americo Boschetti, singer and composer
- Roy Brown, folklore singer, composer
- Antonio Cabán Vale, a.k.a. "El Topo", folklore singer, composer
- Tego Calderón, rapper, reggaeton artist
- Juan Morel Campos, composer of danzas
- Héctor Campos-Parsi, singer, composer
- Bobby Capó, singer, composer
- Nydia Caro, singer
- Vicente Carattini, singer and composer; composed many of Puerto Rico's Christmas themes
- Joseph Cartagena, a.k.a. "Fat Joe", rapper
- Marta Casals Istomin, cellist; former President of Manhattan School of Music; widow of musicians Pablo Casals and Eugene Istomin
- Pablo Casals, cellist (Puerto Rican mother), classical musician
- Kevin Ceballo, salsa music singer
- Rafael Cepeda, composer; "patriarch of the bomba and plena"
- Iris Chacón, singer and vedette
- Keshia Chanté, R&B and pop singer/songwriter
- Arístides Chavier Arévalo, pianist and composer
- Chelo, singer
- Choco Orta, salsa singer
- José Miguel Class, a.k.a. "El Gallito de Manatí", singer
- Angel Clivillés, singer, member of The Cover Girls
- Robert Clivillés, freestyle producer; founder and member of C + C Music Factory
- Javier Colon, singer and winner of the first season of U.S. reality series The Voice
- Willie Colón, salsa composer
- César Concepción, orchestra leader
- Ernesto Cordero, composer and classical guitarist
- Federico A. Cordero, composer and classical guitarist
- Millie Corretjer, singer
- Rafael Cortijo, salsa band leader
- José Cosculluela, a.k.a. "Cosculluela", hip hop and reggaeton artist
- Elvis Crespo, merengue singer
- Tony Croatto, singer/composer of Puerto Rican folk songs
- Bobby Cruz, salsa singer, bandleader
- Joe Cuba, bandleader, considered "the father of the boogaloo"
- Tite Curet Alonso, ballad and salsa composer
- Héctor Delgado, a.k.a. "El Father", reggaeton singer
- Rafael José Díaz, a.k.a. "Rafael José", singer and television host
- Carmen Delia Dipini, bolero singer
- Edgardo Díaz, founder of the boy band Menudo
- Braulio Dueño Colón, composer of "Canciones Escolares"
- Huey Dunbar, singer, member of DLG (Puerto Rican mother)
- Rafi Escudero, musician, singer, composer
- Many Espinal, known as "Tego Calderón", reggaeton singer
- Noel Estrada, composer of "En Mi Viejo San Juan"
- Cano Estremera, singer, composer and poet
- Lucy Fabery, singer
- Rene Farrait, singer; former member of Menudo
- Cheo Feliciano, salsa singer; singer for Joe Cuba Sextet
- José Feliciano, singer, composed "Feliz Navidad"
- Ruth Fernández, singer
- Elmer Figueroa, known as "Chayanne", singer
- Narciso Figueroa, composer; the "father of the modern danza"
- Pedro Flores, composer
- Hector Fonseca, producer, musician
- Luis Fonsi, singer
- Angelo Garcia, singer; former member of Menudo
- Kany García, singer/songwriter
- Jenilca Giusti, singer, songwriter, actress, model
- Eddie Gómez, jazz musician and composer
- Tito Gómez, composer
- Kenny "Dope" Gonzales, producer, musician; member of Masters At Work
- Odilio González, singer
- Jazz Hamilton, recording artist, arranger, composer, saxophonist, producer
- Hex Hector, Grammy Award-winning remixer and producer
- Cruz Manuel Hernández, a.k.a. "Manny Manuel", singer
- Oscar Hernández, salsa musician; composed the musical theme for the television series Sex and the City
- Rafael Hernández Marín, composer of "Preciosa" and "Lamento Borincano"
- Giovanni Hidalgo, percussionist
- Lee Holdridge, television and film score composer
- Janid, singer, songwriter, reality TV personality
- Orlando Javier Valle Vega, a.k.a. "Chencho", singer, producer
- Carmita Jiménez, a.k.a. "La Dama de la Canción", singer
- Jim Jones, rapper
- La India, salsa singer
- George Lamond, pop/salsa singer
- William Landrón, a.k.a. "Don Omar", reggaeton singer
- Tito Lara, singer
- Héctor Lavoe, salsa singer
- Raphy Leavitt, composer, musical director; founder of La Selectaorchestra
- Toñito Ledee, salsa singer
- Manny Lehman, music producer, deejay
- Lisa M, rapper
- Ángel López, pop/salsa singer, originally from group Son by Four, responsible for the hit song "A Puro Dolor"
- David Lozada, a.k.a. "Cheka", reggaeton artist
- Johnny Lozada, singer, former member of Menudo
- Luis Lozada, a.k.a. "Vico C", rapper
- Papo Lucca, lead pianist of La Sonora Ponceña
- Lunna, singer
- Marc Anthony, singer
- Bruno Mars, singer and songwriter (father is half Puerto Rican)
- Ricky Martin, singer; former member of Menudo
- Angie Martínez, singer, actress, radio personality
- Ladislao Martínez, a.k.a. "El Maestro Ladí", an accomplished cuatro player and the first Puerto Rican musician to play solo on the radio
- Carolyne Mas, singer-songwriter, musician, and performer 
- Charlie Masso, singer; former member of Menudo
- Paul Masvidal, guitarist, singer, and songwriter with international recording artists Cynic
- Maxwell, R&B and neo-soul singer (Puerto Rican father)
- Lisette Melendez, freestyle/Latin-pop singer
- Ricky Meléndez, singer; former member of "Menudo
- Syesha Mercado, singer and finalist on American Idol (Puerto Rican father)
- Ismael Miranda, "El Niño Bonito de la Salsa", singer and composer, Fania All-Star
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, Grammy-, Tony-, and MacArthur "Genius" Award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor, known for his Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton
- Ángel Mislan, composer of danzas
- José Luis Moneró, composer and band leader
- Yolandita Monge, singer, television host and theatrical actress
- Gilberto Monroig, bolero singer
- Glenn Monroig, composer, singer; sang the first rap song in Spanish
- Andy Montañez, salsa singer
- David Morales, deejay, composer, music producer.
- Florencio Morales Ramos, a.k.a. "Ramito", bolero and plena composer and singer; composed "Que Bonita Bandera", which, on 19 March 2009, served as the wake-up call for Puerto Rican astronaut Joseph M. Acaba and the crew aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle.
- Mark Morales, a.k.a. "Prince Markie Dee", rapper, producer
- Noro Morales, pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader
- Carli Muñoz, pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, producer.
- Rafael Muñoz, orchestra leader
- Luis Miguel, a.k.a. "sol de Mexico", singer and songwriter, born in San Juan
- N.O.R.E., rapper
- Ednita Nazario, singer
- Chuck Negron, singer; lead singer of group Three Dog Night; cousin of actor Taylor Negron
- Joe Negroni, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, member of The Teenagers
- Tito Nieves, salsa singer; his version of "I Like it Like That" was part of a national Burger King commercial
- Noelia, singer, songwriter and actress
- Nova y Jory, reggaeton duo
- Tommy Olivencia, salsa bandleader, trumpet player, singer
- Tony Orlando, singer (Puerto Rican mother)
- Jeannie Ortega, R&B and reggaeton singer
- Claudette Ortiz, singer, R&B group City High
- Joell Ortiz, rapper
- Luis "Perico" Ortiz, salsa singer, musician, composer, musical arranger and producer
- Shalim Ortiz, a.k.a. "Shalim", singer, actor
- Pedro Ortiz Davila, a.k.a. "Davilita", bolero singer
- Charlie Palmieri, pianist, bandleader
- Eddie Palmieri, pianist, composer, bandleader; 2013 National Endowment of Arts Jazz Master; nine-time Grammy Award winner
- José Enrique Pedreira, danza composer
- Ángel "Cuco" Peña, musician, composer and producer
- René Pérez, singer
Member of Calle 13
- Lourdes Pérez, singer, songwriter; folk, nueva canción, and nueva trova singer
- Martha Pesante, a.k.a. "Ivy Queen" and "The Queen of Reggaeton", reggaeton singer
- Plan B, reggaeton duo
- Carlos Ponce, singer
- Rebeca Pous Del Toro, Spanish pop singer; cousin of Benicio del Toro
- Miguel Poventud, a.k.a. "El Nino Prodigio de Guayama" and "Miguelito"; musician, singer and composer of boleros whose songs have been intreperted by notable singers such as Paul Anka, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Johnny Albino, Héctor Lavoe and Daniel Santos
- Tito Puente, musician, composer and producer, called the "King of Latin Music" or "the Mambo King".
- Domingo Quiñones, singer, actor
- Luciano Quiñones, danza composer
- Ismael Quintana, salsa singer, member of the Eddie Palmeri Band
- José Ignacio Quintón, pianist and composer of danzas
- Chamaco Ramirez, salsa singer
- Val Ramos, international flamenco guitarist
- Richie Ray, a.k.a. "The King of Salsa", singer, composer
- Sylvia Rexach, singer, composer
- Ray Reyes, singer, former member of Menudo
- Ron Reyes, singer for Black Flag, 1979–1980
- Gabriel Ríos, musician
- Danny Rivera, singer, an icon in Puerto Rico
- Ismael Rivera, "El Sonero Mayor", salsa singer
- Jerry Rivera, salsa singer; first salsa artist to Perform on American talk show The Tonight Show
- Mon Rivera, trombonist and singer
- Tomás Rivera Morales a.k.a. "Maso" Rivera, composer; child music prodigy who composed over 1,000 instrumental compositions for the cuatro, among which he treasured the waltz
- Augusto Rodríguez, composer and chorus director; founder of the choir of the University of Puerto Rico
- Chino Rodriguez, salsa musician, trombonist, composer, artist manager, producer, talent agent; founder of Oriente Music Group and Latin Music Booking (Puerto Rican mother, Chinese father)
- Daniel Rodríguez, former police officer turned operatic tenor
- Felipe Rodríguez, a.k.a. "La Voz", singer of boleros
- Julito Rodríguez, singer
- Lalo Rodríguez, salsa singer; was part of the first two records to win the first two Latin Grammy Awards; first artist to sell over one million salsa records in Spain
- Pellin Rodríguez, salsa singer; member of the musical group El Gran Combo; toured with the group all over Europe and Latin America
- Tito Rodríguez, singer and bandleader
- Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez, salsa singer, Fania All-Star
- Omar Rodríguez-López, composer and guitarist
- Roberto Roena, percussionist and band leader
- Kelis Rogers, singer and television host (Chinese-Puerto Rican mother)
- Tito Rojas, salsa singer
- Marta Romero, singer and actress
- Draco Rosa, singer, composer; former member of Menudo
- Ralphi Rosario, producer, deejay, musician; member of musical duo Rosabel
- Willie Rosario, composer, timbalero, bandleader
- Felipe Rose, singer; the Indian in the Village People
- Roy Rosselló, singer; former member of Menudo
- Julita Ross, singer of danzas
- Frankie Ruiz, salsa singer
- Hilton Ruiz, jazz composer/musician
- Víctor Manuelle, singer
- Jimmy Sabater, Sr., musician; three-time winner of the ACE Awards
- Sa-Fire, singer
- Fernando and Nefty Sallaberry, singers; former members of Menudo
- Bobby Sanabria, Latin jazz musician, composer, percussionist, Grammy winner, educator
- Claudio Sanchez, singer; lead singer, lyricist and guitarist of Coheed and Cambria
- Jesús María Sanromá, composer; first person ever to be named official pianist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Gilberto Santa Rosa, salsa singer
- Daniel Santos, composer, singer of boleros and Cuban guarachas
- Ray Santos, arranger and composer, The Mambo Kings
- Romeo Santos, bachata singer; former member of Aventura (Puerto Rican mother)
- Adalberto Santiago, salsa singer
- Eddie Santiago, salsa singer
- Herman Santiago, rock n roll singer; composed song "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
- Marvin Santiago, salsa singer
- Dr. Zoraida Santiago, singer and composer
- Nino Segarra, salsa singer
- Ray Sepúlveda, salsa singer
- Xavier Serbiá, singer; former member of "Menudo
- Myrta Silva, or "La Gorda de Oro" and "Madame Chencha", singer, composer
- Arturo Somohano, composer; symphony orchestra conductor
- Sophy, singer
- Ivette Sosa, singer; member of Eden's Crush
- Brenda K. Starr, salsa singer (Puerto Rican mother)
- Michael Stuart, salsa singer
- Sweet Sensation, freestyle trio
- Olga Tañón, singer, composer
- Manuel Gregorio Tavárez, composer; "the father of the Puerto Rican danzas
- Gerardo Teissonniere, classical pianist and teacher
- Daniel Ticotin, a.k.a. "Sahaj", singer and musician; vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Ra; bBrother of actress Rachel Ticotin
- Juan Tizol, jazz musician and composer
- TKA, freestyle trio
- Ray Toro, lead guitarist of My Chemical Romance
- Yomo Toro, musician, guitarist, and "cuatrista"
- Manoella Torres, singer
- Eladio Torres, musician, singer and composer
- Néstor Torres, musician; Latin Grammy Award-winning preeminent flautist in the Latin jazz genre
- Tommy Torres, singer, composer, musician
- Tony Touch, singer
- Yolanda Vadiz, gospel singer
- Gary Valenciano, Filipino musician (Puerto Rican mother)
- Bobby Valentín, musician, bandleader
- Mario Vázquez, pop and R&B singer; 2005 American Idol contestant
- Alan Vega, rock singer; member of Suicide
- Little Louie Vega, producer, musician; member of Masters At Work
- Tony Vega, salsa singer
- Lisa Velez, singer of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
- Wilkins Vélez, known as "Wilkins", singer and composer
- Veronica, American dance singer and actress
- Wisin & Yandel, reggaeton duo, known as "El Duo de la Historia"
- Margarita Castro Alberty, soprano; recipient of awards from the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation, Baltimore Opera Guild, Chicago Opera Guide and Metropolitan Opera Guild
- Justino Díaz, opera singer
- Pablo Elvira, baritone, opera singer
- Cesar Hernández, tenor, opera singer
- Benjamín Marcantoni, operatic countertenor
- Ana María Martínez, soprano
- Julia Migenes, soprano
- Amalia Paoli, soprano
- Antonio Paolí, tenor
- Melliangee Pérez, opera soprano; awarded Soprano of the Year by UNESCO
- Graciela Rivera, soprano; first Puerto Rican to sing a lead role in the Metropolitan Opera
Criminals and outlaws
- Roberto Cofresí, a.k.a. '"El Pirata Cofresí"' (Cofresí the Pirate), his exploits as a pirate are part of Puerto Rico's folklore
- Salvador Agrón, a.k.a. "The Capeman", criminal and poet
- Antonio Correa Cotto, bandit/outlaw
- Antonio García López, a.k.a. "Toño Bicicleta", outlaw
- Raymond Márquez, a.k.a. "Spanish Raymond", Harlem numbers kingpin
- Isabel la Negra, madam of a brothel
- Edsel Torres Gómez, a.k.a. "Negri", drug kingpin
- Tony Tursi, mobster
- José "Junior Cápsula" Figueroa Agosto, drug kingpin; and porn star known as "the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean"
- Ariel Castro, kidnapper
- José Padilla, convicted Al-Qaeda operative.
- Adrian A. Basora, former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic
- Gabriel Guerra-Mondragón, former U.S. Ambassador to Chile
- Luis Guinot, former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica
- Victor Marrero, former U.S. Ambassador to the OAS
- Spencer Matthews King, former U.S. Ambassador to Guyana
- Edward G. Miller, Jr., lawyer who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs from 1949 to 1952
- Teodoro Moscoso, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and head of Alliance for Progress (see also "Politicians")
- Horacio Rivero, Admiral (Ret.), former U.S. Ambassador to Spain (see also "Military")
- Mari Carmen Aponte, U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador
- César Benito Cabrera, former U.S. Ambassador to Mauritius and the Seychelles
- Hans Hertell, former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic
- Carmen Martinez, former U.S. Ambassador to Zambia
- Ursula Acosta, educator; one of the founding members of the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Genealogía (Puerto Rican Genealogical Society)
- Alfredo M. Aguayo, educator and writer; established the first laboratory of child psychology at the University of Havana
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Celestina Cordero, educator; in 1820, founded the first school for girls in Puerto Rico
- 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
- 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.
- Megh R. Goyal, professor, historian, scientist; "father of irrigation engineering in Puerto Rico"; Professor in Agricultural & Biomedical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.
- Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, educator; president of Queens College, City University of New York.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Carlos E. Santiago, economist and educator; Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Ninfa Segarra, New York City Council member; president of the New York City Board of Education from 2000–02.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Governors of Puerto Rico
- Juan Ponce de León, lived with his family in Puerto Rico; Spanish explorer and conquistador; became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown; led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named; his remains are buried in a crypt in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista in San Juan
- Juan Ponce de León II, first Puerto Rican acting governor, in 1579
- Luis A. Ferré, 3rd elected governor of Puerto Rico (1969–1973); philanthropist who donated Museo de Arte de Ponce to the people of Puerto Rico; industrialist who founded the Puerto Rico Cement Company and Ponce Cement, Inc., and developed Puerto Rico Iron Works into a successful foundry
- Rafael Hernández Colón, 4th elected governor of Puerto Rico (1973–1977 and 1985–1993)
- Juan Bernardo Huyke, second Puerto Rican native to serve as temporary Governor of Puerto Rico; in 1923, he served as interim governor between the administrations of Emmet Montgomery Reily and Horace Mann Towner
- Luis Muñoz Marín, 1st elected governor of Puerto Rico, (1949–1965)
- Jesús T. Piñero, first Puerto Rican to be named governor of the Island by a U.S. President (1946–1949)
- Carlos Romero Barceló, 5th elected governor of Puerto Rico (1977–1985)
- Pedro Rosselló, 6th elected governor of Puerto Rico (1993–2001)
- Roberto Sánchez Vilella, 2nd elected governor of Puerto Rico (1965–1969)
- Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, 8th elected governor of Puerto Rico (2005–2009)
- Sila Calderón, 7th elected and first female governor of Puerto Rico (2001–2005)
- Luis Fortuño, 9th elected governor of Puerto Rico (2009–2013)
- Alejandro García Padilla, 10th elected governor of Puerto Rico (2013- )
First Ladies of Puerto Rico
- Conchita Dapena, First Lady of Puerto Rico (1965–1966)
- Kate Donnelly, First Lady of Puerto Rico (1977–1985); Trustee of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico
- Luisa Gándara, First Lady of Puerto Rico (2005–2009)
- Lila Mayoral Wirshing, youngest First Lady of Puerto Rico (1973–1977, 1985–1992)
- Inés Mendoza, First Lady of Puerto Rico (1949–1965); revered teacher and cultural leader
- Jeannette Ramos, First Lady of Puerto Rico (1967–1969)
- Lucé Vela, First Lady of Puerto Rico (2009–2013)
- Wilma Pastrana, First Lady of Puerto Rico (2013-)
- Irma Margarita "Maga" Neváres, First Lady of Puerto Rico (1993–2001)
- Iñigo Abbad y Lasierra, first historian (Spanish) to extensively document Puerto Rico's history, nationality and culture.
- Delma S. Arrigoitia, historian, author; first person in the University of Puerto Rico to earn a master's degree in the field of history; in 2010, her book, Puerto Rico Por Encima de Todo: Vida y Obra de Antonio R. Barceló, 1868–1938, was recognized among the best in the category of "research and criticism" and awarded a first place prize by the Ateneo Puertorriqueño.
- Pilar Barbosa, University of Puerto Rico professor; author; first modern-day Official Historian of Puerto Rico.
- Salvador Brau, historian, the 1st Official Historian of Puerto Rico.
- Cayetano Coll y Toste, writer.
- Adolfo de Hostos, historian.
- Luis González Vale, historian.
- Francisco Lluch Mora, known for his legendary book Orígenes y Fundación de Ponce y Otras Noticias Relativas a su Desarrollo Urbano, Demográfico y Cultural (Siglos XVI-XIX).
- Eduardo Neumann Gandía, historian, known for his 19th-century History of Ponce.
- Francisco Mariano Quiñones, historian; first Official Historian of Puerto Rico.
- Antonio Mirabal, historian, poet and writer.
- Andres Ramos Mattei, historian.
- Antonio Santiago Rodríguez, military historian.
- José Julián Acosta, journalist and advocate of the abolition of slavery
- José Andino y Amezquita, first Puerto Rican journalist
- María Celeste Arrarás, anchor for Al Rojo Vivo
- Isabel Cuchí Coll, journalist and author; granddaughter of Cayetano Coll y Toste and niece of José Coll y Cuchí; served as Director of the "Sociedad de Autores Puertorriqueños
- Lynda Baquero, reporter, WNBC in New York City
- Bárbara Bermudo, journalist; co-host of Univision's Primer Impacto.
- Marysol Castro, co-host of ABC's Good Morning America.
- Christopher Crommett, Atlanta-based Executive Vice President of CNN en Español
- Carmen Dominicci, co-host of Univision's Primer Impacto
- Manuel Fernández Juncos, journalist; lyricist who wrote the lyrics to "La Borinqueña".
- Juan González, New York City investigative journalist.
- Aníbal González Irizarry, former newscaster for Telenoticias en acción.
- Jackie Guerrido, journalist and meteorologist for Univisions Despierta América.
- Kimberly Guilfoyle, Court TV journalist; former First Lady of San Francisco (Puerto Rican mother)
- Taina Hernández, former ABC News television journalist.
- César Andreu Iglesias, founding editor of Claridad newspaper; novelist/political activist
- Carmen Jovet, journalist, first Puerto Rican woman named news anchor in Puerto Rico.
- Michele LaFountain, anchor for the Spanish version of ESPN Sports Center.
- Alycia Lane, journalist and news anchor on KYW-TV in Philadelphia.
- Lynda López, New York City television news personality; sister of Jennifer Lopez.
- Natalie Morales, journalist and news anchor on NBC's The Today Show.
- Denisse Oller, Emmy Award-winning New York City television news anchor.
- Audrey Puente, 'New York City meteorologist; daughter of Tito Puente
- Carlos D. Ramirez, publisher of El Diario La Prensa, New York City's largest Spanish-language newspaper
- Jorge L. Ramos, Emmy Award-winning New York City television news anchor.
- Geraldo Rivera, attorney, journalist, writer, reporter and former talk show host; hosts the newsmagazine program Geraldo at Large, and appears regularly on Fox News Channel.
- Darlene Rodriguez, New York City television news anchor
- Rubén Sánchez, radio and television journalist
- Edna Schmidt, anchor for Telefutura.
- Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.* Guillermo José Torres, journalist and news anchor for WAPA-TV
- Elizabeth Vargas, television journalist; former co-anchor of ABC World News Tonight
- Antonio Vélez Alvarado, journalist; "father of the Puerto Rican flag".
- Jane Velez-Mitchell, anchor for the HLN news network (Puerto Rican mother)
Judges, law enforcement and firefighters
- Cathy Bissoon, judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; first Hispanic female Article III judge in Pennsylvania
- José Andreu García, former PR Chief Justice and sports official
- José A. Cabranes, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge; first Puerto Rican to serve as a federal judge in the continental United States, mentioned as possible U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice
- Jose A. Diaz, Administrative Law Judge, N.Y.S.D.M.V. (1985–2001)
- Albert Diaz, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge; first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic Judge to serve the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; former Appellate Judge for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
- Luis Estrella Martínez, youngest Associate Justice, at 39, of the current 9-member Puerto Rico Supreme Court
- Julio M. Fuentes, 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge; first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic judge to serve the Third Circuit Court of Appeals
- Gustavo Gelpí, U.S. District Judge; youngest United States District Judge (2006–present)
- Federico Hernández Denton, Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court; Puerto Rico's first Consumer Affairs Secretary; current Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court
- Dora Irizarry, Federal District Judge; first female Hispanic state judge in New York
- Erick Kolthoff, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico; first Puerto Rican of African descent to be named Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico
- Victor Marrero, Circuit Judge
- Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; first lesbian Latina ever to be nominated by a U.S. President, in this case President Obama, to serve as a federal judge
- Roberto Rivera-Soto, first Puerto Rican and Latino New Jersey State Supreme Court Justice
- Clemente Ruiz Nazario, first Puerto Rican U.S. Federal Judge of Puerto Rico
- Vanessa Ruiz, Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest court for the District of Columbia
- A. Cecil Snyder, controversial Chief Justice and U.S. attorney in Puerto Rico
- Sonia Sotomayor, first Puerto Rican woman to serve as an (2nd Cir.) U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge and the first Hispanic to be nominated and confirmed as U.S. Associate Supreme Court Justice
- Juan R. Torruella, first Puerto Rican to serve as Chief Judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeals
- José Trías Monge, former Chief Justice, Attorney General of Puerto Rico, author
- Carmen Consuelo Vargas, first female Puerto Rican federal district judge and Chief Judge
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Joe Sánchez, highly decorated former New York City police officer and author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department
- Pedro Toledo, retired FBI senior agent and longest-serving state police superintendent
- Raúl Gándara-Cartagena, first and longest-serving Commonwealth fire chief in Puerto Rico, 1942–1972
- Carlos M. Rivera, former Fire Commissioner of the City of New York; first Hispanic commissioner in the New York City Fire Department's 127-year history
- Agüeybaná II, Cacique of "Borikén" (Puerto Rico); led the Taínos in the fight against Juan Ponce de León and the conquistadores in the Taíno Rebellion of 1511
- 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.
- 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.
- 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"
- 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
- 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)
- Ramón Acha Caamaño, Brigadier General, Spanish Army; defended the city of San Juan against the U.S. attack of Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War; awarded the Cruz de la Orden de Merito Naval 1ra clase (The Cross of the Order of the Naval Merit 1st class) by the Spanish government for his role in the rescue of the cargo of the Spanish transoceanic steamer SS Antonio López
- Juan Alonso Zayas, 2nd Lieutenant, Spanish Army; commander of the 2nd Expeditionary Battalion of the Spanish Army stationed in Baler which fought in the Siege of Baler in the Philippines
- Francisco Gonzalo Marín, Lieutenant, Cuban Liberation Army; considered by many as the designer of the Puerto Rican flag; a poet and journalist; fought alongside José Martí for Cuba's independence
- Demetrio O'Daly, first Puerto Rican to reach the rank of Field Marshal in the Spanish Army; first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Cruz Laureada de San Fernando (Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand – Spain's version of the Medal of Honor); elected as delegate to the Spanish Courts in representation of Puerto Rico
- Luis Padial, Brigadier General, Spanish Army; in 1863, his battalion was deployed with the intention of "squashing" a pro-independence rebellion in the Dominican Republic, in which he was wounded; played an essential role in the abolishment of slavery in Puerto Rico
- Ramón Power y Giralt, Captain, Spanish Navy; a distinguished naval officier who from 1808–1809 led the defense of the Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) against an invasion from Napoleon's French forces by enforcing a blockade in support of the Spanish ground troops
- Ángel Rivero Méndez, Captain, Spanish Army; fired the first shot against the United States in the Spanish–American War in Puerto Rico; later invented Kola Champagne, a soft drink
- Juan Ríus Rivera, Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Liberation Army; fought in El Grito de Lares under the command of Mathias Brugman; fought in Cuba's Ten Years' War (1868–1878) against Spain under the command of General Máximo Gómez and became the General of the Cuban Liberation Army of the West upon the death of General Antonio Maceo Grajales
- Augusto Rodríguez, Lieutenant, United States Union Army; member of the 15th Connecticut Regiment (a.k.a. Lyon Regiment) and served in the defenses of Washington, D.C.; led his men in the Battles of Fredericksburg and Wyse Fork in the American Civil War
- Manuel Rojas, Commander in Chief of the Puerto Rican Liberation Army; on 28 September 1868, he led 800 men and women in a revolt against Spanish rule and took the town of Lares in what is known as the Grito de Lares
- José Semidei Rodríguez, Brigadier General, Cuban Liberation Army; fought in Cuba's War of Independence (1895–1898); after Cuba gained its independence he continued to serve there as a diplomat
- Antonio Valero de Bernabé, Brigadier General in the Latin American wars of independence; fought against the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Siege of Saragossa; joined the Mexican Revolutionary Army headed by Agustín de Iturbide and was named Chief of Staff; successfully fought for Mexico's independence from Spain; fought alongside Simón Bolívar and helped liberate South America from Spanish Colonial rule; known as the "Puerto Rican Liberator"
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Richard Carmona, Vice Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; served as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States under President George W. Bush
- 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
- Carlos Fernando Chardón, Major General, Puerto Rico National Guard; Secretary of State of Puerto Rico from 1969 to 1973 and the Puerto Rico Adjutant General from 1973 to 1975
- Felix M. Conde-Falcon, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 21 March 1915, under the orders of then-Lieutenant Teófilo Marxuach, he manned a machine gun and opened fire on the Odenwald, an armed German supply ship trying to force its way out of the San Juan Bay
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Alberto Díaz, Jr., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy; the first Hispanic to become the Director of the San Diego Naval Medical District
- 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
- 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
- Michelle Fraley (née Hernández), Colonel, U.S. Arm; 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Lester Martínez López, MPH, Major General, U.S. Army; first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command
- Gilberto José Marxuach, Colonel, U.S. Army; son of Teofilo Marxuach; the "father of the San Juan civil defense"
- 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, forcing the Odenwald to stop and to return to port where its supplies were confiscated
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Juan E. Negrón, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army; received the Medal of Honor posthumously on 18 March 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 28 April 1951.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Frederick Lois Riefkohl, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
Riefkohl was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and in World War I became the first Puerto Rican to be awarded the Navy Cross.
- Rudolph W. Riefkohl, Colonel, U.S. Army
Riefkohl played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jaime Sabater, Sr., Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Sabater commanded the 1st Battalion 9th Marines during the Bougainville amphibious operations in World War II.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rafel Toro, Private, U.S. Marine Corps
Toro was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his "extraordinary heroism in battle" 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.
- 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.
- Raúl G. Villaronga, Colonel, U.S. Army
Villaronga was the first Puerto Rican to be elected as Mayor of a Texas city (Killeen).
- Martha Carcana, Colonel, U.S. Army
In 2015, Carcana became the first woman to be named Adjutant General of the Puerto Rican National Guard.
- Iván Castro, Captain, U.S. Army
Castro, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is one of three blind active-duty officers who serves in the US Army and the only blind officer serving in the United States Army Special Forces.
- Ramón Colón-López, Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force
On 13 June 2007, Colon-López a pararescueman, was the first and only Hispanic among the first six airmen to be awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He is the Commandant of the Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer School.
- Olga E. Custodio, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force
Custodio made history when she became the first female Hispanic U.S. military pilot. She holds the distinction of being first Latina to complete U.S. Air Force military pilot training. After retiring from the military she became the first Latina to become a commercial airline captain.
- Emilio Díaz Colón, Major General, U.S. Army; PRNG
Díaz-Colón is the first Superintendent of the Puerto Rican Police who once served as the Adjutant General of the Puerto Rican National Guard.
- Hila Levy, Captain, U.S. Air Force
In 2007 Levy became the first Puerto Rican Rhodes scholar.
- Rafael O'Ferrall, Brigadier General, U.S. Army
O'Ferrall is the first Hispanic and person of Puerto Rican descent to become the Deputy Commanding General for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, Cuba while simultaneously serving as Assistant Adjutant General (Army) and Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Force Headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- María Inés Ortiz, Captain, U.S. Army
Ortiz, who was of Puerto Rican descent, was the first United States Army nurse to die in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first to die in combat since the Vietnam War.
- Evelio Otero, Jr., Colonel. U.S. Air Force
Otero led the establishment of the first ever U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Qatar. He founded the Polish and Colombian Joint Special Operations Commands while he was assigned to United States Special Operations Command.
- Hector E. Pagan, Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Pagan is the first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to become Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- Lizbeth Robles, U.S. Army
In 2005, SPC Robles was the first female soldier born in Puerto Rico to die in combat as an active soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Maritza Sáenz Ryan, Colonel, U.S. Army
Sáenz Ryan, who is of Puerto Ricana and Spanish descent, is the head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy. She is the first woman and first Hispanic (Puerto Rican and Spanish heritage) West Point graduate to serve as an academic department head. She also has the distinction of also being the most senior ranking Hispanic Judge Advocate.
- Marc H. Sasseville, Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force
On 11 September 2001, then – Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville (whose mother, Yita Joan Frontera Lluch, hailed from Yauco)) was the acting operations group commander under the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard. He was one of four fighter pilots commissioned with finding and destroying United Flight 93 by any means necessary, including ramming the aircraft in midair.
- Frances M. Vega, SPC, U.S. Army
On 2 November 2003, Vega became the first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to die in a combat zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Maria Zumwalt, Colonel, U. S. Army
Zumwalt, a native of Bayamón, was the commander of the 48th Chemical Brigade.
Physicians, scientists and inventors
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Víctor Manuel Blanco, astronomer
In 1959, Blanco discovered a "Blanco 1", a galactic cluster. 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. In 1995, the telescope was dedicated in his honor and named the "Víctor M. Blanco Telescope" and is also known as the "Blanco 4m."
- Rafael L. Bras, former chair of Civil Engineering at MIT
A leading expert on hydrometeorology and global warming.
- Anthony M. Busquets, electronic engineer, aerospace technologist
Busquets is involved in the development and application of multifunction control/display switch technology in 1983 and Development and application of a microprocessor-based I/O system for simulator use in 1984.
- Carlos E. Chardón a.k.a. the "Father of Mycology in Puerto Rico"
Chardón is the first Puerto Rican mycologist. Discovered the aphid "Aphis maidis", the vector of the mosaic of sugar cane, in 1922. Author of the "Chardón Plan" and first Puerto Rican to hold the position of Chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico.
- 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. 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Alfonso Eaton, mechanical engineer, aerospace technologist
First Puerto Rican to work for NASA.
- Enectalí Figueroa-Feliciano, astronaut applicant and astrophysicist in NASA
Figueroa pioneered the development of position-sensitive detectors.
- Orlando Figueroa, mechanical engineer at NASA
Previously 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- Mario R. García Palmieri, cardiologist
García Palmieri is the first Hispanic to be designated a "Master" by the American College of Cardiology.
- Sixto González scientist
First Puerto Rican Director of the Arecibo Observatory the world's largest single dish radio telescope.
- 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]
- Isaac González Martínez, urologist
González Martínez was the first Puerto Rican urologist and a pioneer in the fight against cancer in the island.
- 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.
- Amri Hernández-Pellerano, NASA engineer
Hernández-Pellerano designs, builds and tests the electronics that will regulate the solar array power in order to charge the spacecraft battery and distribute power to the different loads or users inside various spacecraft at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
- Gloria Hernandez, physical scientist, aerospace technologist
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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 and more than 120 published patent applications.
- 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.
- Mercedes Reaves, research engineer and scientist
Reaves is responsible for the design of a viable full-scale solar sail and the development and testing of a scale model solar sail at NASA Langley Research Center.
- Ron Rivera, inventor and workshop organizer
Invented life-saving water filters based on pottery.
- 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.
- 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.
- Miguel Rodríguez, mechanical engineer
Chief of the Integration Office of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas, dental scientist.
Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas discovered the bacteria which causes dental cavity.
- Monserrate Roman, scientist, microbiologist
Monserrate Roman helped build the International Space Station.
- Gualberto Ruaño, biotechnology pioneer and founder of Genomas, Inc.
Ruaño is a pioneer in the field of personalized medicine and the inventor of molecular diagnostic systems, Coupled Amplification and Sequencing (CAS) System (U.S. patent 5,427,911), used worldwide for the management of viral diseases. Ruaño is President and Founder of Genomas, a genetics-related company and now the bio-tech anchor of Hartford Hospital's Genetic Research Center; he serves as Director of genetics research at the Center.
- 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.
- Eduardo Santiago Delpín, surgeon
Santiago Delpín wrote the first book in Spanish about organ transplant.
- 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.
- Diego R. Solís, physician
Solís made Puerto Rican medical history when he performed the first simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant in Puerto Rico.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fermín Tangüis, scientist, agriculturist and entrepreneur
Tangüis developed the Tanguis cotton in Peru and saved that nation's cotton industry.
- 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".
- Román Baldorioty de Castro
"The Father of Puerto Rico's Autonomy".
- José Celso Barbosa
"The Father of Puerto Rico's Statehood Movement"
- Eugenio María de Hostos a.k.a. "El Ciudadano de las Américas" (The Citizen of the Americas)
Educator, philosopher, intellectual, lawyer, sociologist, and independence advocate.
- José M. Dávila Monsanto, Senator, politician and lawyer
Dávila Monsanto was a co-founder of the "Partido Popular Democrático de Puerto Rico".
- José de Diego "The Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement"
De Diego was then elected to the House of Delegates, the only locally elected body of government allowed by the U.S., and which De Diego presided from 1904 to 1917
- Federico Degetau
The first resident commissioner to the United States.
- José María Marxuach Echavarría (1848–1910)
Marxuach Echavarría was the only Puerto Rican to serve as the Mayor of San Juan under both Spanish and American rule. He served in 1897 for the Liberal Reformista Party and again from 1900–01 for the Puerto Rican Republican Party.
- Antonio Mattei Lluberas (1857–1908)
Leader of the second and last major revolt against Spanish colonial rule in Puerto Rico in what is known as the Intentona de Yauco of 1897. Mattei Lluberas served as Mayor of Yauco from 1904-06.
- Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón
Matienzo Cintrón was a political leader who in his early political career favored Puerto Rican statehood and later became an advocate for Puerto Rico's independence and founder of the Independence Party of Puerto Rico.
- Luis Muñoz Rivera
Former Resident Commissioner, journalist, politician (father of Luis Muñoz Marín).
- Ramón Power y Giralt
First Vice President of the Cortes de Cádiz (1810–1813).
- Francisco Mariano Quiñones
The first president of Puerto Rico's Autonomic Cabinet.
- Francisco Ramírez Medina
President of the Republic of Puerto Rico (23 September 1868), during the Grito de Lares revolt.
- Segundo Ruiz Belvis
Leader of the Grito de Lares revolt.
- Manuel Zeno Gandía
Leader of cooperative movement in Puerto Rico.
- Baltasar Corrada del Rio
Former Resident Commissioner 1977-1985. Mayor of San Juan 1985-1989. 1988 NPP gubernatorial candidate. Secretary of State 1992-1995. Supereme Court Justice 1995-2005.
- Héctor Luis Acevedo
Former Mayor of San Juan, 1996 PDP gubernatorial candidate.
- Pedro Albizu Campos
President and principal leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.
- José S. Alegría
Poet, writer, lawyer and politician. Alegría was a founding member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and president of the political organization from 1928-30.
- Santos P. Amadeo
"Champion of Hábeas Corpus" and former Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature.
- María Luisa Arcelay
First woman in Puerto Rico elected to a government legislative body.
- José Enrique Arrarás, Politician, educator, attorney, public servant and sports leader.
- Carmen E. Arroyo
First Puerto Rican woman elected to any state assembly, chair New York Hispanic Legislative Caucus.
- Herman Badillo
First Puerto Rican to serve in U.S. Congress.
- Joaquín Balaguer
Former president of Dominican Republic (Puerto Rican father).
- Antonio R. Barceló
Founder of the Puerto Rican Liberal Party, first president of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
- Ángel O. Berríos
Former Mayor of Caguas.
- Rubén Berríos
President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP).
- Ramón Emeterio Betances
"The Father of the Puerto Rican Nation", main leader of the Grito de Lares revolution.
- Juan Bosch
Former president of Dominican Republic (Puerto Rican mother).
- Adolfo Carrión, Jr.
Former Bronx (New York City) borough president
- Adam Clayton Powell IV
former member of the New York State Assembly.
- Severo Colberg Ramírez
served as a member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, and was the Speaker from 1982 to 1985.
- Gilberto Concepción de Gracia
Founder of the Puerto Rican Independence Party.
- Cayetano Coll y Cuchí
The first President of Puerto Rico House of Representatives.
- José Coll y Cuchí
Founder of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.
- Maria Colón Sánchez
Colón Sánchez was an activist and politician who in 1988, became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly.
- Rafael Cordero
Former Mayor of Ponce.
- Miguel del Valle
Illinois State Senator, first Latino City Clerk of Chicago, and 2011 mayoral candidate.
- Nelson Antonio Denis
Former New York State Assemblyman
- Rubén Díaz
New York State Senator and religious leader.
- Pedro Espada, Jr.
New York State Senator
- Antonio Fernós-Isern
First Puerto Rican cardiologist and Resident Commissioner.
- Leopoldo Figueroa
Co-founder of the "Independence Association", one of three political organizations which merged to form the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. Figueroa, had changed political ideals and in 1948, was a member of the Partido Estadista Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Statehood Party). That year, he was the only member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives who did not belong to the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico PPD, who opposed the PPD's approval of the infamous Law 53, also known as "Puerto Rico's Gag Law" and "Ley de La Mordaza", which violated the civil rights of those who favor(ed) Puerto Rican independence.
- Maurice Ferre
Former Mayor of Miami, Florida.
- Fernando Ferrer
Former Bronx (New York City) borough president and New York City mayoral candidate.
- Rogelio Figueroa
2008 gubernatorial candidate and founder of Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party (PPR).
- Bonnie García
Former California State Assemblywoman.
- Robert Garcia
Former New York State Assemblyman, State Senator and U.S. Representative.
- Oscar García Rivera, Sr.
Former New York State Assemblyman, in 1937 he became the first Puerto Rican to be elected to public office in the continental United States and in 1956, he also became the first Puerto Rican to be nominated as the Republican candidate for Justice of the City Court.
- Miguel A. García Méndez
Youngest Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico's history. The Mayagüez General Post Office was named after him.
- Luis Gutiérrez
United States Representative from Illinois.
- Santiago Iglesias
Founder of the first Puerto Rico Socialist Party, labor activist and former Resident Commissioner.
- Margarita López
Former New York City Council member and political activist.
- Juan Francisco Luis
24th governor of the United States Virgin Islands, serving from 1978 to 1987.
- Martin Malave Dilan
New York State Senator
- Evelyn Mantilla
Connecticut House of Representatives.
- Juan Mari Brás
Founder of the Movimiento Pro Independencia and the modern Puerto Rican Socialist Party.
- Olga A. Méndez
First Puerto Rican New York State Senator.
- Rosie Méndez
New York City councilwoman/activist.
- Teodoro Moscoso
Architect of Operation Bootstrap, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela (1961–1964).
- Victoria Muñoz Mendoza
1992 PDP candidate for governor (daughter of Luis Muñoz Marín).
- Luis Muñoz Rivera
Senator, last surviving drafter of Puerto Rico Constitution.
- Félix Ortiz
New York State Assemblyman, author of nation's first cellphone driving ban.
- George Pabey
Mayor of East Chicago, Indiana.
- Hernán Padilla
Former Mayor of San Juan, founder Puerto Rican Renewal Party.
- Antonio Pagán
Former New York City Council member.
- Eddie Perez
Former Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut.
- Adam Clayton Powell IV
New York State Assemblyman, son of former congressman.
- Samuel R. Quiñones
Longest serving President of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
- Ernesto Ramos Antonini
Former Speaker of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives.
- Charles Rangel
United States Congressman (Puerto Rican father).
- Roberto Rexach Benítez
Former Senate President, educator, current columnist for the El Vocero newspaper.
- Felisa Rincón de Gautier
First woman to be elected Mayor of a capital city in the Americas (Western Hemisphere).
- Ramón Luis Rivera
Mayor of Bayamón 1977–2001.
- Samuel Rivera
Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey.
- María de Lourdes Santiago
Only female Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP) member to be elected to the Puerto Rican Senate..
- Manuela Santiago Collazo
Mayor of Vieques (1985–2000).
- Jorge Santini
Former three-term Mayor of San Juan and Vice President of the New Progressive Party, former senator.
- José E. Serrano
Most senior Puerto Rican congressman, Chair of House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services.
- Gloria Tristani
First Hispanic woman appointed as one of the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
- Nydia Velázquez
First Puerto Rican congresswoman, Chair of House Small Business Committee.
- Raúl G. Villaronga
First Puerto Rican to be elected mayor in Texas (Killeen).
- Richard Carmona
17th Surgeon General of the United States.
- Ruth Noemí Colón
66th Secretary of State for the State of New York.
- Pedro Cortés
Pennsylvania's former Secretary of the Commonwealth, Past President of National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).
- Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez
Former Secretary of State for the State of New York.
- Rubén Díaz, Jr.
Former New York State Assemblyman and Bronx Borough President (2009–present).
- Wilda Diaz
First female mayor of Perth Amboy, New Jersey and first Puerto Rican woman elected mayor in that state. She is Perth Amboy's first female mayor and New Jersey's first Latina mayor.
- Jenniffer González
Former Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.
- Raúl Labrador
Congressman representing Idaho's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Kenneth McClintock
13th President of the Puerto Rico Senate, and 22nd Secretary of State/Lieutenant Governor of Puerto Rico.
- Hiram Monserrate
former New York State Senator.
- Antonia Novello
14th Surgeon General of the U.S.; Vice Admiral, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
- Cesar A. Perales
67th Secretary of State of New York
- Pedro Pierluisi
Former Attorney General of PR, Resident Commissioner, 2008–present, and NPP President, 2013–present.
- Roberto Prats
Co-chair of winning Hillary Clinton primary campaign, Democratic State Chair and former senator and PDP congressional candidate.
- John Quiñones
First Republican Party candidate of Puerto Rican ancestry elected to Florida House of Representatives.
- Thomas Rivera Schatz
Fourteenth President of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
- Melinda Romero Donnelly
Three-term at-large legislator, two terms in House, one in Senate Senate.; Caribbean Business journalist.
- Pedro Segarra
Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut.
- Darren Soto
Only Puerto Rican Representative in Florida House of Representatives.
- Benjamin Agosto
figure skater and Olympic medalist, (Puerto Rican father).
- Roberto Alomar
former baseball player, MLB All-Star, third Puerto Rican inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame (2011).
- Sandy Alomar, Jr.
former baseball player.
- Sandy Alomar, Sr.
former baseball player.
- Carmelo Anthony
NBA player, New York Knicks, (Puerto Rican father).
- Orlando Antigua
Born to a Puerto Rican mother, in 1995, the first Hispanic and the first non-black in 52 years to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
- Chris Armas
soccer player, (Puerto Rican mother).
- Carlos Arroyo
former NBA player, member and captain of the Puerto Rican national basketball team.
- Harry Arroyo
boxer, former IBF Lightweight Champion.
- Nolan Arenado
baseball player, Colorado Rockies, (Puerto Rican mother).
- Jake Arrieta
baseball player, Chicago Cubs, (Puerto Rican grandfather).
- Javier Báez
baseball player, Chicago Cubs.
- Juan Báez
former basketball player, most recent recipient of Puerto Rico Olympic Medal of Honor.
- José Juan Barea
NBA player, Minnesota Timberwolves; first Puerto Rican to play for winning team in the NBA Finals.
- María Elena Batista
Olympic, PanAm and Central American games swimmer.
- Eddie Belmonte
thoroughbred racing jockey.
- Carlos Beltrán
baseball, outfielder/Designated Hitter Texas Rangers.
- Wilfred Benítez
boxer, member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- David "Kike" Bernier
retired fencer, former Secretary of Sports and Recreation.
- Hiram Bithorn
baseball player, first Puerto Rican in Major League Baseball.
- Kristina Brandi
- Devin Booker
NBA player, Phoenix Suns, (Puerto Rican mother).
- Iván Calderón
- Iván Calderón
- Hector 'Macho' Camacho
boxer/ former world champion and member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Fernando J. Canales
swimmer, first Puerto Rican to reach final Championships.
- Pedro Miguel Caratini
- Orlando Cepeda
baseball player, member of Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Pedro Anibal Cepeda a.k.a. "Perucho" and "The Bull"
baseball player and father of Orlando Cepeda. He was known as "The Babe Ruth of Puerto Rico".
- Nero Chen
boxer, Chen was Puerto Rico's first professional boxer.
- Julie Chu
Olympic ice hockey player who played the position of forward on the United States women's ice hockey team. She is of Chinese and Puerto Rican descent.
- Conchita Cintrón
Bullfighter (Puerto Rican father)
- Kermit Cintrón
boxer, former International Boxing Federation welterweight champion (2006–08).
- Roberto Clemente
3,000-hit baseball player, first Puerto Rican member of Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Abdiel Colberg
first Hispanic pro-rollerblader.
- Rebekah Colberg
known as "The Mother of Puerto Rican Women's Sports", Colberg participated in various athletic competitions in the 1938 Central American and Caribbean Games celebrated in Panama where she won the Gold Medals in Discus and Javelin throw.
- Carlitos Colon
former professional wrestler and member of the WWE Hall of Fame
- Carly Colón
- Ángel Cordero, Jr.
jockey, member of Jockey Hall of Fame.
- Carlos Correa
first pick of the 2012 MLB Draft, 2015 AL Rookie of the Year.
- Maritza Correia
first black Puerto Rican woman in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team.
- Joe Cortez
boxing referee; member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Carla Cortijo
basketball player, first Puerto Rican born female to play in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is a guard for the Atlanta Dream.
- Miguel Cotto
professional boxer, former light welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight world champion.
- Eva Cruz
- José Cruz
baseball player whose number was retired by the Astros.
- Orlando Cruz
boxer; first professional boxer to publicly announced he is gay.
- Teófilo Cruz
- Victor Cruz
NFL football player
- Javier Culson
Olympic athlete and Olympic bronze medalist who specialises in the 400 metre hurdles.
- Christian Dalmau
BSN basketball player.
- Raymond Dalmau
- Carlos De León
first boxer to win cruiserweight world title four times.
- Esteban De Jesús
boxer, former world champion.
- Madeline de Jesús
Athlete, runner short track, long-jump, triple jump, gold, silver and bronze medallist, participant to 2 Olympic Games.
- Carlos Delgado
former baseball player, New York Mets.
- Edwin Díaz
baseball player, Seattle Mariners.
- Ivelisse Echevarría
inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame (2003).
- Alfredo Escalera
boxer, former world champion.
- Alfredo L. Escalera
baseball player, youngest player ever drafted by an MLB organization. drafted in 2012 by the Kansas City Royals franchise.
- Nino Escalera
baseball player, first Hispanic in the Reds franchise.
- Sixto Escobar
boxer, first Puerto Rican world champion and member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Ángel Espada
- 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, the first Puerto Rican woman to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
- 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.
- Ed Figueroa
baseball pitcher, first Puerto Rican to win 20 games in Major League.
- Enrique Figueroa
- Rubén Gómez
first Puerto Rican to pitch and win World Series game.
- Wilfredo Gómez
boxer/former world champion and member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Arístides González
boxer, first Olympic medalist under flag of Puerto Rico, 1984 Summer Olympics.
- Jorge González
- Juan González
former baseball player.
- Herbert Lewis Hardwick a.k.a. "Cocoa Kid"
boxer – He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012.
- Ivonne Harrison
track and field athlete.
- Aaron Hernandez
NFL football player and former member of the New England Patriots.
- James Chico Hernandez
wrestling champion and member of the Latin-American Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
- Laurie Hernandez
Olympic gold and silver medalist. Member of the United States women's gymnastics team.
- Ramón Hernández
former baseball player
- Reggie Jackson
baseball player, member of Baseball Hall of Fame (Puerto Rican father).
- Julio Kaplan
chess International Master & former World Junior Chess Champion.
- Anita Lallande
former Olympic swimmer, holds the island record for most medals won at CAC Games with a total of 17 and 10 gold.
- AJ Lee
WWE Divas Champion.
- Alfred Lee,
basketball player, first Puerto Rican to play in NBA and to play on the NBA play-offs as a member of the 79-80 Los Angeles Lakers.
- Angelita Lind
track and field athlete.
- Francisco Lindor
baseball player, Cleveland Indians.
- Laura Daniela Lloreda
member of the Mexican national volleyball team.
- Javy López
baseball player, Atlanta Braves.
- Mike Lowell
baseball player, Boston Red Sox.
- Felix Magath
German soccer star and coach (Puerto Rican father).
- Edgar Martínez
former baseball player.
- Pamela Rose Martinez a.k.a. "Bayley"
WWE female wrestler.
- Denise Masino
- Mark Medal
boxer, former IBF Light Middleweight Champion.
- Orlando Melendez a.k.a. "El Gato"
In 2008, became the first Puerto Rican born basketball player to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.
- Alberto Mercado
- Jerome Mincy
- John John Molina
boxer/former world champion.
- José Molina
- Pedro Montañez
boxer and member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Mario Morales
BSN basketball player.
- Pedro Morales
wrestler, member of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame.
- Jonny Moseley
skier, first Puerto Rican member of the U.S. Ski Team.
- Luis Olmo
first Puerto Rican to hit home run in World Series.
- Fres Oquendo
- John Orozco
- 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.
- Raúl Papaleo
Puerto Rican National Volleyball Team.
- Charlie Pasarell
- Ernesto Pastor
bullfighter and only Puerto Rican member of the Bullfighting Hall of Fame.
- Victor Pellot, a.k.a. "Vic Power"
baseball player, second black Puerto Rican in Major League Baseball.
- Jorge Posada
baseball player, New York Yankees.
- Mónica Puig
tennis player, the first Puerto Rican female medalist in any sport to win Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medal.
- Carlos Quintana
professional boxer, former World Boxing Organization's welterweight champion.
- Peter John Ramos
former NBA and International basketball player.
- Rico Ramos
- Héctor Ramos
professional football player, Puerto Rico national football team captain and top scorer.
- Germán Rieckehoff
former president of Puerto Rican Olympic Committee.
- Ramón Rivas
NBA and International basketball player.
- Antonio Rivera
boxer a.k.a. "El Gallo" WBA Super Welterweight Champion.
- Filiberto Rivera
Former UTEP star point guard and former point guard on Puerto Rico national basketball team.
- Jorge Rivera
Mixed martial artist.
- Marco Rivera
NFL football player, first Puerto Rican selected to Pro Bowl.
- Ron Rivera
NFL football player, first Puerto Rican in the National Football League and to coach an NFL team.
- Iván Rodríguez
baseball player, Texas Rangers.
- Rubén Rodríguez
- José "King" Roman
boxer, first Puerto Rican to fight for world heavyweight title.
- Francisco Rosa Rivera
"The Trainer of Stars" personal trainer and self-made bodybuilding entrepreneur.
- Edwin Rosario
boxer, former lightweight and Junior. welterweight champion; member of International Boxing Hall of Fame (2006).
- Juan "Chi-Chi" Rodríguez
golfer, member of Golf Hall of Fame.
- John Ruiz
first Hispanic heavyweight boxing champion.
- Natasha Sagardia female bodyboarding athlete
First Puerto Rican to win a gold medal at the ISA World Surfing Games.
- Alex Sánchez
boxer/ former champion.
- Rey Sanchez
- Benito Santiago
former MLB 1987 Rookie of the Year
- Daniel Santiago
former NBA basketball player
- O. J. Santiago
- Samuel Serrano
boxer/ former world champion.
- Jessica Steffens
U.S. Olympic 2012 Gold Medal Winner. (Puerto Rican father)
- Margaret "Maggie" Steffens (Sister of Jessica Steffens)
U.S. Olympic 2012 Gold Medal Winner.
- Julio Toro
- Andrés Torres
baseball player, San Francisco Giants
- Georgie Torres
holds BSN scoring record.
- José Torres
boxer, member of Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Félix Trinidad
boxer/ former world champion.
- Lisa Marie Varon
- Jesse Vassallo
swimmer, current president, PR Swimming Federation and member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
- Javier Vázquez
baseball player, active leader in strikeouts
- Wilfredo Vázquez
boxer/ former champion.
- Savio Vega
former WWF wrestler.
- John R. Velazquez
jockey, member of Jockey Hall of Fame.
- Ada Vélez
first Puerto Rican female boxer, to win a championship.
- Juan Evangelista Venegas
boxer/ first Puerto Rican to win Olympic medal.
- Dick Versace
first person of Puerto Rican descent to have coached an NBA team.
- Juan "Pachín" Vicéns
basketball player, led the Ponce Lions team to six championships.
- Mark Watring
- Bernie Williams
baseball player, New York Yankees.
- Mary Pat Wilson
Olympic Skier, Puerto Rico's first and only female Olympic skier. Wilson was the only woman in the Puerto Rican Ski Team which represented the island in the 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the "XV Olympic Winter Games", celebrated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
- Agüeybaná (Great Sun), Supreme Taíno chief,
Supreme Cacique of Puerto Rico who welcomed Juan Ponce de León to the island
Based in Guayanilla
- Agüeybaná II (The Brave), cacique and brother of Agueybaná,
Led the Taíno rebellion of 1511 against Juan Ponce de León and his men.
Based in Guayanilla
- Arasibo, cacique,
area of Arecibo
- Caguax, cacique,
area of Caguas
- Guarionex, cacique
area of Utuado
- Hayuya, cacique,
area of Jayuya
- Jumacao, cacique,
area of Humacao
- Orocobix, cacique,
area of Orocovis
- Urayoán, cacique,
area that presently spans between Añasco and Mayagüez. Ordered the drowning of Diego Salcedo
- Alfonso Arana
Painter, founder of the Fundación Alfonso Arana.
- Jean-Michel Basquiat
Painter (Puerto Rican mother).
- Tomás Batista
Sculptor of "El Jibaro Puertorriqueño" monument and Zeno Gandía statue.
- Ángel Botello
Painter and sculptor.
- Antonio Broccoli Porto
Painter and sculptor from San Juan.
- José Buscaglia Guillermety
- Luis Germán Cajiga
Painter most known for his silk screening technique.
- Javier Cambre
Sculptor, photographer, video artist.
- José Campeche
- José Caraballo
Artist born 1930, President of Hispanic Art League 1979.
- Lindsay Daen
New Zealand-born artist, sculptor of La Rogativa statue in San Juan.
- Jan D'Esopo
Painter and sculptor.
- Elizam Escobar
Painter and activist.
- James De La Vega
- Ramón Frade
Artist and architect.
- Obed Gómez
Contemporary artist known as the "Puerto Rican Picasso"
- Vilma G. Holland
- Lorenzo Homar
- Antonio López
- Soraida Martinez
Contemporary painter known for creating socially conscious Verdadism art style since 1992.
- Antonio Martorell
Painter and graphic artist.
- Ralph Ortiz
Visual artist and founder of the El Museo del Barrio
- Francisco Oller
impressionist artist & painter.
- María de Mater O'Neill
Painter, educator, and graphic artist
- María Luisa Penne
Painter, educator, and graphic artist
- Manuel Rivera-Ortiz
- Julio Rosado del Valle
Internationally known abstract expressionist.
- Samuel E Vázquez
Abstract Expressionist Painter 
- Arthur Aviles
- Jose Baez
Criminal defense attorney; notable for his defense of accused child murderer Casey Anthony.
- Marie Haydée Beltrán Torres
Nationalist and former political prisoner.
- Wilo Benet
Celebrity chef, owner of Payá and Pikayo restaurants.
- Felipe Birriel
"El Gigante de Carolina", was the tallest Puerto Rican.
- David Blaine
Illusionist/magician (Puerto Rican father).
- Elisa Colberg
Founder of the Puerto Rican Girl Scouts.
- Inez García
Cause celebre of the feminist movement.
- Juan Manuel García Passalacqua
Political commentator, lawyer.
- Félix Rigau Carrera
The first Puerto Rican pilot and the first pilot to fly on air mail carrying duties in Puerto Rico.
- Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan
formerly world's oldest person.
- Ángel Juarbe, Jr.
Reality television contest winner/New York City firefighter who died in September 11 attacks.
- Crazy Legs
Breakdancer, president of Rock Steady Crew.
- Clara Livingston
Puerto Rico's first female aviator.
- Emiliano Mercado del Toro
One-time world's oldest person; oldest verified military veteran ever.
- Filiberto Ojeda Ríos
"Commander in chief" ("Responsible General") of the Boricua Popular Army.
- Richard Peña
Film festival organizer (New York Film Festival); professor of film studies at Columbia University.
- Jai Rodríguez
Television personality (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy).
- José Rodríguez
Head of CIA division (2004–2008)
- Xavier Romeu
Controversial PRIDCO Executive Director.
- Antulio "Kobbo" Santarrosa
"La Cháchara", "La Condesa", "La Comay".
- Jock Soto
Principal ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet.
- Filipo Tirado
Nationalist and former political prisoner.
- Carlos Alberto Torres
Nationalist and former political prisoner.
- Manuel A. Torres
Puerto Rico's first Electoral Comptroller, and longest serving modern Secretary of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
- Daryl Vaz
Minister of Information and Telecommunication for Jamaica (Puerto Rican mother)
|Part of a series on|
|Puerto Rican people|
|By broad subjects|
- Lists of people by nationality
- List of Stateside Puerto Ricans
- List of Puerto Rican military personnel
- List of Puerto Ricans in the United States Space Program
- List of Puerto Ricans of African descent
- List of Major League Baseball players from Puerto Rico
- List of Puerto Rican boxing world champions
- List of Puerto Rican scientists and inventors
- List of Puerto Rican Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
- List of Puerto Rican Presidential Citizens Medal recipients
- History of women in Puerto Rico
- List of People from Ponce, Puerto Rico
- Cultural diversity in Puerto Rico
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’Giannina Braschi, a poet, essayist and novelist often described as cutting-edge, influential and even revolutionary’
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