List of people from San Juan, Puerto Rico

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People from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Flag san juan pr.svg

José Campeche.JPGAugusto Rodriquez.jpgJuan Alejo de Arizmendi.jpg
Fermín Tangüis.jpgRafael Cordero.JPGNick Estavillo.JPG
First row
José Campeche • Augusto Rodríguez • Juan Alejo de Arizmendi
Second row
Fermín Tangüis • Rafael Cordero • Nicholas Estavillo

This is a list of notable people who were either born in San Juan, Puerto Rico or who were not born in San Juan, but who are or were longtime residents of the city. San Juan has been the birthplace and the place of residence of many Puerto Ricans and people who are not of Puerto Rican heritage who became notable artists, military personnel, politicians, scientists and sportsmen; locally referred to as "Sanjuaneros". The following lists some of them and details their occupation:

List by profession[edit]

Name Profession
Aníbal Acevedo Vilá Former Governor and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
Héctor Luis Acevedo Former Mayor of San Juan and Secretary of State of Puerto Rico
José Miguel Agrelot Actor and comedian, known as "Don Cholito"
Ricardo E. Alegría Anthropologist and archaeologist, known as the "father of modern Puerto Rican archaeology"
Manuel A. Alonso Writer and poet
Juan de Amezquita Member of the Puerto Rican militia who defended Puerto Rico from an invasion by Dutch Captain Balduino Enrico (Boudewijn Hendricksz) in 1625
Ricardo Aponte United States Air Force General; the first Hispanic Director, J-7, of the United States Southern Command, located in Miami, Florida
Félix Arenas Gaspar Puerto Rican Captain in the Spanish Army who was posthumously awarded the Cruz Laureada de San Fernando, the highest military decoration awarded by the Spanish government, for his actions in the Rif War
Juan Alejo de Arizmendi First Puerto Rican to be named Bishop by the Catholic Church
Raymond Ayala Reggaeton singer
Carlos Obed Baerga Ortiz Major League Baseball player
Eddie Benitez Musician
Tomás Blanco Writer and historian
Kristina Brandi Professional tennis player
Giannina Braschi Poet, novelist, dramatist
Sila María Calderón Former governor of Puerto Rico, Secretary of State and mayor of San Juan; the first female governor of Puerto Rico
José Campeche Puerto Rican visual artist
Nitza Margarita Cintron Chief of Space Medicine and Health Care Systems for NASA
Rafael Cordero Educator, known as "the father of public education in Puerto Rico"
Celestina Cordero Educator, in 1820 founded the first school for girls in San Juan
Pedro del Valle First Hispanic General in the Marine Corps; played an instrumental role in the capture of Okinawa in World War II
Deborah Carthy-Deu Miss Universe 1985
Alberto Díaz, Jr. Rear Admiral, first Hispanic Director of the San Diego Naval District and Balboa Naval Hospital
Guillermo Diaz Professional basketball player
Justino Díaz Operatic bass-baritone singer; in 1963, was the first Puerto Rican to win an annual contest held at the Metropolitan Opera of New York
Carmen Lozano Dumler One of the first Puerto Rican women to become a United States Army officer
Nicholas Estavillo First Puerto Rican and the first Hispanic in the history of the NYPD to reach the three-star rank of Chief of Patrol[1]
Cano Estremera Salsa singer
Salvador E. Felices First Puerto Rican to reach the rank of Major General (2-star) in the United States Air Force
Gigi Fernández Professional tennis player; first Puerto Rican woman to win an Olympic gold medal (representing the U.S.) and the first to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Enrique Figueroa Olympic sailor; the only sailor of Puerto Rico to win four gold medals in the Central American-Caribbean Games
Manuel Goded Llopis High-ranking Puerto Rican in the Spanish Army; joined Spanish General Francisco Franco in the revolt against the Spanish Republican government (also known as Spanish loyalists) in the Spanish Civil War
Wilfredo Gómez Former boxer and three-time world champion
Isabel González Activist who paved the way for Puerto Ricans to be given United States citizenship
Diego E. Hernández First Hispanic to be named Vice Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay Actor
Javier López "pitcher" Major League Baseball pitcher
Javy López "catcher" Former Major League Baseball catcher
Mike Lowell Major League Baseball player
Ricky Martin Singer and actor
Tony Martinez Actor, singer, and bandleader
Kenneth McClintock 13th President of the Senate of Puerto Rico; 22nd Secretary of State; former senator and City Councilman
María de las Mercedes Barbudo
First "Independentista", the first Puerto Rican woman to become an advocate of Puerto Rican independence
Luis Muñoz Marín First Puerto Rican elected governor
Andy Montañez Salsa singer
Ossie Ocasio Boxer and former world Cruiserweight champion
Luis Padial Brigadier General in the Spanish Army; politician; important figure in the abolishment of slavery in Puerto Rico
Dr. Hernán Padilla Physician; former Mayor of San Juan; Puerto Rico House Majority Leader
José Enrique Pedreira Musician and composer
Joaquin Phoenix Actor who earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Gladiator and received wider recognition for his portrayal of musician Johnny Cash in Walk the Line
Carlos Ponce Major League Baseball player
José M. Portela Retired officer of the United States Air Force; in 1972 became the youngest C-141 Starlifter aircraft commander
Jorge Posada New York Yankees catcher
Ramón Power y Giralt Among the first native-born Puerto Ricans to refer to himself as a "Puerto Rican" and to fight for the equal representation of Puerto Rico in front of the parliamentary government of Spain
Carlos D. Ramirez (1946–1999) Publisher of El Diario La Prensa[2]
Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano Captain; first Hispanic submarine commanding officer in the United States Navy
Reyna Avila Ramírez-Arellano Praetor, Roman demigod, character in the book series The Heroes of Olympus[3][better source needed].
Felisa Rincón de Gautier Former Mayor of San Juan; Democratic National Committeewoman; first woman to be elected mayor of a capital city in the Americas
Augusto Rodríguez Lieutenant in the United States Union Army; member of the 15th Connecticut Regiment (aka Lyon Regiment); during the American Civil War he served in the defenses of Washington, D.C.; led his men in the Battles of Fredericksburg and Wyse Fork[4]
Augusto Rodríguez Founder of Choir of the University of Puerto Rico
Carlos Romero Barceló Former governor of Puerto Rico, Resident Commissioner, senator and mayor of San Juan
Samuel R. Quiñones Lawyer and 5th President of the Puerto Rican Senate
Johanna Rosaly Actress and television host
Dr. Pedro Rosselló Former governor, senator and San Juan Municipal Health Director
Roberto Sánchez Vilella Former governor, first Secretary of State, Secretary of Public Works and San Juan City Administrator
Jorge Santini Former Mayor of San Juan and senator
Daniel Santos Boxer
Antulio Segarra Officer in the United States Army; in 1943 became the first Puerto Rican to command a Regular Army Regiment
Geovany Soto Current Chicago Cubs catcher, 2008 National League Rookie of the Year
Cristina Takacs-Vesbach Antarctic researcher, microbial ecologist
Fermín Tangüis Developed the seed that would eventually produce the Tanguis cotton in Peru, which saved that nation's cotton industry
Dayanara Torres 1993 Miss Universe pageant winner
José Trías Monge Former Chief Justice, Attorney General of Puerto Rico and member of Puerto Rico's Constitutional Convention
Pedro Vázquez Former Puerto Rico Secretary of State
Samuel E Vázquez Visual Artist
Stephanie Del Valle Model, Miss World 2016

Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of San Juan who have distinguished themselves; therefore a category has been created to this effect:


  1. ^ New York, NY - Veteran NYPD Chief Of Patrol To Retire
  2. ^ Ravo, Nick. "Carlos D. Ramirez, 52, Publisher of El Diario", The New York Times, July 13, 1999. Accessed October 9, 2009.
  3. ^ The Heroes of Olympus
  4. ^ "The Puerto Rican diaspora: historical perspectives"; By Carmen Teresa Whalen, Víctor Vázquez-Hernandez; page 176; Publisher: Temple University Press; ISBN 978-1-59213-413-7; ISBN 1-59213-413-0