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Juan Alberto González Vázquez (born October 20, 1969 in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico), is a former Major League Baseball right fielder. Juan González developed into one of the most prolific RBI men to anchor a lineup since World War Two. A full-time player at the age of 21 and a two-time MVP before his 30th birthday, González explained his propensity for bringing runners home simply by saying, "I concentrate more when I see men on base." One of the premier run producers and most feared hitters of the 1990s, González averaged 37 HR and 117 runs batted in per season between 1991 and 1999. He won the AL MVP award twice in that time span, 1996 and 1998. Gonzalez was known as a screaming line drive hitter, not a majestic fly-ball hitter as many HR hitters of the '90's.
González has been married four times. He was married to Puerto Rican volleyball player Elaine López, sister of fellow major leaguer Javy López, during the early 1990s. This marriage broke down when a local newspaper released a cover photo of singer Olga Tañón kissing González during a concert in San Juan. A scandal followed, with González divorcing Elaine López and marrying Tañón, who said she had no idea González was married
Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay (March 9, 1940 – October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor.
Born in San Juan, he gained interest in acting while still in school. Upon completing his studies, Juliá decided to pursue a career in acting. After performing in the local scene for some time, he was convinced by entertainment personality Orson Bean to move and work in New York City. Juliá, who had been bilingual since his childhood, soon gained interest in Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. He performed in mobile projects, including the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre.
Juliá was eventually noticed by Joseph Papp, who offered him work in the New York Shakespeare Festival. After gaining notoriety, he received roles in two television series, Love of Life and Sesame Street. For his performance in Two Gentlemen of Verona, he received a nomination for the Tony Award and won a Drama Desk Award. Between 1974 and 1982, Juliá received Tony Award nominations for Where's Charley?, The Threepenny Opera and Nine. During the 1980s, he worked in several films, receiving nominations for the Golden Globe Awards, for his performance in Tempest, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, winning the National Board of Review
Carlota Alfaro (born June 4, 1933) is a high fashion designer from Puerto Rico. She is known as "Puerto Rico's grande dame of fashion".
Alfaro showed a passion for design ever since she was a child, often designing clothes for family and friends. She was raised in Santurce where her aunt taught her how to sew.
Alfaro reached international fame in Latin America, Europe and the United States during the 1960s, decade in which she also created the Instituto Carlota Alfaro, aimed towards passing on her knowledge to young fashion design students. Alfaro's specialty is haute couture. During the 1980s, she published a series of designs in a local newspaper's fashion column, called "Destellos de la moda". Her signature dress is the exaggerated mermaid cut.
Alfaro has received many international awards, and her collections have been sold at stores around the world, including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Jorge Luis ("Peco") González (born 20 December 1952) is a famous Puerto Rican marathon runner. He has won many races and competed in many international events, such as the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Olympic Games.
González was very famous in Puerto Rico, where people know him as Peco (after Pecos Bill, the fastest cowboy to ever live). Puerto Ricans had high hopes on him, specially at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, but he failed to win any Olympic medals.
The height of his fame was during the 1980s, when he would do national tours across Puerto Rico, to sign autographs at department stores and be featured on television commercials.
González was born in Utuado, where he still lives. There is a stadium named Peco González Stadium in Utuado.
González first marriage to Aida Luz Reyes resulted in his one and only daughter, Katherine Gonzalez - who currently lives in the United States of America.
Juan Rivera (born August 10, 1964) is a professional wrestler. He began his career in the World Wrestling Council, where he won the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Rivera was an active wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), initially performing under the ring name "Kwang". He was subsequently rebranded as "Savio Vega", eventually becoming the leader of Puerto Rican stable, Los Boricuas. Rivera is credited with giving Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson their first singles losses in the WWF, shattering both of their undefeated records. As part of his feud with Austin, he became the first recipient of the Stone Cold Stunner maneuver. During his WWF run, he also scored victories over several high-profile wrestlers, including Triple H, Jeff Jarrett, John Layfield and Yokozuna.
Upon concluding his participation in the United States, Rivera returned to Puerto Rico and joined Victor Quiñones' project, the International Wrestling Association, serving as long-time General Manager and occasionally holding some championships, including the IWA Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship. In 2011, he became the forerunner of an
Yvonne Harrison Castro (born December 2, 1975 in New York) is a Puerto Rican track and field runner. She has participated at many international events.
Harrison's name became a household name in Puerto Rico in part because of the coverage given to her career by local newspapers such as El Vocero and El Nuevo Dia, which follow her accomplishments and doings almost on a daily basis.
She finished in seventh place at the Rio de Janeiro Grand Prix of Athletism. After a competition in Osaka, Japan, she sustained an injury that required her to take a rest from competition for a while.
Harrison went to Texas to train for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. According to her trainer, Victor Lopez, she was making an excellent running time during the training in Texas.
About two weeks before the Olympics, she travelled to Seville, Spain, where she finished her Olympic training.
Harrison's participation at the 2004 Olympic Games was her first participation in such an event.
José Campeche (December 23, 1751–1809), born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the first known Puerto Rican visual artist and considered by many as one of the best rococo artists in the Americas.
Campeche was born to Tomás Campeche (1701–1780), a freed slave born in Puerto Rico, and María Jordán y Marqués from the Canary Islands. Because of this mixed descent, he was identified as a mulatto, a common term during his time. Campeche's father was a restorer and painter of religious statues and had an early influence on the younger Campeche's interest in the arts. He was trained by Luis Paret y Alcazar, a Spanish court painter banished from Spain.
Campeche distinguished himself with his paintings related to religious themes and of governors and other important personalities. His most famous paintings are:
and his best known portraits are of:
Puerto Rican society of the times appreciated Campeche's personal and artistic merits. He is considered among the most gifted rococo artists in the Americas. Campeche's works of art can be found today in museums, churches and private collections in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Campeche died in the city of San Juan on November 7, 1809.
There is a José
Miguel Ángel Cotto (born on October 29, 1980) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer. Cotto is a former WBA (Super) Light Middleweight Champion. He is the younger brother of contender Jose Miguel Cotto and cousin of Abner Cotto and Carlos Cotto. He is a four-time world champion in three weight divisions (light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight).
On September 11, 2004, Cotto faced Kelson Pinto from Brazil, for the vacant WBO Light Welterweight title. This represented the third fight between them, with Pinto being victorious in their two previous encounters, both of which took place while they were still amateurs. Many fight fans feel this was due to the training from Edward Bemis in Puerto Rico. The fight was televised by HBO from San Juan, Puerto Rico. During this card, Cotto utilized a defensive stance with his hands in a high position instead of his usual aggressive orthodox stance. Over the course of the fight Cotto scored three knockdowns and won the fight by knockout in the sixth round.
On December 11, 2004, he successfully defended his title, beating former world champion Randall Bailey by knockout in the sixth round, as part of the Vitali Klitschko-Danny
Rafael Cortijo (January 11, 1928 – October 3, 1982), was a Puerto Rican musician, orchestra leader, and composer.
As a child, Cortijo became interested in Caribbean music and enjoyed the works of some of the era's most successful Plena music musicians. Throughout his life, he had a chance to meet and work with some of them, and learned how to make his own congas and pleneras, the handheld drums used in plena music.
Salsa composer and singer Ismael Rivera met Cortijo when both were youngsters, as they both grew up in the Villa Palmeras neighborhood of Santurce; they became lifelong friends. Rivera was impressed with Cortijo's conga-playing skills and asked him to join his orchestra, which played at Fiestas patronales all over Puerto Rico.
After playing in Rivera's orchestra, Cortijo wanted to have an orchestra of his own, and play the music he first loved: plena. So he left Rivera's orchestra and formed his own, plena-only orchestra, complete with trumpet and saxophone players.
Rafael Cortijo became well known across Latin America. He attributed his success to the sound of his percussion and because, according to Cortijo himself, African music was known worldwide. Cortijo was also a
For the Cuban wrestler with the same name see Carlos Julian Ortíz
Carlos Ortiz (born September 9, 1936) is a Puerto Rican who was a three time world boxing champion, twice in the lightweight division and once in the Jr. Welterweights.
Ortiz, born in Ponce, started his professional career in 1955 with a first round knockout of Harry Bell in New York. He moved from Puerto Rico to New York before he began boxing as a professional, he would campaign there during the first stages of his career. After 9 bouts there, he fought outside New York for the first time, moving to Massachusetts to knock Al Duarte out in 4 rounds. His next 3 bouts were also outside New York, but he stayed within the confines of New England, as they happened, once again in Massachusetts, and in New Jersey.
He returned to New York again and won 4 more bouts in a row, then made his California debut, beating Mickey Northrup by a decision in 10 rounds. 2 more fights in California and one in New York went by, after which he returned to California to meet Lou Filippo, who was subsequently inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame as a referee. Filippo was also one of the guys who participated in five Rocky
Carlos Alberto Arroyo Bermúdez (born July 30, 1979 in Fajardo) is a Puerto Rican professional basketball point guard who plays for Beşiktaş Milangaz in Turkey. Arroyo is the fifth player from Puerto Rico to play in the NBA. In the 2008–09 season, he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Basketball Super League, winning the league's championship and being named the final's Most Valuable Player.
Arroyo has played in the NBA, NCAA, and the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico (BSN) with the Fajardo Cariduros and Cangrejeros de Santurce. Arroyo has also played internationally in Spain. Arroyo was a member of the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team that defeated the United States at the 2004 Olympic Basketball Tournament. He also represented Puerto Rico at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
Arroyo began his career in the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico, where he debuted with the Fajardo Cariduros and subsequently played for the Cangrejeros de Santurce, where he was a teammate of then starting center of the Puerto Rico National Basketball Team, José Ortiz. During his participation with the team the Crabbers won four consecutive national
Milagros Ninnete Corretjer Maldonado, known as, Millie Corretjer (b. April 18, 1974, is a Puerto Rican singer and actress. She is married to boxer Oscar De La Hoya.
At the age of 15, Corretjer hosted a Puerto Rican television show named La Ola Nueva (The New Wave). In 1995, she released the album Sola (Alone), which sent three of her songs to the Billboard lists and the album featured two Spanish versions of Selena songs "Where Did the Feeling Go? which was called Donde Te Has Ido Amor and "Only Love" called Solo Tu. In 1997, Corretjer released her second album, Emociones (Emotions). Her third album, 1999's Amar es un Juego earned her a golden album in Puerto Rico, her song De Hoy en Adelante (From Today On) ranked number one on Billboard for more than six weeks. Millie has a very soft, low and angelic singing voice when she sang. Corretjer and her music became well known in Puerto Rico, Latin American countries, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (where she lived for six months) and the United States.
In 2000, Oscar De La Hoya recorded his first music album. In the studio, while trying to record songs for his album, De La Hoya was finding it difficult to sing with more passion. To
Danny Rivera (born February 27, 1945) is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter who was born in San Juan whose career spans nearly 50 years. He is well known in Puerto Rico for his political activism.
In the 1970s, Rivera had such hits as Jesucristo Mi Viejo (My Old Man), and Vecino, Dame la Mano (Neighbor, Give me Your Hand). Another of his hits at those times was "Mi Pueblo" (My People). This song went so deep into the hearts of "His People" that a group of youngsters at the San Juan Airport sung "Mi Pueblo" to him on one of his arrivals from Venezuela. Rivera also recorded "Tu vives en mi pensamiento", together with composer Eladio Torres which became one of the most popular of its genre.
Rivera sported an afro then, and he became one of the first male public figures in Puerto Rico to wear an earring. The hair and the one earring became the trademark of Danny Rivera for many years. During the 1980s, he relocated to Cayey. In 1988, he married model Alexandra Malagon, whom he later divorced.
In 2001, Rivera spent 30 days incarcerated in a federal prison and charge with one count for trespassing on the military campgrounds at Vieques. He was one of the most outspoken and recognizable
Bishop Juan Alejo de Arizmendi (July 17, 1760 – October 12, 1814) was a patriot and the first Puerto Rican to be consecrated Bishop.
Arizmendi was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and there he studied in the convent of the Dominican Frays. He then went to Caracas, Venezuela where he studied Canonic and Civil Law. He earned his Doctorate degree in the Dominican Republic and on July 16, 1785, he was ordinated a priest.
In 1803, the King of Spain, Carlos IV, made a petition to the Catholic Church, to have Arizmendi named Bishop. On March 25, 1804 Pope Pius VII consecrated Arizmendi, Bishop of San Juan.
Upon his return to Puerto Rico, Arizmendi dedicated himself to charity. He was especially interested in helping the poor and needy. Arizmendi financially supported the Hospital of the Conception of San Juan, with money from his own pockets. During his free time, he would make castles out of straws and sell them. He would then use the money to buy clothes, food and other items for the poor. Arizmendi, took it upon himself to nurse and to take care of the sick. He was the founder of the Concellor Seminary in San Juan. In 1804, Rafael Cordero, a Puerto Rican of African ancestry who was to
Luis Vigoreaux Rivera (April 12, 1929 – January 17, 1983) was a Puerto Rican radio and television show host, announcer, comedian and producer. Vigoreaux was considered a pioneer in the television business in Puerto Rico, and enjoyed success with several radio and television shows throughout his career.
Vigoreaux was brutally murdered on January 17, 1983. His wife, Lydia Echevarría, was convicted of the planification of the murder, along with two hitmen.
Vigoreaux was born on April 12, 1929 in the Chupacallos ward of Ceiba, Puerto Rico. He was one of the eight children of Eulalia and Enrique Vigoreaux, a sugarcane worker at Fajardo Sugar Company. His father died when he was young, forcing Eulalia to take charge of the family. When Vigoreaux was 14 years old, they moved to San Juan, specifically Río Piedras. Vigoreaux studied at the Vila Mayo High School.
As a teenager, Vigoreaux found work in a radio station named WIAC-FM, which was managed by Tomás Muñiz (father of Tommy Muñiz). There, Vigoreaux worked on a show called Alma Estudiantil. With the beginning of World War II, most of the professional hosts were enlisted for war, which led to Vigoreaux having the opportunity to work at
Adamari López Torres (born May 18, 1971 in Humacao, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress famous for participating in several Puerto Rican and Mexican soap operas.
The daughter of an undertaker, Luis López, Adamari started her career at the age of six in the Telemundo Canal 2 production of the Cristina Bazán soap opera, alongside legendary Puerto Rican actress Johanna Rosaly and Venezuelan singer José Luis Rodríguez, El Puma.
Her talent indicated a future superstar. WAPA-TV next chose her to play Iris Chacón and Daniel Guerrero's daughter in Yo sé que mentía. She was then nine years old, and was given one of the most important roles of the story. López became a household name.
A short, two chapter appearance on Vivir Para Ti followed in 1983, and after that, López decided to dedicate herself to her studies. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of the Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico.
After reaching the age of maturity, she came back, participating in several plays at Puerto Rico's Teatro Tapia, San Juan's premier and oldest theater, and getting the attention of Mexican producers.
She traveled to Mexico next, after the invitation by the producers to try out there, and
Olga Tañón (born April 13, 1967) is a two-time Grammy Award and three-time Latin Grammy-winning Merengue and Latin Pop artist. Tañón has earned 5 Latin Grammy Awards and 28 Premios Lo Nuestro awards during her career.
Tañón (birth name: "Olga Teresa Tañón Ortíz") is the youngest of four children born to José Tañón and Carmen Gloria Ortíz born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. She was raised in Levittown, Puerto Rico, Toa Baja, where she received her primary and secondary education.
Tañón's singing career began when she joined a group called "Las Nenas de Ringo y Jossie" (Ringo and Jossie's Girls) in the 1980s. A short time later a very popular group in Puerto Rico called "Chantelle" noticed her mezzo soprano voice and recruited her. They saw in her what they needed for their merengue style of music. When Tañón was a member of Chantelle, they scored their biggest hit, "Aunque Tú no Quieras" (Even If You Don't Want It). The song was popular in Latin America.
In 1992, Tañón signed a contract with the WEA Latina record label to record a solo album. Her first recorded album was titled, "Sola" (Alone). Among the songs in the album were, "Me Cambio por Ella" (I'll Trade Myself For Her), and
Xavier Serbiá (born July 24, 1968), is a former member of the boy band Menudo who is now a financial commentator, syndicated columnist and personality.
Serbiá, born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, joined Menudo in 1980 and participated with Menudo in Una Aventura LLamada Menudo and a soap opera. Serbia was known as "El Rubio De Oro" he was replaced by Ray Reyes at Menudo in 1983, and later on, went to try a solo career.
In 1986, Serbiá participated in Puerto Rican television's comedy series La Pension De Dona Tere. In 1987, he joined fellow former Menudos René Farrait and Johnny Lozada in a group named Proyecto M. In 1989, he hosted a Spanish version of Remote Control for Puerto Rico. He was offered to join some of the ex Menudos in 1998 for a comeback tour named El Reencuentro, but he declined.
Serbiá is a best seller author “Four Steps to Wealth” published by Santillana. Serbia is the featured writer on Yahoo! Finance in Spanish in his weekly very popular weekly “Conexión Dinero” series and blogs, Serbia is also a Personal Financial Editor for the "Money Matters" section of "Siempre Mujer" magazine, published by Meredith Corporation.
Serbiá's columns are published by El Diario la
Osvaldo Ocasio, (born August 12, 1955), better known as Ossie Ocasio and nicknamed Jaws, is a Puerto Rican who was a boxer and world Cruiserweight champion. He got his peculiar nickname after accidentally biting another boxer during a sparring session. Style wise, he was a good boxer with fast reflexes.
Ocasio campaigned in the Heavyweight division, turning pro in 1976 and putting together 10 wins before signing with Don King and making a name for himself outpointing King fighter Kevin Isaac.
In 1978 on the undercard of the Larry Holmes/Ken Norton title fight Ocasio scored a major upset when he outpointed the highly regarded Jimmy Young, who'd outpointed George Foreman only a while back. In a rematch, Ocasio underlined his superiority by again outpointing a this time in-shape Young, in Puerto Rico. It was Ocasio's career high.
This earned him his only world heavyweight title shot, against Larry Holmes in 1979. Attempting to become the first Hispanic to win the world Heavyweight championship, Ocasio was badly outclassed and lost to Holmes by a knockout in seven rounds.
In 1980 he fought red hot undefeated prospect Michael Dokes, and was unlucky to only get a draw. However a rematch
Miguel Piñero (December 19, 1946 – June 18, 1988) was a Puerto Rican playwright, actor, and co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café. He was a leading member of the Nuyorican literary movement.
Piñero was born on December 19, 1946 in Gurabo, Puerto Rico to Miguel Angel Gómez Ramos and Adelina Piñero. In 1950, when Miguel was four, he moved with his parents and sister Elizabeth to Loisaida (or Lower East Side) in New York. His father abandoned the family in 1954 when his mother was pregnant with their fifth child. His mother then moved into a basement and began receiving welfare. He attended four different schools, three public and one parochial. He would steal food for his family to eat. His first of what would be many criminal convictions was at the age of eleven for theft. He was sent to the Juvenile Detention Center in the Bronx and also to Otisville State Training School for Boys. He joined a street gang called "The Dragons" when he was 13, and when he was 14 he was hustling in the streets.
He would move to Brooklyn, where he and three other friends would commit robberies (according to Piñero, they did over 100), until they were caught at a jewelry store. He would be sent to
Carlos Javier Rivera Masso (born June 13, 1969) is a former member of Menudo who joined the band at the height of Menudo's world wide fame. He replaced Rene Farrait and quickly became a fan favorite with his participation on the albums of Es Por Amor and Vamos A Volar, which was the soundtrack of Charlie's first movie, Una Aventura Llamada Menudo.
Charlie began his life as a Menudo the very moment that one of Menudo's members of the group's golden era, Farrait left the group. However, Charlie's presence helped keep the golden era go on for 3 more years, and when he left the group in 1987, he was the last member of the group's golden years to leave. Masso's bandmates included Xavier Serbia, Johnny Lozada, Ricky Melendez, Miguel Cancel, Ray Reyes, Roy Rosselló, Robby Rosa and Ricky Martin among others. He came back to Menudo to complete a tour in Brazil, their 1987 Summer in the Streets tour after Robby Rosa quit the group to introduce new member Ruben Gomez and for their last tour in the Philippines when Ralphy Rodriguez was pulled out of the group by his parents late that year.
After he left the band, Charlie moved to Mexico for a very long time, where he was in a few soap operas.
Juanita Garcia Peraza, also known as "Mita" (June 24, 1897 – February 21, 1970) was the founder of the "Mita congregation", the only Protestant religion of Puerto Rican origin.
Peraza was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, and raised by her parents, who were evangelists. She was influenced from childhood by their strict religious beliefs. When her family moved to Arecibo, Peraza became extremely ill. She made a promise to God that if she was cured, she would always serve him.
Peraza considered it a miracle that she was cured of her illness and she decided to keep her promise. She was one of the first Puerto Rican women to preach religion in Puerto Rico. Soon, she became a leader in the church she attended. This, however, made the majority of the male church members feel uncomfortable with her presence and they told her that she was no longer welcome there.
Peraza left the church with 11 other members who followed her. In 1940, Peraza and her followers founded their own church in Arecibo,and in 1947 she relocated to the current location of Hato Rey a section of San Juan. They claimed that the "Spirit of Life" gave Peraza the new name of "Mita". They started calling themselves "Mitas" and
Victor Callejas (born December 11, 1960) is a Puerto Rican former boxer who was World Junior Featherweight champion. A native of Guaynabo, Callejas as a child wanted to be a singer, and his childhood friend, Orvil Miller, wanted to be a boxer. As it turned out, however, it was Callejas who was a boxer and Miller who became a singer. Callejas' nickname was Luvi.
Callejas compiled a record of 36 wins and 4 defeats as an amateur boxer, and in 1979, he decided to turn professional. That he did on the night of February 18 of that year. In his first bout, Callejas, like Alexis Argüello, Chucho Castillo and Wilfredo Vazquez, lost. He was beaten by Jose Parrilla by a decision in four rounds. For his next three bouts, he travelled around some of the other Caribbean islands, gaining revenge over Parrilla in St. Croix for his first professional win, knocking out Wilt Jones in one round in St. Marteen for his first knockout and beating Albert Pagan, also by a knockout, in five.
Between the fight against Jones and the fight versus Jose Ortiz in 1983, Callejas had a streak of 15 knockout wins in a row, winning Puerto Rico's Jr. Featherweight title and earning a ranking among the world's top Jr.
Iván Rodríguez Torres (born November 30, 1971), nicknamed "Pudge", is a retired Major League Baseball catcher. In his career, he played for the Texas Rangers (on two different tours, comprising the majority of his career), Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.
Rodríguez was awarded the AL MVP award in 1999. He is also regarded as one of the best defensive catchers of all time. Rodríguez won the World Series with the Marlins in 2003, and also played in the 2006 World Series while with the Tigers. On June 17, 2009, Rodríguez set a MLB record by catching his 2,227th game, passing Carlton Fisk. During his career, he had the best caught stealing percentage of any major league catcher, at 45.68%.
Rodríguez was born in Manati, Puerto Rico, and raised in Vega Baja. His father, Juan, worked for a U.S.-based construction company, and his mother, Eva Torres, was an elementary school teacher. Iván's first job involved delivering flyers in the shopping malls in Puerto Rico.
He learned baseball at an early age, his biggest rival being Juan González, who he often played against in his youth. As a Little League player, he moved from pitcher to
Francisco Manuel Oller y Cestero (June 17, 1833 – May 17, 1917) was a Puerto Rican visual artist. Oller is considered to be the only Latin American painter to have played a role in the development of Impressionism.
Oller was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, the third of four children of Cayetano Juan Oller y Fromesta and María del Carmen Cestero Dávila. When he was eleven he began to study art under the tutelage of Juan Cleto Noa, a painter who had an art academy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, Oller demonstrated that he had an enormous talent in art and in 1848, General Juan Prim, Governor of Puerto Rico, offered Oller the opportunity to continue his studies in Rome. However, the offer was not accepted as Oller's mother felt that he was too young to travel abroad by himself.
When Oller was eighteen, he moved to Madrid, Spain, where he studied painting at the Royal Academy of San Fernando, under the tutelage of Don Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz, director of the Prado Museum. In 1858, he moved to Paris, France where he studied under Thomas Couture. Later he enrolled to study art in the Louvre under the instruction of Gustave Courbet. During his free time, Oller, who had a baritone type
Walter Mercado Salinas (born 9 March 1932), also known by his stage name Shanti Ananda, is a Puerto Rican astrologer. On 8 January 2010, and after a fifteen-year relation, Mercado announced that he and television network Univision have parted ways.
As of December 2011, Mercado is appearing regularly on Telemundo's AM show Levántate and 5pm news show Al Rojo Vivo.
Mercado was born on 9 March 1932, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he spent some of his childhood.
In Puerto Rico, he hosted a weekly astrology television show, first on WKAQ-TV, and later on WRIK-TV (channel 7 in Ponce). Westinghouse remained a steady and long-time sponsor.
When WRIK-TV was bought by Tommy Muñiz, Mercado stayed for two years, then moved his show to WKBM-TV which later became WLII-TV, Tele Once (Channel 11). From 1995 to 2010, he appeared on Primer Impacto, which airs on the Univision network. He also appears on various radio segments.
In October 2010, Mercado announced that he would now be referred to as "Shanti Ananda," a translation in Sanskrit of "peace happiness." He says a "being of light" imparted a spiritual revelation to him, which he refers to as his "authentic mystic name." He is planning to write a
Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez (born February 19, 1967) is a Puerto Rican actor and film producer. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a BAFTA Award for his role as Javier Rodríguez in Traffic (2000). He is also known for his roles as Fred Fenster in The Usual Suspects (1995), Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Franky Four Fingers in Snatch (2000), Jackie Boy in Sin City (2005), and Che Guevara in Che (2008). He is the third Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award.
Benicio del Toro was born in San German, on the southwest side of the island of Puerto Rico, and grew up in Santurce, a district of San Juan. He is the son of Gustavo Adolfo del Toro Bermúdez and Fausta Genoveva Sánchez Rivera, who were both lawyers, and deeply respected and beloved in Puerto Rico for their commitment to their community. Gustavo Del Toro was affectionately called the "lawyer of the poor". Many of Del Toro's relatives are involved in the island's legal system. He has an older brother, Gustavo, who was a pediatric oncologist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He is of Spanish descent through a Catalan paternal
Elmer Figueroa Arce (born June 28, 1968), best known under the stage name Chayanne, is a Puerto Rican Latin pop singer and actor. As a solo artist, Chayanne has released 21 solo albums and sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Elmer Figueroa Arce was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. He was the third of five siblings. After the birth of two more siblings, the family moved to San Lorenzo - the southeast part of the island (El Pueblo de los Samaritanos - The Town of Samaritans - or La Tierra de las Leyendas - The Land of Legends). His family still lives in San Lorenzo and he frequently returns.
Elmer Figueroa's nickname "Chayanne" was given to him by his mother, in honor of his love for the 1960s television series, Cheyenne.
In the late 1970s, he auditioned for Menudo, but the producers told him that he was too young to be in the group. He joined another group, Los Chicos, they produced several hit recordings, including "Puerto Rico Son Los Chicos" and Ave Maria.
After Los Chicos separated in 1984, Chayanne began his career as a solo artist. He signed with RCA Ariola and released his first album, Chayanne es mi Nombre, that year. His second album with RCA, Sangre Latina was released
Tegui Calderón Rosario (born February 1, 1972) is a Puerto Rican rapper, and actor.
Calderón was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, the son of Pilar Rosario Parrilla, a schoolteacher, and Esteban Calderón Ilarraza, a government worker for Puerto Rico's Department of Health. Moving at a young age from his native Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida, Tego attended Miami Beach Senior High. Here he was exposed to several different cultures, eventually studying percussion and working as a drummer in a rock band. The band would cover songs produced by artists including Ozzy Osbourne and Led Zeppelin. He has noted that both of his parents were fans of Ismael Rivera, and that his father was also interested in jazz. He was influenced by both genres and incorporated them into his music, including songs such as Minnie the Moocher. He eventually developed a music style that combined elements of salsa, plena, dancehall, and hip-hop, focusing on aspects of urban life in his lyrics.
Calderón made several cameo appearances on other rapper's albums, eventually signing with label White Lion. In 2002, after three years of voice training, he published his first full-length album titled El Abayarde. Despite the
Johnatan Dwayne (born July 31, 1963) is a musician, composer, and artist who introduced the musical concept of art rock into Puerto Rico.
Dwayne was born in San Juan the capital city of Puerto Rico. In the 1980s he belonged to the musical group Words Four Two, singing lead and composing. The dominating musical styles in Puerto Rico at this time were Salsa and Merengue, but the group's release of "Somethin' in the Air" was a hit, and made Art Rock a competing style; this song was followed by "Society Killed by Who".
In 1991, after the group broke up, Dwayne composed for others, creating the Spanish version of "Pocket" for Ednita Nazario, and "Metamorfosis". His first gold record as composer was for "Un Corazon Hecho Pedazos" (meaning "A Heart Broken to Pieces"). He won the Tu Musica Award and also an award from Billboard and ASCAP. Nazario's recording of his "Pasiones" ("Passions") went platinum. Commissions followed from additional Puerto Rican singers, including Lunna and Jailene Cintrón. Dwayne won the Silver Ermita award, in Colombia, as a vocal soloist. Two of Dwayne's works as a painter, Personajes and Ser es des Nudos, have been exhibited in various expositions.
In 2000, he
Maria Celeste Arrarás (born September 27, 1960 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican journalist and actress and the host and producer of Spanish language news program Al Rojo Vivo Con Maria Celeste.
Maria Celeste Arrarás was born September 27, 1960 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. She is one of seven children born to politician, sports leader, lawyer, and educator José Enrique Arrarás.
In her youth Arrarás competed internationally in swimming. In 1971, she won three medals (one gold, one silver, and one bronze) at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships. She had hopes of competing at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but had to give up on that goal after she had contracted infectious mononucleosis ("kissing disease") after having shared a glass of water with someone.
At age 18, she represented Mayagüez in 1979 at the Miss Puerto Rico pageant where she placed 1st runner up in the competition. When she reached the age of 20, Arrarás attended Loyola University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she majored in communications and public relations.
Arrarás began her broadcasting career when she was employed by local Puerto Rican
Orlando Manuel "Peruchin" Cepeda Pennes (Spanish pronunciation: [orˈlando seˈpeða]; born September 17, 1937) is a former Puerto Rican Major League Baseball first baseman.
Cepeda was born to a poor family. His father, Pedro Cepeda, was a baseball player in Puerto Rico, which influenced his interest in the sport from a young age. His first contact with professional baseball was as a batboy for the Santurce Crabbers of Puerto Rico. Pedro Zorilla, the team's owner persuaded his family to let him attend a New York Giants tryout. He played for several Minor League Baseball teams before attracting the interest of the Giants, who had just moved to San Francisco.
During a career that lasted sixteen years, he played with the San Francisco Giants (1958–66), St. Louis Cardinals (1966–68), Atlanta Braves (1969–72), Oakland Athletics (1972), Boston Red Sox (1973), and Kansas City Royals (1974). Cepeda was selected to play in seven Major League Baseball All-Star Games during his career, becoming the first player from Puerto Rico to start one. In 1987, Cepeda was contracted by the San Francisco Giants to work as a scout and "goodwill ambassador." In 1999, Cepeda was inducted into the National
Rafael Solis (born January 2, 1958 in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a former light middleweight boxer from Puerto Rico. He was raised in the barrio of Camito. Rafael trained at the Caimito Gym, and also frequented the Bairoa Gym.
Solis is the brother Enrique Solis, Santos Solis and former world bantamweight champion Julian Solís.
Solis had a successful boxing career, fighting through Latin America.
On October 2, 1982 Solis won the Fecarbox(Central American Professional Boxing Federation) Super featherweight title, knocking out Aquilino Asprilla in the 6th round. On November 18, 1983, he challenged Héctor Camacho for the WBC's world Jr. Lightweight title. In what was the second time two Puerto Rican fighters fought each other for a world title (the first time was Benitez vs. Santos in 1981), Solis lost to Camacho by knockout in round five at Roberto Clemente Coliseum.
Solis last boxed in 1995 and retired with a record of 30 wins (20 by knockout), 13 losses (11 by knockout), and 2 draws.
Ernesto Pastor Lavergne (born 4 April 1892-1921) was the first, and so far only, Puerto Rican-born bullfighter (torero) to gain international fame. Toreadora Conchita Cintron was half Puerto Rican.
Some date Pastor's birth year as 1900, but it is generally accepted that he was born in 1892. He was born to a Mexican father and French mother.
Pastor was considered by his contemporary colleagues to be talented both with the sword and the cape. On January 16, 1911, he made his public debut, at a plaza in Guadalajara, Mexico. There, he would be revered as one of the best of his era.
Pastor moved on to Spain in 1916, fighting for the first time there on May 16, in Barcelona. In Spain, he was mentored by José Gómez Ortega. In 1918, Pastor engaged in 38 bullfighting spectacles, and in 1919, he debuted in Madrid.
It was in Madrid in 1921 that Pastor met with death. During one of his spectacles, he was hit on the leg by one of the bulls. Bleeding profusely, he managed to ask who turned off the lights? before passing away. The hemorrage in his leg had caused him to go blind before dying.
Luis Muñoz Rivera (July 17, 1859 – November 15, 1916) was a Puerto Rican poet, journalist and politician. He was a major figure in the struggle for political autonomy of Puerto Rico.
In 1887, Muñoz Rivera became part of the leadership of a newly formed Autonomist Party. In 1889, he successfully ran a campaign for the position of delegate in the district of Caguas. Subsequently, Muñoz Rivera was a member of a group organized by the party to discuss proposals of autonomy with Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, who would grant Puerto Rico an autonomous government following his election. He served as Chief of the Cabinet of this government.
On August 13, 1898, the Treaty of Paris transferred possession of Puerto Rico from Spain to the United States and a military government was established. In 1899, Muñoz Rivera resigned his position within the cabinet and remained inactive in politics for some time. In 1909, he was elected as Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico and participated in the creation of the Jones-Shafroth Act, proposing amendments before its final approval. Shortly after, Muñoz Rivera contracted an infection and traveled to Puerto Rico, where he died on November 15, 1916. His son,
Félix 'Tito' Trinidad, Jr. (born January 10, 1973) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer, considered one of the best in Puerto Rico's history. After winning five National Amateur Championships in Puerto Rico, he debuted as a professional when he was 17. He won his first world championship when he defeated Maurice Blocker for the International Boxing Federation's welterweight belt. Trinidad holds the record for second most welterweight title defenses (15). However, Trinidad holds the record for longest reign as Welterweight Champion, six years, eight months and fourteen days. During his career he fought Oscar De La Hoya winning the Lineal & World Boxing Council welterweight champion, Fernando Vargas in a unification fight where with sensei Fabio Martella he won the International Boxing Federation's light middleweight title, and William Joppy for the World Boxing Association's middleweight championship. He lost to Bernard Hopkins by technical knockout and retired for the first time. Trinidad returned to action in a fight against Ricardo Mayorga and, following a fight against Winky Wright, retired a second time. In 2008, he returned to the ring to fight Roy Jones, losing the contest by
Giselle Blondet (born January 9, 1964) is a Puerto Rican actress and TV host.
Blondet was born Alba Giselle Blondet, to Victor Manuel Blondet and Alba Gomez, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Around then magazines such as Vea and Teve Guía started talking of a supposed rivalry between Blondet and Millie Avilés, another young Puerto Rican actress who resembled Blondet physically.
Blondet spent the rest of the 1980s participating in different television shows, soap operas, and mini-series, as well as in some theatre plays. In 1987, her romance with actor Raúl Rosado was well publicized.
In 1989, she married Argentine producer Harold Trucco and they had daughter, Gabriela, and a son, Harold Emmanuel. The relationship encountered problems and ended in 1997. In June 1997, her career took off internationally as she became co-host Univision's international show ¡Despierta América! alongside Rafael José, Fernando Arau, Ana Maria Canseco, and Neida Sandoval. Since divorcing Trucco, she has remained single and says she wants to dedicate her free time to her children.
In 2004, Blondet published her autobiography Con los Pies en la Tierra. The following year, she left Despierta América to host a new
Richard Colón (born January, 1966) better known by his stage name Crazy Legs is a b-boy from the Bronx, New York City, USA. He featured in the earliest stories on hip hop dancing to appear in mainstream press, and as president of the Rock Steady Crew brought the form to London and Paris in 1983. Today he is also involved in community outreach, dance instruction and dance theater productions. His pioneering status is reflected in his appearances in fiction films and documentaries, old and new. Crazy Legs is the only original member remaining of the Rock Steady Crew, and is its current president.
Richard "Crazy Legs" Colón grew up in Inwood section of Manhattan, New York City, where he was introduced to "breaking" by his older brother when he was nine. He was an original member of the Rock Steady Crew after its foundation in 1979. Dance critic Sally Banes in an April 1981 piece on the form in the Village Voice quotes Crazy Legs listing the best dancers extant and documents his accidental invention of the "W" move, in which the dancer sits with his legs double-backed behind him. He is also known for the "continuous back" move, in which the dancer spins on his upper back with the
Chay Lynn Santini is a Puerto Rican fashion model and actress who in 1998 was named "Latina Super Model of the Year" by Avon Products, Inc.
Santini was born San Juan and raised between Puerto Rico and Tampa, Florida. She moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where she enrolled in the Florida State University. She studied and modeled at the same time for magazines and for companies such as Motorola and Avon. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in studio art along with taking pre-med classes.
In 1998, Santini landed a small and uncredited part as a cheerleader in Adam Sandler's movie The Waterboy. That experience motivated her to become an actress, and as a result she enrolled and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and The School for Film and Television Acting School.
Also, in 1998, Santini was honored by being named Latina Super Model of the Year by Avon. She returned to Puerto Rico and on September 21, 2000, she represented San Juan in the Miss World Puerto Rico pageant. She was chosen as First Runner-Up and won awards for Best Skin, Best Legs, Best Hair, and Best Figure.
Santini was cast as "Alejandra Santiago" in episode 34 ("Family Reunion") in the television series She
José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón (January 8, 1912 – January 26, 1992), best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director. He was the first Puerto Rican, as well as the first Hispanic actor, to win an Academy Award (in 1950, for Cyrano de Bergerac). The prolific and distinguished thespian also won several Tony Awards. In 1947, he won the Tony Award for his theatrical performance of Cyrano de Bergerac, and then in 1952, he won the Distinguished Dramatic Actor Award for The Shrike, and also the Outstanding Director Award for directing all three of The Shrike, The Fourposter, and Stalag 17. Jose Ferrer's contributions to American theater were recognized in 1981, when he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. Another large honor came to him in 1985 when he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Ferrer was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the son of Maria Providencia Cintron, a woman who came from the small mountain town of Yabucoa, and Rafael Ferrer, an attorney and writer from the big city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He studied in the Swiss boarding school Institut Le Rosey. In 1933, Ferrer completed his bachelor's degree at
Shalim Gerardo Ortiz Goyco (born February 26, 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a singer/actor. He is the eldest son of Puerto Rican entertainer Elin Ortiz and his wife, the Dominican singer, television presenter, and actress Charytín Goyco.
Ortiz starred in WAPA-TV's television show Los Angelitos at the age of seven. Los Angelitos, a children's comedy about a group of children in a school.
He moved to Miami, Florida with his family, which also include a brother and sister who are twins. There, he tried a career as a model. Later on, he would be signed by producer Emilio Estefan, husband of Gloria Estefan. With Estefan, Shalim was able to contact the William Morris Agency and Sony records.
In 2002, Ortiz was featured in one episode of The Lizzie McGuire Show. He was also featured as an egotistical Latin star who gets knocked out by S Club 7 in an episode of their series, Hollywood 7
In 2007, Ortiz starred as Miguel in the romantic, web-only series "Engaged" and also portrayed Alejandro Herrera on Heroes. His character was killed in the penultimate episode of the second season. He guest starred in an episode of Cory in the House as Bahavian singer Nanoosh. He also is featured in the
John "The Quietman" Ruiz (born January 4, 1972 in Methuen, Massachusetts), is a former American professional boxer. Ruiz is the first Latino heavyweight champion and former two-time WBA heavyweight champion. After a professional career spanning over 18 years, Ruiz officially announced his retirement from the sport at a press conference on April 26, 2010. His final fight was a title shot against the then WBA heavyweight title holder David Haye, in which Ruiz was defeated by TKO in round 9.
Ruiz has defeated three world champions in Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman, and Tony Tucker, as well as top contenders such as Andrew Golota, Fres Oquendo, Jameel McCline, and Kirk Johnson.
He is currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada.
His professional record is 44–9–1–1, with 30 knockouts. Frustrated by years of criticism from the boxing press and fans, he retired upon his second loss of the WBA Title on April 30, 2005 (to James "Lights-Out" Toney). Ruiz un-retired in 10 days, after finding out that James Toney had tested positive for anabolic steroids. The official outcome, a unanimous-decision defeat, was changed to a no-contest; the WBA ordered that Ruiz retain the title. Ruiz then filed a
Jorge Rafael Posada Villeta (born August 17, 1971) is a retired Puerto Rican baseball catcher who played 17 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2011. Posada produced strong offensive numbers for his position, recording a .273 batting average, 275 home runs, and 1,065 runs batted in (RBIs) during his career. A switch hitter, Posada was a five-time All-Star, won five Silver Slugger Awards, and was on the roster for four World Series championship teams.
Drafted by the Yankees in 1990, Posada was originally an infielder before moving to catcher during his minor league career. He debuted in the major leagues in 1995, but it was not until 1998 that he found regular playing time. A solid-hitting catcher, Posada established himself as a mainstay in the Yankees lineup and as one of the "Core Four" players who contributed to the Yankees' winning seasons. In 2003, he finished third in voting for the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award and became only the second Yankees catcher after Yogi Berra to hit 30 home runs in a season. Posada added one of his best seasons in 2007 at age 35 when he batted .338. Following a stint as designated
José Miguel Class (26 September 1938, in Manatí, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican singer who gained wide international fame during the 1960s and 1970s.
Nicknamed "El Gallito de Manati" ("Manati's Bantam"), Class achieved fame in Puerto Rico during the '60s before moving to Mexico, where he achieved wide success. His period as a resident there proved important for his career: He released various Mexican music albums and he was able to achieve fame across Central America, South America and the rest of the Caribbean.
When Class returned to Puerto Rico during the decade of the '70s, he immediately landed a weekly television show in Rafael Perez Perry's Channel 11, which he co-hosted with Awilda (Awilda La Mimosa) Pedrosa. His adopted Mexican accent was noticeable during the run of this show; as a matter of a fact, he kept the Mexican accent for a very long time. He was also known for his famous catchphrase "Yo soy el Gallo!" ("I am the Rooster!")
Class has now retired to lead a more private life in his hometown of Manati. He released over 20 albums, many of which have been converted into CD format. He currently lives in Rio Piedras, P.R.
Roselyn Sánchez (born Roselyn Sánchez Rodríguez; April 2, 1973) is a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, model, actress, producer and writer of film and television.
Sánchez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the youngest of four siblings, having three older brothers. She received her primary education in San Juan. At a young age, she showed an interest in both dancing and acting and would put on shows for her family. Sánchez enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico, where like her father and brothers she was to study marketing. However, this was not her calling and after three years she left the course. In 1991, at the age of 18, Sánchez moved to New York City, where she took classes in dancing, acting and singing. She returned to Puerto Rico, and in 1992 she made her movie debut, having landed a small part as an island girl in the movie Captain Ron, which was partly filmed in Puerto Rico, starring Martin Short and Kurt Russell.
In Puerto Rico, she gained public attention as a dancer and as co-host of a variety show called Qué Vacilón. At that time, in 1993, Sánchez won the Miss Puerto Rico Petite contest, and in 1994 she won the international title of Miss American Petite, bringing
José Vega Santana a.k.a. "Remi" (born February 28, 1958) is a clown from Puerto Rico. A book "Remi, El Clown" describes his adventures as a clown. He has made many presentations in the United States. While he was a student at the Inter-American University he developed the character of "Remi". His group called themselves as "Los Dulces Payasos" or "The Sweet Clowns".
Santana was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, his mother was the lead singer in "Googie Santana" and his grandfather was former baseball player Pepe Santana. Ever since he was young, Santana knew that he wanted to be an entertainer. He started as a radio music programmer and announcer. Later, he joined the dance and theater company of Maria Teresa Miranda.
In the mid-1970s, Santana was a Psychology student in the Inter-American University. During that time he also took painting classes in the School of Plastic Arts in San Juan. It is there that he, together with some other students decided to form an "Artisans Market" at the Luis Muñoz Rivera Park. The purpose of the "Market" was to give painting classes to young children, and on one occasion they dressed up as clowns. This was when Santana developed and created the
Humberto "Tito" Nieves (born June 4, 1958) (also known "El Pavarroti de la Salsa") became one of the leading Salsa singers of the 1980s and the early 1990s.
Born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico and raised in the United States, Nieves began his career while participating in Orquesta Cimarron, a New York-based group. In 1977, he teamed up with singer Héctor Lavoe and his Orchestra and joined The Conjunto Clasico. Later, Nieves decided to start his solo career in 1986, setting himself apart by singing Salsa in English. He is known for his hits such as El Amor Más Bonito, Sonámbulo, and the English-salsa hit, I Like It Like That (1997). Present hits from the album Fabricando Fantasias include Fabricando Fantasias and Ya No Queda Nada with La India, Nicky Jam, and K-Mil. He attended Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, New York, and though he left before graduating, he was given an honorary diploma in 1994.
In 2007, he released Canciones Clasicas De Marco Antonio Solís, a tribute to Mexican singer, Marco Antonio Solís.
Tito Nieves is currently married to Irma Nieves. Tito has two boys, Ommy Nieves, and Humberto Nieves, Jr. Ommy died of bone cancer at the age of 24.
Commander Manuel Rojas (1831 – October 14, 1903), Commander of the Puerto Rican Liberation Army, was one of the main leaders of the Grito de Lares uprising against Spanish rule in Puerto Rico.
Rojas (birth name: Manuel Rojas Luzardo ) was born in the city of Obispos in the state of Barinas, Venezuela, from a Puerto Rican father and a Venezuelan mother. There he received his primary and secondary education. Rojas was a dedicated agricultural worker and when he had saved enough money he moved to Valencia, Spain where he became a successful businessmen. In the early 19th century Venezuela's economy was in turmoil because of internal wars. Rojas decided to go to Puerto Rico where he met and married Obdulia de los Ríos.
The Rojas family moved close to the town of Lares where they settled down. The region was mountainous and its main income came from the coffee crop. Rojas and his brother, Miguel eventually bought and cultivated a 300 acre (1.2 km²) coffee plantation. The successful plantation was called "El Triunfo", and both men became wealthy merchants. His brother Miguel meet Mariana Bracetti while on a business trip to Añasco. Miguel and Mariana married and moved to "El Triunfo"
Juan Morel Campos (May 16, 1857 – May 12, 1896), sometimes erroneously spelled Juan Morell Campos, was a Puerto Rican composer, considered by many to be responsible for taking the genre of danza to its highest level.
Campos (birth name: Juan Nepomuceno Morel Campos) was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to Manuel Morel Araujo and Juana de Dios Campos Collazo. He began to study music at the young age of eight in his hometown under the guidance of Antonio Egipciaco. Morel Campos learned to play practically every brass instrument and eventually became one of the founders and directors of the "Ponce Firemen's Band" (La Banda de Bomberos del Parque de Bombas de Ponce). The legendary Band was later renamed the Ponce Municipal Band.
Later, Morel Campos became a student of the composer Manuel Gregorio Tavarez, "The Father of the Danza". Campos' first danza composition was called "Sopapos". The influence of Tavarez, plus the particular style developed by Morel Campos can be listened to in his music today.
Morel Campos had his own dance orchestra, "La Lira Ponceña" and therefore most of danzas his were written for dancing. He modified his compositions so that they may also be played on piano.
Julio Rosado del Valle (1922 - September 20, 2008), was an internationally known abstract expressionist.
Rosado del Valle was born in Cataño, Puerto Rico and as a young child would always be drawing or painting. In his primary school his teachers recognized his artistic talents. After graduating from high school, Rosado del Valle enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico, where he took art classes under guidance of Cristobal Ruiz.
In 1946, Rosado del Valle went to New York where he attended "The New School for Social Research" and studied under the guidance of the Cuban painter Mario Carreño and the muralist Camilo Egas. A year later in 1947, Rosado del Valle moved to Paris, France where he visited museums and art exhibitions. He later went to Italy where he attended "The School of Fine Arts" in Florence.
In 1949, Rosado del Valle returned to Puerto Rico, were he worked in the Grafic Arts Division of Community Education. He was also named resident artist of the University of Puerto Rico. In 1950, he was the co-founder, along with Torres Martino, Lorenzo Homar, Felix Rodriguez Baez and Rafael Tufino, of the "Puerto Rican Arts Center".
In 1952, he won a gold medal for mural painting
Rafael Cordero (October, 1790–July 5, 1868), known as "The Father of Public Education in Puerto Rico", was a self-educated Puerto Rican who provided free schooling to children regardless of their race or social standing.
Cordero was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico into a poor family, his father was a poor man who worked in the tobacco fields. Cordero, who was of African ancestry, was self-educated. His love of literature and his determination to teach and educate himself helped him to develop the skills and preparation to teach primary school. Cordero, a devout Catholic, received the rite of Confirmation at fourteen years old from Bishop Juan Alejo de Arizmendi (1760–1814), the first Puerto Rican to be consecrated Bishop in San Juan.
At the beginning of the 19th century Rafael Cordero established, in his house, a free school for all children, regardless of race, who were unable to afford an education otherwise. Cordero maintained his educational center for 58 years at Luna Street in San Juan. There he taught reading, calligraphy, mathematics and Catholic instruction. Among the distinguished alumni who attended Cordero's school were Román Baldorioty de Castro, Alejandro Tapia y Rivera
Braulio Castillo, Jr. (born c. 1958) is a Puerto Rican actor, radio host, and MC. He is the son of Braulio Castillo, a legendary actor across Latin America, and the brother of the lesser known Jorge Castillo, also a television and theater actor.
For a short time during the 1970s, he was first known in Puerto Rico doing newsbreaks for WKBM-TV Channel 11 in Caguas, now Univision O WLII.
Castillo reached national fame in Puerto Rico when he participated in the 1984 Spanish soap opera Coralito at San Juan-based WKAQ-TV Channel 2. There, he shared star billing with Mexican actor Salvador Pineda and with Sully Diaz. Castillo reached teen idol status across Puerto Rico after that soap opera. In 1985, he was the star of the Tanairi soap opera, alongside Von Marie.
Castillo subsequently worked on soap operas in different countries, such as Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
As the 1990s came about he starred in the television sitcom broadcast by WKAQ: Tres Hombres y..., inspired by the movie Three Men and a Baby, alongside Raymond Arrieta and Alba Nydia Díaz. Castillo also was the leading man of the telenovela Karina Montaner, opposite Giselle Blondet, broadcast by WAPA-TV Channel 4, also in San
José Feliciano (born September 10, 1945) is a Puerto Rican singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer known for many international hits including the 1970 Christmas single "Feliz Navidad".
Feliciano was born in Lares, Puerto Rico, on September 10, 1945. Left permanently blind at birth as a result of congenital glaucoma, Feliciano was first exposed to music at age three and would play on a tin cracker can while accompanying his uncle playing the Cuatro. When he was five, his family moved to Spanish Harlem, New York City, and at age nine, he played the Teatro Puerto Rico in the Bronx. He started his musical life playing the accordion until his father and family friend, Benjamin Borges, gave him his first guitar in a brown paper bag. He played every chance he had by himself in his room for up to 14 hours a day listening to 1950s rock'n'roll records, classical guitarists such as Andrés Segovia, and jazz players such as Wes Montgomery. He later had classical lessons with Harold Morris, who earlier had been a student of Segovia.
At 17, he quit school to play in clubs, having his first professional, contracted performance in Detroit.
In 1963, after some live performances in pubs and clubs
Carlos De León, also known as "Sugar" De Leon, (born May 3, 1959) is a Puerto Rican former boxer who made history by becoming the first Cruiserweight to win the world title twice. Subsequently, he kept breaking his own record for the most times as Cruiserweight champion by regaining it twice more.
De León, a native of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, first won a world title when faced with WBC world champion Marvin Camel on November 25, 1980, at the undercard of Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Durán's second fight in New Orleans. De León outpointed Camel over 15 rounds. After he knocked out Camel in 8 in a rematch, countryman Ossie Ocasio won the WBA world title, becoming the second pair of Puerto Ricans to share world titles in the same division at the same time, after Alfredo Escalera and Samuel Serrano had achieved the feat in the 1970s at Jr. Lightweight. De León lost his title in a shocking upset to former Gerry Cooney victim S. T. Gordon by a knockout in round 2 at Cleveland in 1982, and won a comeback fight versus former world Heavyweight champion Leon Spinks by a knockout in round six in 1983. After that, he and Gordon boxed a rematch in Las Vegas, and De León dropped Gordon
Esmeralda Santiago (born May 17, 1948) is a Puerto Rican author and former actress known for her novels and memoirs.
Santiago was born on 17 May 1948 in the San Juan district of Villa Palmeras, Santurce, Puerto Rico. During her early life her family moved from the city, to the countryside, and vice versa. During those times they dealt with poverty. In 1961, she came to the United States when she was thirteen years old and the eldest in a family that included eleven children. Santiago attended a junior high school in Brooklyn, and went on to attend New York City's Performing Arts High School. She graduated from Harvard University and Sarah Lawrence College. She eventually met Frank Cantor and married him. The couple founded CANTOMEDIA, a film and media production company, which has won numerous awards for excellence in documentaries. Santiago currently lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband.
Her writing career evolved from her work as a writer of documentary and educational films. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared kin national newspapers including the New York Times and the Boston Globe, and on mass market magazines like House & Garden, Metropolitan Home,
Mayra Santos-Febres (born 1966) is a Puerto Rican author, poet, novelist, professor of literature, and literary critic who has garnered fame at home and abroad.
In 1991, Santos-Febres garnered attention and critical acclaim for her first two collections of poetry, Anamu y manigua and El orden escapado. In 1996, Santos-Febres won the Juan Rulfo Award for her short story, Oso blanco, which was published in her collection of short stories called Pez de Vidrio. Pez de Vidrio (published in English as Urban Oracles) contains 15 short stories about the complicated relationships between sexual desire, race, identity, social status, and political status in modern Caribbean society.
Her first novel and one of her most famous books is Sirena Selena vestida de pena (published in English as Sirena Selena), in which she describes the life of a teenaged homosexual male drag queen who works in the streets and has a talent for singing boleros.
Santos-Febres completed her undergraduate work at the University of Puerto Rico and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. (1991) from Cornell University. Her work has been translated into French, English, German, and Italian, and is taught in many universities in the
Roberto Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 – December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican baseball right fielder who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 through 1972. Clemente was awarded the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 1966. He was on the NL All-Star team 15 times, received 12 Gold Glove Awards, and led the NL in batting average four times. In 1972, Clemente got his 3,000th major league hit.
Off the field, Clemente was involved in charity work in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries, often delivering baseball equipment and food to those in need. He died in an aviation accident on December 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Clemente was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973, becoming the first Latin American to be selected and the only current Hall of Fame member for whom the mandatory five-year waiting period had been waived. Clemente is also the first Hispanic player to win a World Series as a starter (1960), receive an MVP Award (1966), and receive a World Series MVP Award (1971).
Roberto Clemente was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico,
Carmen Lourdes Dominicci Ramos (born July 15, 1966 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a news anchor, television reporter and PSA representative.
Dominicci Ramos, a native of Ponce, began appearing in television commercials and beauty pageants in Puerto Rico during the late 1980s. She represented Puerto Rico in modeling competitions in the United States and Europe. Later she began acting in theater T TV comedies and in mini-series (which is a term used for shorter, three or four chapter versions of telenovelas (soap operas), which helped her become a household name and recognized figure in Puerto Rico. She left modeling and acting to study journalism. She married Puerto Rican actor Osvaldo Rios and had a son: Guiliano Rios Dominicci.
In the 1990s in Puerto Rico, Carmen Dominicci was active as a news reporter and began appearing in TV news shows in TeleOnce and became news anchorwoman for Wapa TV. In 1998, she signed a contract with Telemundo 47 as news anchorwoman and worked in New York City for four years covering important events such as 9/11. In 2002 Dominicci joined Univision's highly touted news show Primer Impacto and for three years anchored and reported events such as the Pope's John
Wilnelia, Lady Forsyth-Johnson (born 12 October 1957, Caguas, Puerto Rico), more commonly known by her maiden name as Wilnelia Merced, became in 1975 the first and to date only winner of the Miss World title from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
She travelled widely during her reigning year and was invited to pre-civil war El Salvador by that country's government. She fell in love with England, which she would later make her home.
After passing on her crown, in 1976, she was signed by Ford Models in New York. In 1978 a giant poster of her was displayed in Times Square, and she was introduced, in London at the 1980 Miss World competition gala to British television entertainer Bruce Forsyth. Merced and Forsyth married in 1983. While still a public figure at home in Puerto Rico she retired as a model after her wedding. They had a son in 1986. She has a foundation to help Puerto Rico's under-privileged children, for which she organizes charity balls.
Merced lives with her husband and their son, Jonathan Joseph, on the Wentworth Estate in Surrey, England. In 2002, during one of her visits to Puerto Rico, her home was broken into by thieves, who injured one of her maids.
In June 2011, it
Daniel Gregg Santiago (born June 24, 1976 in Lubbock, Texas, United States) is a American-Puerto Rican professional basketball player, currently playing at the center position for the Capitanes de Arecibo in Puerto Rico. Santiago is the fourth player from Puerto Rico to play in a NBA game. He has played in the NBA, NCAA, NAIA, and the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico, and overseas in Italy and Spain. Santiago has also been a member of the Puerto Rican national team since 1998.
Santiago's paternal grandfather, Pedro Rodriguez, was a well known baseball player in Puerto Rico and emigrated to the United States to play. Due to his small stature he was nicknamed "Jockey," while grandson Daniel received the "El Gigante" (the giant) moniker. Puerto Rico's Jockey Rodriguez retired from baseball with the Albuquerque Dukes team under the name Pedro Santiago.
Santiago was raised in the West Texas area of Lamesa on a cotton farm and later in Albuquerque, New Mexico where his parents, Stan and Diana Santiago, originated. He has two younger brothers, Matthew and Jarrett Santiago. Santiago attended and played Junior College basketball at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell,
Isabel Luberza Oppenheimer (23 July 1901 — 4 January 1974), better known as "Isabel la Negra", was a Puerto Rican brothel owner and madam in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Her name and her brothel, Elizabeth's Dancing Club, became part of Puerto Rican folklore both during her life and posthumously.
Isabel Luberza Oppenheimer was born in barrio San Anton, Ponce, Puerto Rico on 23 July 1901.
Apart from her business as a madam, well documented in many Puerto Rican newspapers such as El Dia and El Vocero, not much is known about her life. The most widely accepted legend is that Isabel left home as a young teenager to live with a wealthy man, only to find out that he was married. She then dated, and married, a much older man, a wealthy American.
From the late 1930s to the mid-1960s Isabel la Negra owned and operated her bordello in the municipality of Ponce. At that time prostitution was tolerated. Her bordello was allegedly visited by politicians, businessmen, clergy members, etc. but this remains conjecture.
Dubbed by the public Isabel la Negra, she declared herself "Madame" of her brothel. Isabel had two brothels: one in Barrio San Anton and another one in Barrio Maraguez. While her brothel
Jesús Colón (1901–1974) was a Puerto Rican writer known as the Father of the Nuyorican Movement.
Colón was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War when the American Tobacco Company gained control of most of the tobacco producing land in Puerto Rico. His father was a baker and his family owned the "Colon Hotel". His home was behind the town's cigar factory, which hired "readers" to read stories and current events to the employees whilst they worked. As a child, Colón visited the factory to listen to these stories. He was exposed to the writings of Karl Marx and Émile Zola. From these ideas he formed a personal socialist ideology and also an interest in both the spoken and written word. The family moved to San Juan where he attended and continued his education at the Jose Julian Acosta School. His brother Joaquin attended the Central High School.
In 1917, when he was 16 he boarded the SS Carolina as an employee and landed in Brooklyn, New York. There he went to live with his older brother, Joaquin Colon, who was already residing in Brooklyn. He worked in various unskilled jobs and was able to observe the deplorable conditions of the working class of the time.
Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López (born September 1, 1975) is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, writer, actor and film director who was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. He is the composer, guitarist and producer for the progressive rock group The Mars Volta, and the former bassist and guitarist for the dub reggae band De Facto and the post-hardcore outfit At the Drive-In, respectively. He has also embarked on a solo career, both in studio and in concert, frequently described as experimental, avant-garde and/or progressive. He has collaborated with numerous artists spanning from John Frusciante to El-P.
Rodríguez-López was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in El Paso, Texas, but spent some of his childhood in South Carolina. He began playing the bass at age 12, but then switched to guitar at 15 because he "needed more strings". It was during this time that Rodríguez-López met Cedric Bixler-Zavala while practicing with friend Paul Hinojos. Since then Rodríguez-López has spent most of his career living and working with his close friend Bixler-Zavala. During this time he frequently collaborated with his friends and future bandmates from El Paso, which included people such as Paul
Ángel Espada (born on February 2, 1948 in Salinas, Puerto Rico) is a former boxer from Puerto Rico. He was the WBA's world Welterweight champion in 1975-76. A music lover, Espada also organized, during the late 1970s, a salsa orchestra. Espada's nickname is "Cholo".
Espada began his professional boxing career on March 11, 1967, with a defeat at the hands of future Antonio Cervantes world title challenger Josue Marquez, on a six round decision, at San Juan. His next two fights were declared draws (ties). Both were against Luis Vinales.
After another defeat and a draw (both against Chris Fernandez), Espada got his first win. On April 1, 1968, he knocked out Linfer Contreras in the first round in San Juan. After one more win, he fought outside Puerto Rico for the first time, losing on points after six rounds to future Roberto Durán world title challenger Jimmy Robertson, on September 27, 1969, at Los Angeles, California.
His next fight would be against Bobby Joe Hughes, April 9, 1969 in San Juan. Hughes was disqualified for using illegal tactics during the fight, and this victory marked the beginning of a fifteen fight winning streak for Espada. On November 7 of 1970, the streak was
Kamar de los Reyes (born November 8, 1967) is an American actor.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cuban percussionist Walfredo de los Reyes and a Puerto Rican mother, Matilde Pages, Kamar de los Reyes grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. With appearances in many films, including The Cell (2000), de los Reyes is best known for his portrayal of Antonio Vega on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live, a role he played from 1995 - 2009. In 2001 he starred in a made for TV movie, The Way She Moves, starring Annabeth Gish and fellow soap opera star Daniel Cosgrove. He also starred in the controversial film Love and Suicide and in Toni Braxton's video for her song "Spanish Guitar". He has made numerous guest appearances on shows such as Law & Order and CSI: Miami.
In 1995, de los Reyes starred with James Woods, Ed Harris and Sir Anthony Hopkins in Oliver Stone's controversial biopic, Nixon, playing convicted Watergate burglar, Eugenio Martínez. In April 2007, Kamar had surgery on his arm which he injured doing the role of Antonio Vega on One Life To Live. Robert Montano took over the role of Antonio Vega for him as he recovered.
De los Reyes married actress Sherri Saum in 2007.
Samuel Serrano (born November 17, 1952), nicknamed Sammy and El Torbellino, is a Puerto Rican who won boxing's world junior lightweight championship twice.
Serrano, owner of long arms, began his career on October 29, 1969 with a four round decision win over Ramon Laureano. He built a fan base in Puerto Rico, campaigning there for his first 23 bouts, including winning and losing the Puerto Rican Featherweight title v.s Francisco Villegas. For his 24th bout, he traveled to Panama City, where he met future world Featherweight champion Ernesto Marcel, who beat him on points in 10 rounds. That would be his last defeat in a long time.
He then continued his winning ways, including a 10 round decision win over tough veteran Cocoa Perez and one win over former title challenger Diego Alcala, also by decision in 10. Serrano then travelled in 1976 to Honolulu, Hawaii, to meet reigning WBA world jr. Lightweight champion, the Filipino Ben Villaflor. By most writer's accounts, Serrano beat Villaflor, but he had to return home only with a 15 round draw (tie).
The WBA ordered an immediate rematch, and so on October 16 of the same year, Villaflor went to San Juan to defend his title for the second
Tomás Batista (born 1935) is considered by many to be Puerto Rico's greatest sculptor. He is the creator of some of Puerto Rico's most famous monuments.
Batista (birth name: Tomás Batista Encarnación) was born and raised in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, a town located in the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico. His family was poor but, despite the fact that his family's economic situation wasn't a good one, he did well in school and was able to finish high school. His family recognized that their son had talent as an artist at a young age. After graduating from high school, he moved to San Juan to continue his education. There he met and went to work with the Spanish artist, Angel Botello. In 1955, while working with Botello, Batista discovered that he had a natural talent to work with the restoration process in wood. He learned from Botello the secrets of restoration and how to work with gold on wood. In 1957, he realized his first work of art, the Crucifixion.
In 1958, Batista was awarded a grant and studied sculptoring at the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture under the direction of the Maestro Compostela. Batista also studied art in La Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes La Esmeralda in
Denise Marie Quiñones August (born September 9, 1980 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress and beauty pageant titleholder who was the fourth woman from her country to win the Miss Universe contest. Prior to winning the Miss Universe pageant, she represented her hometown of Lares in the Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2001 pageant.
Quiñones won the Miss Universe 2001 pageant in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 2001. Her win, over Greek contestant Evelina Papantoniou, came on the Miss Universe pageant's 50th anniversary. As Miss Universe, Quiñones resided in New York City for a year, enjoying the benefits that all winners of the pageant receive, including complimentary make-up and haircare, a car, complete wardrobe, professional representation by the Miss Universe Organization, a $60,000 scholarship to a New York City film school, and traveling opportunities.
On the night of the Miss Universe 2002 contest, she passed on her crown, once again in Puerto Rico (this time the event was held in the city of San Juan), to Oxana Fedorova of Russia.
Since relinquishing the title, Quiñones attended the School for Film and Television's two-year conservatory acting program. Presently an actress,
Eddie Santiago (Eduardo Santiago Rodríguez) (born August 18, 1955) is a salsa singer from Puerto Rico. At a young age, Eddie demonstrated great love for salsa music. He performed with several groups, including Generación 2000, Orquesta La Potente, Orquesta Opus, and the Orquesta Saragüey.
Santiago's career took off in 1984 in Puerto Rico and Latin America as a soloist, formimg his own band, and recording songs including: "Tú me quemas" (You Burn Me), "Qué Locura Enamorarme de Ti" (What Madness To Fall in Love With You), "Me Fallaste" (You Failed Me), Antidoto y Veneno (Antidote and Venom), "Tu Me Haces Falta" (I Need You), his best known hit "Lluvia" (Rain, not to be confused with Menudo's hit of the same name), and many others. His fame eventually spread to Europe and the United States, making him one of the most popular Salsa singer in the late 80's and early 90's. He was one of the main singers of "Salsa romántica" ("romantic salsa").
His first major recording on an international label was with Sony Music in 1999. He also recorded for the TH, EMI Latin, and Polygram labels, including the well regarded production inspired by the music of Rafael Hernández, entitled "Enamorado".
Ednita Nazario (born April 11, 1955 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter who has achieved stardom both at home and abroad. She has been in the music business from a young age, and has released over twenty albums throughout her career.
Nazario was born April 11, 1955, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to Domingo Nazario and Gudelia Figueroa. She has two older brothers (Tito and Alberto) and a younger brother (Frank, a.k.a. Pancho). Ednita showed inclinations to music even when small. A family anecdote tells that when she was two, she went shopping with her mother but wandered away in the market. She was found singing on top of boxes to an enthusiastic crowd of shoppers laughing and clapping until her mother took her.
When she was 6 she attended a baseball game in Ponce with her brothers. While she was playing with her brother's glove, the batter hit the ball toward her. She held the glove up for protection, and the ball landed squarely in it. The crowd went wild, including Alfred D. Herger, one of Puerto Rico's top record producers, who was seated near the family. When he asked her if she wanted to be a baseball player, she replied "No, I'm going to be a singer." He
Ivonne Coll (born June 18, 1947) is a former Miss Puerto Rico turned actress who played the role of "Yolanda" in the movie The Godfather II.
Coll (birth name: Ivonne Coll Mendoza ) was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico where she received her primary and secondary education. She was an honor student and graduated from "Nuestra Señora del Pilar" school. She then enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico (Universidad de Puerto Rico) where she studied Social Sciences.
Coll started her career as a fashion model. In 1966, she represented the town of Fajardo in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant and won. In 1967, she represented the island as Miss Puerto Rico in the "Miss Universe" pageant which was celebrated in Miami, Florida.
In 1969, Coll was a back-up singer for Lucecita Benítez when Benitez won the first prize in the "First Latin Song Festival of the World" which took place in Mexico. She also served as back-up for Chucho Avellanet, a popular teen idol in Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1971, Coll debuted as an actress in a local soap opera (telenovela), called "El Sirviente" (The Servant). In the same year she also debuted as a solo singer in the "Club Ocho Puertas (Eight Doors
Luis Vigoreaux Lorenzana (born July 1, 1951) is a Puerto Rican actor and producer. He is the son of Luis Vigoreaux, a legendary Puerto Rican media personality and Rosaura Lorenzana Vilches. He is also the brother of Roberto Vigoreaux, who at times was a local senator, television producer, actor, singer, marketing executive, telecommunications technician and ice cream entrepreneur.
Luisito is a direct contemporary, to the day, of José Carlos Agrelot, the elder son of Puerto Rican comedian José Miguel Agrelot. Both of their fathers were best friends, were working together at a public show the day Luisito and José Jr. were born, and attended the same hospital for their respective sons' births. Both fathers were eventually buried on the same cemetery after their deaths, just metres from each other.
Luisito Vigoreaux and his brother Roberto were deeply impacted by the premature death of their mother (due to cancer) when they were young. By then, their father Luis Vigoreaux had been long separated from Ms. Lorenzana and had married actress Lydia Echevarria, a fact that caused much friction by the Vigoreaux brothers towards her. From his father's side, Luisito and Roberto also have two
Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan de Soler (August 31, 1889 – May 29, 2004) was a Puerto Rican supercentenarian, and, according to documents compiled in March 2004, the oldest documented person in the world after the death of Japanese woman Mitoyo Kawate, although German American woman Charlotte Benkner, who was about 3½ months younger, had been given recognition in the meantime.
She was born and grew up in Utuado, the child of Eduardo Iglesias-Ortiz and Luisa Jordan-Correa (some spelling variants are found in records). In 1948, her birth certificate was signed at Utuado, certifying that she was born at 7:00 AM on September 1, 1889. However, a baptismal certificate of April 1890, found in 1992, revealed that she was actually born the day before, on August 31, 1889. The 1910 census records for Utuado record her as age 20. Her marriage to Alfonso Soler on December 26, 1912, at age 23 is recorded by a certificate on December 28, 1912. They were found together in the January 1920 census when she was 30 and they lived in Arecibo. The couple later moved to the San Juan area known as Santurce. They never had any children of their own, but they adopted one son, Roberto Torres, her
Rafael Ithier (born 1926), is a Salsa musician and the founder of the highly successful orchestra El Gran Combo. Ithier was born in Río Piedras, now a part of greater San Juan.
Ithier was born in the Puerta de Tierra sector of San Juan. Raised in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, he showed a passion for music at a very young age. His father, Nicolas Ithier, played music together with Rafael Hernández Marin, another of Puerto Rico's music legends.
Ithier became an expert guitarist in the bolero genre, and he was a member of the Tito Henriquez group, Taone. His sister Esperanza later inspired him to learn how to play the piano.
Ithier and his namesake, Rafael Cortijo, knew each other and formed a friendship at an early age; rumors of animosity would later surface but they both denied it, saying they considered themselves to be "like brothers." Ithier joined Cortijo's orchestra, "Cortijo y su Combo", during the 1950s. Before that, he was in a New York group named the "Borinqueneers Mambo Boys."
In 1977 Ithier worked as a music arranger on the debut album for the Puerto Rican ensemble band "Puerto Rico All Stars".
In 1962, Ithier formed "El Gran Combo", becoming the orchestra's leader. He has
Elvis Crespo (born July 30, 1971), is a Puerto Rican-American Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning Merengue singer.
Crespo was born in New York City and was named "Elvis" after Elvis Presley. He was raised in the city of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where he spent his childhood and adolescent years.
He first gained fame in the mid-90s when he joined Grupo Mania, in Puerto Rico. Eventually he decided to try to go solo in 1998. His debut album, Suavemente was a hit, both in Latin America and in the US. The single "Suavemente" was a huge hit and eventually helped him earn the Best Male Tropical/Salsa Album of the Year from Billboard magazine. His album went platinum in the Venezuelan and Central American markets and gold in Chile. Released in 1998, Crespo's debut also earned a gold album for sales of over 500,000 copies in the first year after its release in the United States. "Suavemente" set a record for holding the top position on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart for six weeks. Part of the song's success was its unexpected crossover appeal to English-speaking listeners, particularly in Miami and New York." His album was mostly merengue influenced, but his follow-up albums would
Henry Darrow (born September 15, 1933) is a prolific Puerto Rican-American character actor of stage and film. Darrow is probably best remembered for his role as Manolito Montoya on the 1960s television series The High Chaparral. Younger fans may remember him for his role as the corrupt and vengeful Trooper Hancock in The Hitcher. He later replaced Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Don Alejandro de la Vega on the popular 1990s TV series, Zorro.
Darrow was born Enrique Tomas Delgado in New York City, the first son of Gloria and Enrique Pio Delgado, who worked in the restaurant and clothing businesses. Darrow's parents emigrated from Puerto Rico to New York in the early 1930s. At the age of eight, he played a woodcutter in a school play, experience which convinced him that his destiny was as an actor.
In 1946, when Darrow was 13, his family returned to Puerto Rico, where he discovered his roots and grew to love a country he had not known. He graduated from Academia del Perpetuo Socorro high school in Miramar, Puerto Rico, as class president before enrolling in the University of Puerto Rico. There he studied political science and acting, and worked as a part-time English-language interpreter.
Míriam Colón (born August 20, 1936) is a Puerto Rican actress and the founder and director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City.
Colón (birth name:Míriam Colón Valle} was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She was a young girl in the 1940s when her recently divorced mother moved the family to a public housing project called "Residencial Las Casas", located in Barrio Obrero, San Juan. She attended the Ramon Baldorioty de Castro High School in Old San Juan, where she actively participated in the school's plays. Her first drama teacher, Marcos Colón (no relation) believed that she was very talented and with his help she was permitted to observe the students in the "Drama Department of the University of Puerto Rico". She was a good student in high school and was awarded scholarships that enabled her to enroll in the "Dramatic Workshop and Technical Institude" and also in "The Lee Strasburg Acting Studio" in New York City.
In 1953, Colón debuted as an actress in Peloteros (Baseball Players), starring Ramón (Diplo) Rivero, a film produced in Puerto Rico, and in which she played a character called "Lolita."
In 1954, Colón moved to New York City, where she worked in theater and
Braulio Castillo Cintrón (b. March 30, 1933, Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was a telenovela actor in Latin America. His two sons, Braulio Castillo, Jr. and Jorge Castillo, are also actors.
Castillo played in the Orquesta Mandolina in Puerto Rico, before working as an actor. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a concentration the performing arts. He had roles in Puerto Rican television soap operas, during the 1950s; he worked at Telemundo Puerto Rico productions.
Castillo later relocated to Peru, where he performed the leading role in the telenovela, "Simplemente María" ("Simply Mary"), with Peruvian actress Saby Kamalich. There, Castillo was the first MC of the international children's puppet show based on the Italian fictional character of Topo Gigio.
He then moved to Mexico during the 1960s, and performed in Mexican films such as "El Cielo y Tu" ("Heaven and You"), among others, and working in several Televisa productions.
In 1970 Castillo was hit in the head by a rock, while filming a scene for a movie. He survived, but retired from the entertainment business. He still occasionally makes appearances on television.
Gina Lynn (born Tanya Mercado; February 15, 1974) is a Puerto Rican and Italian pornographic actress.
Lynn was born to Puerto Rican and Italian parents in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Jackson Township, New Jersey; she currently resides and operates Gina Lynn Productions in Reading, Pennsylvania. Subsequently she expanded into modeling in men's magazines, posing for Chéri in 1997. She made her adult film debut in 2001 as a contract girl with Pleasure Productions.As of 2009 she continues to make movies for the company, as well as for her own studio, Gina Lynn Productions.
Lynn made an appearance in Eminem's "Superman" music video, as well as Vinnie Paz's "Keep Movin' On" music video and was an extra in the movies Analyze That and MingHags. She had a brief speaking role as a stripper in a 2004 episode of The Sopranos.
In March 2012, Gina was announced by Penthouse Magazine to be their Penthouse Pet for April 2012.
Jacobo Morales (born 12 November 1934) is an auteur, whom many consider to be the most influential film director in Puerto Rico's history.
Morales was born in Lajas, Puerto Rico. He started acting in radio and theater when he was only 14 years old. He started in television at its inception in 1954 working as an actor, writer and director. Some of his works have been: Desafiando a los Genios, Esto no tiene Nombre, La Tiendita de la Esquina, among many others.
During this time, he also started working with the political satire and comedy group Los Rayos Gamma, together with journalist Eddie López. The group still performs at theaters occasionally, and in the 80s and 90s had several shows on TV. In theatre, he has starred in over 30 plays, and he has written and directed five.
In the 1970s, he had the opportunity to work in Hollywood productions like Woody Allen's Bananas and Up the Sandbox with Barbra Streisand.
His first directing work was the film Dios los cría in 1980. The film was an important event in the Puerto Rican film history and received several awards. It was also selected as one of the 25 most significant films of Latin America. He followed it with Nicolás y los demás in
Julito Rodríguez born October 5, 1925 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, is a bolero singer, guitarist & composer.
Rodriguez was acknowledged to be a child prodigy in music, becoming interested in this topic since his early childhood. His father encouraged him to study the violin and soon, he joined the Banda Hatuey as a substitute.
After moving across the island to Ponce, a town located in the south coast, he organized the "Orquesta Hatuey de Ponce".
Julito Rodriguez got his first guitar as a present from his mother. He returned to San Juan in 1946, to study at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, there he joined the ROTC band directed by Rafael Alers. By 1947, Rodriguez had found a new musical passion in the "trio" music. His first "trio" was named "Los Romanceros". The group enjoyed considerable success until 1950, when Rodriguez decided to join the United States military.
Rafael Hernández helped Rodriguez decide to join the world famous trio, Los Panchos, in 1952. With Los Panchos, Rodriguez's fame expanded beyond Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America, as the group made several tours that also included Spain, Portugal, Italy and even Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East. Julito
Luis Guzmán (born August 28, 1956) is a Puerto Rican-born American actor, who is known for his character work. For much of his Guzmán's career, he has played character roles largely as sidekicks, thugs, or policemen.
He is a favorite of director Steven Soderbergh, who cast him in Out of Sight, The Limey, and Traffic, and Paul Thomas Anderson, who cast him in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. He also voiced Ricardo Diaz in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. He recently starred in the HBO original series How to Make It in America.
Guzmán was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico and was raised in New York City's Greenwich Village and the surrounding Lower East Side neighborhood. His mother, Rosa, was a hospital worker, and his stepfather, Benjamin Cardona, was a TV repairman. A graduate of City College of New York, he began his career not as an actor but as a social worker and moonlighted as an actor, eventually becoming heavily involved in street theater and independent films.
Guzman's numerous movie credits include Carlito's Way, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, Welcome to Collinwood, Stonewall, Waiting..., The Salton Sea, and Lemony Snicket's A
Angelita Lind a.k.a. "The Angel of Puerto Rico" (born January 13, 1959) is a Puerto Rican track and field athlete.
Lind was born in the barrio Marin Bajo of Patillas, Puerto Rico into a poor family. She received her primary and secondary education in her hometown. Lind first participated in track and field events in the 7th grade and later continued participating for her high school. However, it wasn't until she became a student at the Inter-American University that she was asked by the Puerto Rican Olympic Committee to represent Puerto Rico in international sports events.
Lind has represented the island and participated in three Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) and won two gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal. She also participated in three Pan American Games and in the 1984 Olympics celebrated in Los Angeles, California.
In the CAC of 1982, celebrated in Havana, Cuba, Lind was the standard carrier of the Puerto Rican flag. In those games, she won a gold medal in the 1,500 meter dash with a record time of 4:25.88 and a silver in the 800 meters dash in a controversial race in 2:04.24. In that race, she crossed the finish line with two Cuban runners next
Roberto ("Bobby") José Hatton Negron (born October 11, 1976) is a Puerto Rican professional basketball player. Hatton has most notably played for Marist College in the NCAA and the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico with the Arecibo Captains, San Germán Athletics, and the Ponce Lions. Hatton has also played professionally in Portugal, Russia, Mexico and France. Hatton has been a member of the Puerto Rico national basketball team since 1993, taking part in both the 2004 Olympic Games, famous for their defeat of the United States team, as well as the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago (November 22, 1918 – July 13, 1963) was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Rodríguez was a layperson of the Roman Catholic Church, who was beatified on April 29, 2001. He is the first Puerto Rican, the first Caribbean-born layperson and the first layperson in the history of the United States to be beatified.
Rodríguez was the son of Manuel Baudilio Rodriguez and Herminia Santiago, both from large, Catholic families. He was baptized at the Sweet Name of Jesus Church in Caguas on May 4, 1919. Rodríguez was the second of five brothers and sisters. Two of his sisters married, while another is a Carmelite nun. His only brother, Pepe Rodriguez is a Benedictine priest and the first Puerto Rican to become abbot of his monastery.
Charlie attended the Colegio Católico Notre Dame, located in Caguas. At the age of 12, Rodríguez saved his cousin from a dog attack. He was badly wounded in the attack, receiving severe bites which led to serious intestinal problems. Later, these medical problems caused him to leave university prior to graduation.
At university, Rodríguez became a Catholic lay minister. He professed extreme devotion to the liturgy and worked to
Melina León (born 12 July 1973 as Yamillette Aponte Yunqué in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican merengue singer and actress. From an early age she performed with several groups including The Rubi, Girls of Puerto Rico and The Cherries, with whom she appeared in several San Juan hotels. Her first recording, Mujeres Liberadas, appeared in 1997 on the Tropix Music label. This was followed in 1998 with a Sony release, Con Los Pies Sobre La Tierra. By 2003 she was also performing as an actress on television movies such as: "Yo Creo en Santa Claus" in 2004, broadcast by Televicentro in Puerto Rico, and Wapa America in the United States, among others, and has received several popular awards and had several successful albums and singles on the Billboard Tropical and Latin charts.
León started singing as a girl in musical festivals and music contests. At the age of 15, she joined a group called Las Cheris (The Cherries). After that she formed a group called Ruby which released an album through Independent Musical Productions.
Tropix Music signed her as a solo artist and she released her first album Mujeres Liberadas (Liberated Women) in 1997 which reached the top 10 of the
Wilfredo Gómez (born October 29, 1956), sometimes referred to as Bazooka Gómez, is a former boxer and three time world champion.
Gómez was born in a poor area of Las Monjas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has admitted to newspapers that, as a little child, he had to fight off bullies on Las Monjas' streets. He has told some Puerto Rican newspapers that he felt he was born to fight because of that situation. Gómez's father was a taxi driver and his mother was a homemaker. Gómez himself reportedly used a bicycle as means of transportation when he was young, and he sold candy to earn pocket money before becoming an amateur boxer.
Gómez won the gold medal at the 1974 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and 1974 World Championships in Havana, Cuba before turning professional. He also competed in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, getting eliminated by an Egyptian rival in the Olympic's first round of bouts. He compiled an overall record of 96 wins and 3 defeats as an amateur boxer. Because of his family's economical situation, he decided not to wait for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, opting to begin making money right after
Ana G. Méndez (January 7, 1908 - February 18, 1997) was an educator who founded the Ana G. Mendez University System in Puerto Rico.
Born in Aguada, Puerto Rico, Mendez was one of eight children born to Francisco Monje and Ana Cofresí and was a direct descendant of the Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, on her mother's side.
In 1935, Méndez graduated from high school in Santurce; she earned her Bachelor's Degree in commercial education from the University of Puerto Rico in 1940. It was during the 1940s that she realised that students should have the option of having a short term college for a commercial or technical career - this led in 1941, to her founding the Puerto Rican High School of Commerce with 3 teachers and nine students.
In 1948, Méndez graduated from New York University with a Master's Degree. In 1948, she founded the Puerto Rico Junior College in Rio Piedras with 19 students; this became the first educational institution in Puerto Rico to offer an associates degree (2 year college). An educational visionary, Méndez founded universities, television stations, college classes by mail and as mentioned above the associates degree.
Among the universities founded by Mendez
Johnny Lozada (born on December 21, 1967 in Caguas, Puerto Rico) is an actor and singer who is a former member of Menudo, during Menudo's golden years.
Lozada became a member of the group in 1980 and was there until early 1984. He was replaced by Robi Rosa. In between, he participated in the album Quiero Ser, which became Menudo's top selling album ever, in the record breaking Brazilian concert that drew 250,000 screaming teens to the stadium, in the big Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport welcoming of which the group was an object when they arrived back to Puerto Rico after touring Mexico in 1981, and the movie Una Aventura Llamada Menudo, where he played the boy who fell in love with one of Gladys Rodríguez's daughters in the movie.(Actually, they were her nieces, they called her "Tia", Spanish for Aunt.)
Lozada was the romantic one of the group, and his hits with the group included the classic Clara and Señora Mia, a song with a 'son talking to his mom' message that he sang to Ms. Rodriguez in one of the movie's scenes.
He also participated in two soap operas with Menudo in Venezuela.
In 1986, Lozada participated in a campaign to encourage youth abstinence from sex, in which
Roy Stefán Roselló Díaz (born May 1st, 1970 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a former member of Menudo.
Rosselló was a member of Menudo from mid 1983 to January 1986. He substituted Miguel Cancel and debuted in the album A Todo Rock. He was replaced by Sergio Blass in 1986. Rosselló did not contribute a lot of lead singing for Menudo. Most of the time, he sang backing. During his time, Menudo reached great popularity in Asia, more specifically in the Philippines and Japan. They had hits like Indianápolis and Like A Cannonball, which was featured on Cannonball Run 2.
Since 2003 Roy lives between Puerto Rico and Brazil, spending more time in Brazil, where he has four children, all Brazilians. When Roy is residing in the Caribbean he works at his father's company, selling million-dollar mansions. In 2009 he tried to raise funds to make a show meeting with former Menudos. He is the former brother-in-law of Mara Croatto, who was once married to his brother Rey Rosselló. He is also the nephew of former Puerto Rican governor Pedro Rosselló.
Since 2006, Rosselló runs a Caribbean-themed bar in the city of Campinas, located in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, where he also owns a jewelry
Dayanara Torres Delgado (born October 28, 1974) is a Puerto Rican actress, singer, model, writer and former Miss Universe.
Torres was discovered at age 17 while walking through the Plaza de Toa Alta in her hometown, and was invited to represent Toa Alta in the annual Miss Puerto Rico pageant. She won the pageant and the right to represent Puerto Rico in the 1993 Miss Universe pageant. In 1992, she participated in the Miss International pageant and became a semi-finalist. The same year, she earned second place at the Queen of the World contest.
Torres won the crown in the Miss Universe pageant held in Mexico City on May 21, 1993. Torres' victory in the pageant caused some controversy because of the claim that she was still a minor; however, Torres had turned 18 several months before the contest. Her victory also raised some eyebrows, as she did not top any of the pageant's segments. When Torres returned home to Puerto Rico, she was received with a massive parade.
During and after her reign as Miss Universe, she became an ambassador for UNICEF, traveling through Asia and Latin America in support of the organization. She created the Dayanara Torres Foundation which has provided
Elin Ortiz (born 14 December 1934, Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actor, comedian and producer.
Elin Ortiz graduated from Ponce High School at the age of 16.
Ortiz began his career as a telenovela actor in Puerto Rico, sharing credits with such actors as Walter Mercado, Alicia Villamil and many others. He participated in several soap operas of that era.
In 1985, he returned briefly, as a comedian, this time at a show sponsored by Budweiser, at La Taverna Budweiser, alongside Machuchal. Ortiz worked most of his acting career at WAPA-TV.
Apart from his acting career, he was producer of many television shows in Puerto Rico.
Elin Ortiz was married briefly to dancer and singer Iris Chacón during the early 1970s. In 1978, he married singer Charytín, a Dominican native who had lived in Puerto Rico for many years. In 1979, they had their first son, Shalim. During the late 1980s, they moved to a mansion in Miami, Florida. In 1990, they had a pair of twins, a boy and a girl. Ortiz has since retired from show business. His son Shalim has gone on to become an international singing star and a spokesman for the American Diabetes Association.
On August 16, 2005, the day that Madonna
Elvera Sanchez (September 1, 1905 – September 2, 2000) was an American dancer and the mother of Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sammy Davis, Jr. often stated that his mother was Puerto Rican and born in San Juan. However, the 2003 biography In Black and White states that he made these statements due to the political sensitivities of the 1960s and his mother was instead born in New York of Cuban ancestry. The book states that Elvera was in fact born in New York, the daughter of Cuban Americans Marco Sanchez, a cigar salesman, and Luisa Aguiar (1884-1996), information which was obtained from the daughter and granddaughter of Elvera's sister Julia and from contemporary documentation.
Elvera Sanchez began her career as a chorus-line dancer at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem. She married Sammy Davis, Sr., also a dancer, in 1923. In 1925 their son and only child Sammy Davis, Jr., was born. When the child was three, the couple split up and the father obtained sole custody of his son taking him on the road. Elvera Sanchez was a chorus-line dancer at Apollo Theater for six years. She continued to dance until the 1940s.
From 1989 until her death, she was an adviser to the New York Committee to Celebrate
José Rafael Ortiz (born October 23, 1963), better known as Piculín or Picu, is a retired Puerto Rican professional basketball player. He has played in the NCAA, NBA, various European teams and the National Superior Basketball League of Puerto Rico.
He played for the Utah Jazz while in the NBA and the Atléticos de San Germán, Cangrejeros de Santurce, and Capitanes de Arecibo while in the BSN. Ortiz was a member of the Puerto Rican National Team from 1983–2004. Most notably he was a member of the 2004 Puerto Rican National Basketball Team that defeated the United States. Ortiz was a member of 4 Olympic teams 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2004.
Ortíz holds various honors and records as a basketball player. He ranks #4 and #6 in the all-time statistics for rebounds per game and total rebounds in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional league. He is also the third player to win eight championships in the league. Ortíz is also the first Puerto Rican player to be drafted in the NBA. Many experts consider Ortíz to be the best Puerto Rican basketball player.
Despite his success in sports, Ortíz went through financial troubles after retiring. In 2011, he was arrested for the possession of 218 marihuana
Kermit Cintrón (born October 22, 1979) is a Puerto Rican boxer who is from Carolina, Puerto Rico. Cintrón is trained by Ronnie Shields and managed by Josh Dubin. He is promoted by Top Rank.
Cintrón had a tough childhood. He witnessed as his mother lie in bed for months before she died of cancer. Unable to care for Cintrón and his siblings, Cintrón's father sent him to the United States, with Cintrón's uncle, Benjamin Serrano, a former Middleweight contender who had fought Frank The Animal Fletcher among others. Cintrón's father, however, kept regular contact with his kids. But when Cintrón was 13, another tragic blow shook him: His father died of a heart attack, leaving him and his siblings orphaned on both sides. He is married to María Cintrón, the couple have three children. Two daughters, Denali and Savannah and a son, Santiago.
In early 2008, Cintrón was trained by Emanuel Steward, who focused his training in boxing and counterattacks. He decided to finish this partnership, based on the fact that Steward's time was limited due to several other compromises. Despite this, both conserved a close friendship. During this timeframe, Cintrón abandoned Main Events, signing a
Lorenzo Homar (September 10, 1913 - February 16, 2004), is considered by many to be Puerto Rico's greatest graphic artist.
Homar, born in the "Barrio" Puerta de Tierra of San Juan, Puerto Rico, inherited his love for the arts from both of his parents. His father was an arts promoter and his mother a pianist. He went to grammar school in San Juan. At a young age he moved with his family to New York. Because of the financial situation of his family, Homar quit high school and went to work for a textile factory. In 1931, he attended New York's Art Students League where he learned the art of drawing under the guidance of George Bridgman.
Homar joined the jeweler House of Cartier in 1936 in New York as an apprentice designer. This was of great significance for his artistic development because during this time he studied engraving, drawing and history of design in a traditional workshop system. Furthermore, income from his position at Cartier allowed Homar to take night classes in painting, design and typography at Pratt Institute.
When the United States entered World War II, Homar joined the Army. He saw action in the Philippines where he was wounded and for which he received the Purple
Roberto Roena (born January 16, 1938 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) is a salsa music percussionist, orchestra leader, and dancer. Roena was one of the original members of El Gran Combo, Puerto Rico's first successful salsa music orchestra. He later became the leader of his own band, "Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound", arguably one of the best Latin salsa bands in Puerto Rico. Roena has also been a long-time member of the Fania All Stars, a salsa supergroup that has enjoyed worldwide success since the 1970s.
Born in the Dulces Labios neighborhood of Mayagüez, Roena took his first steps in the art of dance by staging dance routines with his brother Cuqui at his hometown. When Roberto was nine years old, his family settled in Santurce, where the brothers continued to refine their mambo and cha-cha-chá routines, delighting their public in talent contests. This led to their contract of weekly performances on the television program “La Taberna India” on WKAQ-TV. During the broadcasts, percussionist Rafael Cortijo saw Roena in action. Roena, aside from being a dancer, was a talented percussionist (bongos,cowbell) and occasional baseball player.
When Roberto was 16 years old, Cortijo was in need
Roberto Vigoreaux Lorenzana (born January 12, 1956 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican producer, TV show host, actor, singer, and former Senator. He is the son of TV producer Luis Vigoreaux, and the younger brother of Luisito Vigoreaux.
Roberto Vigoreaux was born on January 12, 1956 to producer Luis Vigoreaux and Rosaura Lorenzana. He is the youngest of two sons, the other being Luisito Vigoreaux.
Vigoreaux studied at the University of Puerto Rico, and then at Loyola University New Orleans.
In 1970, Vigoreaux starred as Chago in the Walt Disney Production Cristobalito, the Calypso Colt, when he was still a young teenager. After growing up, he worked as a radio broadcaster in several stations, as well as acting in plays. Throughout his career, he has worked for stations like Radio Rock, WAPA Radio, Radio Aeropuerto and Radio Luz.
In 1984, Vigoreaux hosted the show Son del Caribe. Some time later, he moved to WAPA-TV where he starred hosting a game show called Parejo, doble, y triple with his brother, Luisito. He also hosted the show Sábado en Grande. After performing a duet on his show Sábado en Grande, with singer Lourdes Robles, Vigoreaux decided to start a musical career.