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Luis Muñoz Marín

the first elected Governor of Puerto Rico

Luis Muñoz Marín was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on February 18, 1898, the son of statesman/publisher Luis Muñoz Rivera. He was educated in the United States, where his father served as Resident Commissioner from 1910 to 1916, after which he served as secretary to the commissioner, studied law, and wrote two books. After returning to Puerto Rico in 1926, Muñoz Marín edited the newspaper La Democracia, which had been founded by his father. His political career began when he was elected to the Puerto Rican Senate in 1932.

Muñoz Marín's alliance with the movement for complete independence from the United States led to his expulsion from the Liberal Party in 1937. He subsequently organized the Popular Democratic Party, the 1940 victory of which made him President of the Senate. In that capacity Muñoz Marín worked closely with Territorial Governor Rexford G. Tugwell to improve housing, farming, and industrial conditions; a program he called Operation Bootstrap. He also changed his mind about Puerto Rican independence.

When Puerto Ricans gained the right to elect their own Governor in 1948, Muñoz Marín was their overhwelming choice. He was re-elected in 1952, 1956, and 1960, but chose to return to the Senate rather than run for a fifth term in 1964. His most significant achievement during his time in office was the achievement of commonwealth status for Puerto Rico in 1952.

Luis Muñoz Marín died in San Juan on April 30, 1980.

Luis Muñoz Marín being sworn in for his third term as Governor in 1957.
Munoz Marin being sworn in for his third term as Governor, in 1957

SEE ALSO
San Juan

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This page was last updated on 04/13/2017.