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List of Stateside Puerto Ricans

This is a list of Puerto Ricans in the United States, including people born in the US who are of Puerto Rican descent, and Puerto Ricans who live in the US. Since Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the US, Puerto Ricans can migrate to this country more easily than any other ethnic group. Currently, more than five and a half million Puerto Ricans and their descendants live in the US. The following list contains notable members of the Puerto Rican community.

Television show hosts


Actors and actresses

Directors, producer and screenwriters of films, theater and TV

Singers and musicians

Alphabetized by surname

Marc Anthony, singer
  • Adrianne León – American singer-songwriter, chef, personal fitness trainer, model and actress; of Puerto Rican, Italian, and Canadian descent[11]
  • Lisa Lisa – part of the urban contemporary Cult Jam band
  • Jennifer López – singer; Puerto Rican parents[73]
  • Víctor Manuelle – American salsa singer; of Puerto Rican descent
Ricky Martin, singer
Tito Puente, singer
  • Carlos Ponce – Puerto Rican actor, singer, composer and television personality; lives in Miami
  • Miguel Poventud, aka "El Niño Prodigio de Guayama" and "Miguelito" (1942–1983) – Puerto Rican musician, singer, actor and composer of boleros; lived in New York
  • Tito Puente (1923–2000) – Puerto Rican singer and musician[84]
  • Ivy Queen – Puerto Rican, reggaeton composer and singer[85]
  • Domingo Quiñones – American singer of salsa music
  • Ismael Quintana – singer and American composer of salsa music
  • Chamaco Ramírez (1941–1983) – Puerto Rican salsa singer and composer; died in New York
  • Val Ramos – American; Puerto Rican parents
  • Richie Ray – virtuoso pianist, singer, music arranger, composer and religious minister
  • Ray Reyes – American born and Puerto Rican raised
  • Ron Reyes – American musician; second singer for the group Black Flag; of Puerto Rican descent
  • Gabriel Ríos – Puerto Rican pop singer
  • Graciela Rivera (1921–2011) – first Puerto Rican to sing a lead role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York
  • Maso Rivera – virtuoso cuatro player
  • Mon Rivera- singer, composer and bandleader who specialized in plans; known as Mr. Trabalenguas
  • Robbie Rivera – DJ producer
  • Chino Rodríguez (born 1954) – music producer, band leader, musician, manager, booking agent, record company executive, business consultant, and American record label owner, specializing in Latin music, most notably salsa and Latin jazz; American-born, of Puerto Rican descent
  • Daniel Rodríguez (tenor) – American operatic tenor from New York City
  • Tito Rodríguez (1923–1973) – Puerto Rican singer and bandleader, known as "El inolvidable"[86]
  • Omar Rodríguez-López – Puerto Rican singer and musician lead guitar for At the Drive-In and Mars Volta
Gilberto Santa Rosa
  • Draco Rosa – American musician, dancer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor
  • Willie Rosario – musician, composer and Puerto Rican bandleader of salsa music
  • Felipe Rose (born 1954) – American founding member of disco group the Village People; mother is Puerto Rican, father is Native American
  • Frankie Ruiz (1958–1998) – Puerto Rican salsa singer[87]
  • Hilton Ruiz (1952–2006) – Puerto Rican American jazz pianist in the Afro-Cuban jazz mold; resident of Teaneck, New Jersey[88]
  • Sa-Fire – American singer
  • Jimmy Sabater, Sr. (1936–2012) – American Latin musician; parents were Puerto Rican[89]
  • Bobby Sanabria – American drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, producer, and writer specializing in Latin jazz; of Puerto Rican descent[90]
  • Claudio Sánchez – American writer and musician
  • Gilberto Santa Rosa – American salsa singer; of Puerto Rican descent
  • Herman Santiago – rock and roll pioneer and songwriter; claimed to have written the iconic hit "Why Do Fools Fall In Love"; Puerto Rican born and Nuyorucan raised
  • Daniel Santos (1916–1992) – Puerto Rican singer and composer of boleros and guarachas; died in Florida
  • Ray Santos – American Latin Grammy award-winning musician
  • Romeo Santos – American singer, featured composer and lead singer of the Bachata group Aventura; of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent[91]
  • Ray Sepúlveda – Puerto Rican American salsa singer
  • Myrta Silva – Puerto Rican singer and composer of guarachas as well as television hostess and producer
  • Brenda K. Starr – American singer-songwriter; Jewish American father, Puerto Rican mother[92]
  • Olga Tañon – Puerto Rican singer; resident of Orlando, Florida[93]
  • Juan Tizol (1900–1984) – Puerto Rican trombonist and composer
  • Manoella Torres – "the woman who was born to sing"; American singer and actress; of Puerto Rican descent; resident of Mexico[94]
  • Tommy Torres – Puerto Rican producer, singer, and songwriter
  • Tony Touch – American hip hop break dancer, rapper, DJ, producer and actor; of Puerto Rican descent[95]
  • Mario Vázquez – pop and R&B American singer; Puerto Rican parents[96]
  • Alan Vega – American vocalist
  • Little Louie Vega – American musician; half of the Masters At Work musical production team
  • Veronica – American dance music singer and theatrical actress; parents were Puerto Rican[97]
  • Vico C – Puerto Rican rapper and reggaeton artist; considered one of the founding fathers of reggaeton; influential in the development of Latin American hip hop; American of Puerto Rican descent and raised in Puerto Rico[98]
  • Y-Love – American hip-hop artist; Ethiopian father, Puerto Rican mother[99]
  • Yomo – Puerto Rican reggaeton recording artist[100]


  • Hoax – alternative rock band, including Frantz N. Cesar of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent
  • Kane & Abel – rap duo of twin brothers Daniel and David Garcia; of African American and Puerto Rican descent
  • Nina Sky – twin sister singers; American of Puerto Rican parents[101]
  • Sweet Sensation – Puerto Rican female freestyle-dance music trio of New York
  • TKA – Latin freestyle trio, prominent in the 1980s and early 1990s
  • Wisin & Yandel – Puerto Rican group

Models and dancers


  • Nelson Erazo – American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name "Homicide"; of Puerto Rican descent
  • Justin Fargas – American football running back; free agent in the NFL; son of Antonio Fargas
  • Sunny Garcia – American professional surfer
  • Herbert Lewis Hardwick, aka "Cocoa Kid" (1914–1966) – boxer, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012; born in Puerto Rico; Puerto Rican mother, African American father[114]
  • James "Chico" Hernandez – American Sambo athlete; a seven-time member of the USA National Team
  • Oscar Hernandez – musician, musical arranger and American producer; of Puerto Rican descent[65]
  • Shawn Hernandez – American professional wrestler, better known by his ring names "Hotstuff Hernandez" and "Hernandez"; of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent
  • Reggie Jackson – nicknamed "Mr. October" for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the New York Yankees; former American Major League Baseball right fielder; father was Martinez Jackson, half Puerto Rican[115]
  • Butch Lee – NBA player; born in Puerto Rico, raised in New York
  • Michael Lowell – Puerto Rican Major League Baseball third baseman for the Boston Red Sox; Puerto Rican born, American raised[116]
  • Edgar Martínez – nicknamed "Gar" and "Papi"; former Major League Baseball third baseman and designated hitter
  • Vanessa Martínez – Puerto Rican swimmer, represented Puerto Rico at the 2003 Pan American Games
  • Denise Masino – American professional female bodybuilder from the U.S.
  • Carlos Ortiz – Puerto Rican three-time world boxing champion, twice in the lightweight division and once in the junior welterweights
  • Sam Parrilla (1943–1994) – left fielder and pinch-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1970; played in the minor leagues 1963–1972; father of actress Lana Parrilla
  • Travis Pastrana – American motorsports competitor and stunt performer
  • Orlando Perez – American footballer of C.D. Chivas USA
  • Rico Ramos – American super bantamweight boxer and current WBA world super bantamweight champion
  • Ramón Rivas – Puerto Rican professional basketball player; born in New York, of Puerto Rican descent
  • Jorge Rivera – American mixed martial artist; featured on The Ultimate Fighter 4; of Puerto Rican descent; born in Massachusetts; lived in Puerto Rico for a short time as a child[117]
  • Chi Chi Rodriguez – Puerto Rican professional golfer
  • John Ruiz – former American professional boxer[118]
  • Daniel Santiago – professional American basketball player; of Puerto Rican descent
  • Lisa Marie Varon – American professional wrestler, bodybuilder and fitness competitor; of Puerto Rican and Turkish descent


  • Salvador Agrón, aka "The Capeman" (1943–1986) – Puerto Rican gang member who murdered two teenagers in a Hell's Kitchen park in 1959
  • Ariel Castro – former school bus driver who kidnapped, raped, and tortured three women in Cleveland, Ohio and held them captive for a decade
  • Raymond Márquez, aka "Spanish Raymond" – reputed American gangster; parents are from Puerto Rico[119]
  • José Padilla, aka Abdullah al-Muhajir or Muhajir Abdullah – American convicted of aiding terrorists
  • Joshua Rosa – American convicted murderer in the state of Florida; parents are Puerto Rican


Mari Carmen Aponte


  • Joseph M. Acabá – educator, hydrogeologist, and NASA astronaut; American of Puerto Rican parent[121]
  • Edwin David Aponte – educator, author, religious leader, scholar of Latino religions and cultures; born in Connecticut to Puerto Rican parents
  • Frank Bonilla (1925–2010) – American academic of Puerto Rican descent who became a leading figure in Puerto Rican Studies.
  • Ramón E. López – American space physicist and author; played an instrumental role in the implementation of a hands-on science program in elementary and middle grades Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland
  • Andres Ramos Mattei (1940–1987) – Puerto Rican sugar industry historian; died in New Brunswick, New Jersey[122]
  • Carlos Albizu Miranda (1920–1984) – first Hispanic educator to have a North American University renamed in his honor; one of the first Hispanics to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology in the US; Puerto Rican born and American raised[123]
  • Antonia Pantoja (1922–2002) – educator, social worker, feminist, civil rights leader; founder of ASPIRA, the Puerto Rican Forum, Boricua College and Producir
  • Ángel Ramos – founder of the National Hispanic Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Superintendent of the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind; one of the few deaf people of Hispanic descent to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University
  • Carlos E. Santiago – Puerto Rican American labor economist; 7th chancellor of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Ninfa Segarra – last President of the New York City Board of Education


  • María Celeste Arrarás – journalist and TV news presenter
  • Lynda Baquero – American correspondent for WNBC news in New York City; of Puerto Rican ancestry[124]
  • Marysol Castro – American television journalist and weather anchor for The Early Show on CBS[125]
  • Carmen Dominicci – television journalist
  • Jackie Guerrido – Puerto Rican television weather forecaster and journalist
  • Juan Gonzalez – Puerto Rican born investigative journalist[126]
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle – American cable news personality; one of the rotating co-hosts on The Five on Fox News Channel; host of an Internet-only crime-related program for Fox News; Puerto Rican mother, Irish father
  • Tai Hernandez – reporter for WNYW; former correspondent for ABC News
  • Alycia Lane – American television journalist; of Puerto Rican and Welsh descent[127]
  • Lynda López – Emmy Award-winning Puerto Rican American journalist; youngest sister of actress and singer Jennifer Lopez
  • Natalie Morales – television journalist[128]
  • Denisse Oller – Puerto Rican broadcaster, journalist, newspaper columnist; former cooking show host and news anchor at WXTV in New York City
  • Audrey Puente – American meteorologist for WWOR-TV in New York City; daughter of Tito Puente
  • Carlos D. Ramirez (1946–1999) – American publisher; purchased El Diario La Prensa, the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the US

Judges and law enforcement

  • Jose Báez – criminal defense attorney; notable for his defense of accused child murderer Casey Anthony
  • José A. Cabranes – judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; formerly a practicing lawyer, government official, and law teacher; first Puerto Rican appointed to a federal judgeship in the continental US
  • Albert Díaz – American judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; parents are Puerto Rican[134]
  • Nicholas Estavillo – first Puerto Rican and first Hispanic in the history of the NYPD to reach the three-star rank of Chief of Patrol[135]
  • Faith Evans – Hawaiian-Puerto Rican; first woman to be named U.S. Marshal
  • Julio M. Fuentes – Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; first Hispanic judge to serve the Third Circuit; Puerto Rican born, American raised[136]
  • Juan Manuel García Passalacqua (1937–2010) – political commentator, lawyer; Puerto Rican, died in Ohio[137]
  • Dora Irizarry – Puerto Rican federal judge in New York
  • Irma Lozada – first female police officer to die in action in New York[138]
  • José Meléndez-Pérez – Puerto Rican-born U.S. Customs and Border Protection Inspector at Orlando International Airport who became a key figure for the 9/11 Commission when he refused entry to an alleged terrorist prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks
  • Carmen Ortiz – prosecutor attorney, Boston, Massachusetts; American born
  • Juan Pérez-Giménez – Puerto Rican born, U.S. federal judge in senior status
  • Roberto A. Rivera-Soto – Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court; American born, Puerto Rican raised
  • Vanessa Ruiz – Puerto Rican associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest court for the District of Columbia[139]
  • Benito Romano – first American of Puerto Rican heritage to hold the US Attorney's post in New York on an interim basis
  • Joe Sánchez – American highly decorated former New York City police officer; author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department; parents are Puerto Rican[140]
  • Sonia Maria Sotomayor – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S. since August 2009; the Court's 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice[141]
  • Edgardo Ramos – United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York since 2011.
  • Edwin Torres – New York state supreme court judge and author; parents are Puerto Rican[142]
  • Juan R. Torruella – Puerto Rican jurist; currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; first and to date only Hispanic to serve in that court


  • Domingo Arroyo, Jr. (1971–1993) – U.S. Marine; first Puerto Rican and American serviceman killed in Operation Restore Hope during the Somalian Civil War; his family moved to the US when he was 14, seeking better living conditions
  • Joseph B. Avilés (1897–1990) – served in the U.S. Navy and later in the Coast Guard; in 1925, became the first Hispanic Chief Petty Officer in the US Coast Guard; Puerto Rican, lived in Maryland[143]
  • Rafael Celestino Benítez (1917–1999) – highly decorated submarine commander who led the rescue effort of the crew members of the USS Cochino during the Cold War
  • José M. Cabanillas (1901–1979) – Puerto Rican executive Officer of the USS Texas, which participated in the invasions of North Africa and the Battle of Normandy (D-Day) during World War II; died in Virginia
  • Iván Castro – U.S. Army officer who has continued serving on active duty in the Special Forces despite losing his eyesight; parents are Puerto Rican[144]
  • Richard Carmona – American physician and public health administrator[145]
  • Carmen Contreras-Bozak (born 1919) – first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Women's Army Corps, where she served as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions; Puerto Rican; lives in Tampa, Florida[146]
  • Linda García Cubero – former U.S. Air Force officer; of Mexican-American-Puerto Rican descent
  • Rubén A. Cubero – highly decorated member of the U.S. Air Force; first Hispanic graduate of the US Air Force Academy to be named Dean of the Faculty of the academy; parents were Puerto Rican[147]
  • Alberto Díaz, Jr. – first Hispanic Director of the San Diego Naval District and Balboa Naval Hospital; Puerto Rican born and raised
  • Rafael O'Ferrall – United States Army officer; first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to become the Deputy Commanding General for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • Salvador E. Felices (1923–1987) – first Puerto Rican to reach the rank of major general (two-star) in the U.S. Air Force; died in Florida
  • Diego E. Hernández – retired US Navy officer; first Hispanic to be named Vice Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command; Puerto Rican resident of Miami
  • Lester Martínez López, MD, MPH (born 1955) – first Hispanic to head the Army Medical and Research Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland
  • Carlos Lozada (1946–1967) – member of the U.S. Army; one of five Puerto Ricans who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for their actions in combat; Puerto Rican born, raised in New York City
  • Ángel Méndez (1946–1967) – U.S. Marine, posthumously awarded the Navy Cross
  • Virgil Rasmuss Miller (1900–1968) – U.S. Army officer who served as Regimental Commander of the 442d Regimental Combat Team, a unit composed of "Nisei" (second generation Americans of Japanese descent), during World War II[148]
  • Héctor Andrés Negroni – Puerto Rican historian, senior aerospace defense executive, author; first Puerto Rican graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy; lives in Vienna, Virginia[149]
  • Antonia Novello – Puerto Rican physician and public health administrator; US Surgeon General
  • María Inés Ortiz (1967–2007) – first American nurse to die in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom; first Army nurse to die in combat since the Vietnam War; parents were Puerto Rican
  • Evelio Otero, Jr. – former officer in the U.S. Air Force who led the establishment of the first ever US Central Command Headquarters in Qatar
  • Héctor E. Pagán – U.S. Army officer; first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to become Deputy Commanding General of the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • José M. Portela – retired officer of the U.S. Air Force; served in the position of Assistant Adjutant General for Air while also serving as commander of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard
  • Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano (1913–1980) – submarine commander in the US Navy; first Hispanic submarine commanding officer
  • Frederick Lois Riefkohl (1889–1969) – Puerto Rican officer in the U.S. Navy; first Puerto Rican to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy and to be awarded the Navy Cross; lived and died in Florida[150]
  • Rudolph W. Riefkohl (1885–1950) – US Army officer; instrumental in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic[151]
  • Manuel Rivera, Jr. (1959–1991)- first American serviceman of Puerto Rican descent to die in Operation Desert Shield[152]
  • Pedro N. Rivera – retired Puerto Rican US Air Force officer; in 1994 became the first Hispanic medical commander in the Air Force; lives in Alexandria, Virginia[153]
  • Elmelindo Rodrigues Smith (1935–1967) – U.S. Army soldier posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War; of Puerto Rican descent
  • Augusto Rodríguez – Puerto Rican officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War; immigrated to the US in the 1850s[154]
  • Pedro Rodríguez (1912–1999) – earned two Silver Stars within a seven-day period during the Korean War; Puerto Rican; died in Washington, D.C.[155]
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas (1888–1932) – Puerto Rican odontologist (dentist), scientist and a major in the US Army; discovered the bacteria which causes cavities; died in Washington, D.C.
  • Maritza Sáenz Ryan – U.S. Army officer; head of the Department of Law at the US Military Academy; first woman and first Hispanic West Point graduate to serve as an academic department head; Puerto Rican father, Spanish mother[156]
  • Héctor Santiago-Colón (1942–1968) – one of five Puerto Ricans posthumously presented with the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S.; Puerto Rican from New York[157]
  • Frankie Segarra – first Hispanic to reach the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant in his military occupational specialty, 0451 air delivery specialist; parents were Puerto Rican[158]
  • Frances M. Vega (1983–2003) – first female soldier of Puerto Rican descent to die in a combat zone, in Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Pedro del Valle (1893–1978) – U.S. Marine Corps officer; first Hispanic to reach the rank of lieutenant general; in 1900 his family emigrated to the US and became US citizens[159]
  • Humbert Roque Versace (1937–1965) – American U.S. Army officer of Puerto Rican-Italian descent; awarded the US' highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War[160]


Rubén Díaz, Jr.
Maurice Ferre
Josie Serrano
Gloria Tristani
  • Maurice Ferré – Puerto Rican former six-term Mayor of Miami
  • Bonnie García – former representative of California's 80th Assembly District, serving eastern Riverside County and all of Imperial County
  • Robert García – former Democratic US Representative who represented New York's 21st district, 1978–1990
  • Luis Gutiérrez – US Representative; American of Puerto Rican descent[165]
  • Raúl Labrador – Puerto Rican born US Representative for Idaho's 1st congressional district[166]
  • Margarita López – openly lesbian former New York City Council Member who represented New York City Council's 2nd district from 1998 to 2005
  • Evelyn Mantilla – American politician from Connecticut who served from 1997 to 2007 as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Melissa Mark-Viverito – elected Speaker of the New York City Council in January 2014
  • Olga A. Méndez (1925–2009) – first Puerto Rican woman elected to a state legislature in the US mainland
  • Rosie Méndez – American Democratic Party politician in New York
  • Tony Méndez – first native-born Puerto Rican to become a district leader of a major political party in New York City
  • Hiram Monserrate – former member of the New York State Senate
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – American politician, currently (2019) representing New York's 14th congressional district
  • Félix Ortiz – American politician, currently representing New York's 51st Assembly District
  • George Pabey – former mayor of East Chicago, Indiana
  • César A. Perales – American Secretary of State of New York; of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent
  • Eddie Pérez – politician; born in Puerto Rico and raised in the US[167]
  • Adam Clayton Powell IV – member of the New York State Assembly
  • John Quiñones – first Republican of Puerto Rican ancestry elected to the Florida House of Representatives
  • Charles B. Rangel – US Representative for New York's 15th congressional district, since 1971; son of Puerto Rican father and African American mother [168]
  • Samuel Rivera – Democratic mayor of the US city of Passaic, New Jersey (2001–2008)
  • Pedro Segarra – politician and Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut; Puerto Rican born and American raised[169]
  • José Enrique Serrano – US Representative; Puerto Rican born, American raised
  • José M. Serrano – American New York State Senator; son of José Enrique Serrano
  • Darren Soto – Orlando-based attorney and Democratic politician who serves the member of the Florida House of Representatives for District 49
  • Joey Torres – elected mayor of Paterson, New Jersey in 2014, where he had served two prior terms as mayor
  • Gloria Tristani – served from 1997 to 2001 as the first Hispanic woman member of the Federal Communications Commission
  • Miguel del Valle – American politician; former City Clerk of Chicago; Puerto Rican born, American raised[170]
  • Nydia Velázquez – Puerto Rican and US Representative[171]
  • Raúl G. Villaronga – retired Puerto Rican US Army officer; first Puerto Rican mayor of a Texas city; elected Mayor of Killeen, Texas in 1992[172]

Visual arts

  • Olga Albizu (1924–2005) – Puerto Rican abstract expressionist painter; emigrated to New York in 1948[173]
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) – visual artist; African-American of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent[174]
  • David Blaine – American illusionist, magician, and endurance artist; of Puerto Rican-Russian Jewish descent[175]
  • Rafael Ferrer – Puerto Rican artist; 1993 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts; 2011 recipient of an Annalee and Barnett Newman Foundation Grant
  • Elizabeth Marrero – Puerto Rican performance artist, comedian, known as Macha, the "papi chulo drag king," a character she created in 1999; lives in the US
  • Soraida Martínez – contemporary abstract expressionist artist who creates hard-edge paintings; American of Puerto Rican descent[176]
  • Ralph Ortiz – American artist, educator, and founder of El Museo del Barrio
  • Manuel Rivera-Ortiz – Puerto Rican documentary photographer; lives in the US[177]
  • Joe Shannon, prolific artist with permanent exhibits in mulitple museums in the United States[178]
  • Filipo Tirado, aka "Pepe Locuaz" – Puerto Rican puppeteer

Civil rights and activists

Physicians and scientists

  • Joseph M. Acabá – American educator, hydrogeologist, and NASA astronaut; parents are Puerto Rican[121]
  • Víctor Manuel Blanco, PhD (1918–2011) – Puerto Rican astronomer; in 1959 discovered "Blanco 1," a galactic cluster; died in Florida[187]
  • Rafael L. Brás – American civil engineer; Provost to the Georgia Institute of Technology; Puerto Rican-born
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson – American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. His mother is of Puerto Rican ancestry.[188]
  • Enectalí Figueroa-Feliciano, PhD, aka "Tali" – astrophysicist and researcher with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; pioneered the development of position-sensitive detectors
  • Gerónimo Lluberas (1956–2003) – Puerto Rican physician, humanitarian, writer and composer
  • Ramón E. López – space physicist and author
  • Lissette Martínez – lead electrical engineer for the Space Experiment Module program at the Wallops Flight Facility
  • Joseph O. Prewitt Díaz, PhD – retired psychologist; specialized in psychosocial theory; first Puerto Rican recipient of the American Psychological Association; 2008 International Humanitarian Award[189]
  • Pedro Rodríguez, PhD – Director of a test laboratory at NASA; inventor of a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis
  • Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas, DDS (1888–1932) – odontologist (dentist), scientist and a major in the US Army who discovered the bacteria which causes cavities
  • Gualberto Ruaño, MD, PhD – pioneer in the field of personalized medicine; inventor of molecular diagnostic systems used worldwide for the management of viral diseases


  • Nicky Cruz (born 1938) – Christian evangelist; founder of Nicky Cruz Outreach, an evangelistic Christian ministry
  • Alberto Cutié – Puerto Rican Episcopal cleric better known as Padre Alberto; ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1995; became an internationally recognizable name by hosting television and radio programs
  • José Luis de Jesús – founder and leader of Creciendo en Gracia's Christian ministry (Growing In Grace International Ministry, Inc.), based in Miami, Florida
  • Bavi Edna Rivera, aka "Nedi" – American suffragan bishop and Episcopal priest; daughter of the late bishop Victor Manuel Rivera and an Anglo mother[190]
  • Víctor Manuel Rivera (1916–2005) – Puerto Rican born American Episcopalian priest and bishop


  • Jack Agüeros – community activist, poet, writer, and translator
  • Quiara Alegría Hudes – American playwright and author, known for writing the book for the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights; of Jewish and Puerto Rican descent[191]
  • Miguel Algarín – Puerto Rican poet, writer, co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café
  • Rane Arroyo (1954–2010) – American poet, playwright, and scholar; of Puerto Rican descent
  • Pura Belpré (1899 or 1903–1982) – author; first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City[192]
  • Giannina Braschi – Puerto Rican poet and novelist; lives in New York[193]
  • Julia de Burgos (1914–1953) – considered by many as the greatest Puerto Rican poet and one of the greatest female poets of Latin America; died in New York[194]
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer (born 1952) – author; Puerto Rican-born and American raised[195]
  • Jesús Colón (1901–1974) – Puerto Rican writer, known as the "father of the Nuyorican movement"[196]
  • Víctor Hernández Cruz – Puerto Rican poet; New York resident[197]
  • Nicholas Dante (1941–1991) – American dancer and writer; Puerto Rican parents[198]
  • Nelson Denis (born 1954) – Author of War Against All Puerto Ricans, film director, and former New York State Assemblyman
  • Sandra María Esteves – American poet, playwright, and graphic artist; of Puerto Rican, Dominican and African American descent[199]
  • Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes – Puerto Rican author, scholar, and performer; lives in Michigan
  • Pedro J. Labarthe (1905–1966) – Puerto Rican poet, journalist, essayist, and novelist
  • Tato Laviera – Nuyorican poet; born in Puerto Rico; moved to New York City with his family in 1960
  • Muna Lee (1895–1965) – American author and poet; known for her writings that promoted Pan-Americanism and feminism
  • Érika López – American cartoonist, novelist, and performance artist; of Puerto Rican and German American descent[200]
  • Caridad de la Luz, aka "La Bruja" (The "Good" Witch) – poet, actress and activist; parents are Puerto Rican[201]
  • Nemir Matos-Cintrón – Puerto Rican author; lives in Florida
  • John Meléndez, aka "Stuttering John" – American television writer and former radio personality
  • Nicholasa Mohr – one of the best known Nuyorican writers[202]
  • Micol Ostow – American author, editor and educator; Jewish-American father, Puerto Rican mother[203]
  • George Pérez – Puerto Rican-American writer and illustrator of comic books; his family moved from Caguas to the New York area in the 1940s[204]
  • Pedro Pietri (1944–2004) – Nuyorican poet and playwright; co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Cafe; Puerto Rican born and American raised[205]
  • Carmen M. Pursifull – former New York City Latin dance and Latin American music figure of the 1950s, and since 1970 in Illinois; English-language free verse poet; of Puerto Rican and Spanish descent[206]
  • Marie Teresa Ríos (1917–1999) – American author of a book which was the basis for the 1960s television sitcom The Flying Nun; of Puerto Rican and Irish descent[citation needed]
  • Ángel Rivero Méndez, wrote Crónica de la guerra hispano-americana en Puerto Rico, which is considered one of the most complete works written in regard to that military action
  • Esmeralda Santiago – Puerto Rican author and former actress known for her novels and memoirs
  • Tony Santiago – Puerto Rican military historian
  • Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, aka Arthur Schomburg (1874–1938) – Puerto Rican historian, writer, and activist in the US who raised awareness of the social contributions made by Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans; died in New York; immigrated to New York in 1891[207]
  • Piri Thomas (1928–2011) – writer and American poet; memoir Down These Mean Streets became a best-seller; Puerto Rican mother, Cuban father
  • Edwin Torres – Nuyorican poet
  • Ed Vega (1936–2008) – Puerto Rican novelist and short story writer[208]
  • Irene Vilar – editor, literary agent, author of books dealing with national and generational trauma and women's reproductive rights
  • William Carlos Williams (1883–1963) – American poet, closely associated with modernism and Imagism; of English and Puerto Rican descent[209]


See also


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External links