Luis Muñoz Marín


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(b. 18 Feb. 1898, d. 30 Apr. 1980).

Governor of Puerto Rico 1949–65 Born in San Juan, he attended Georgetown University (1912–16) and subsequently worked as secretary to the Puerto Rican resident commissioner in Washington (1916–18). Upon his return to Puerto Rico he became involved in journalism, and became editor of his father's newspaper, La democracia. Elected to the Puerto Rican Senate in 1932, he founded the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD, Popular Democratic Party) in 1939. Originally a strong advocate of independence, Muñoz changed his position after the appointment of Rexford Tugwell as Governor of Puerto Rico in 1941, whom he supported in his efforts to realize a New Deal programme for housing and economic development. When Puerto Rico gained the right to elect its own Governor, Muñoz won an overwhelming victory. He supported Puerto Rico's new constitutional status as a Commonwealth, secured in 1952, though he failed in his efforts to reduce the influence of US capital on the island.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — United States History.

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