Hernández Colón, Rafael (1936–)

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Hernández Colón, Rafael (1936–)

Rafael Hernández Colón (b. 24 October 1936), president of Puerto Rico's Popular Democratic Party and twice governor of Puerto Rico. As the son of Rafael Hernández Matos, associate justice of the supreme court of Puerto Rico, Hernández Colón began his education in local schools in Ponce and continued at the Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University and received his law degree from the University of Puerto Rico, where he taught law from 1961 until 1966.

Hernández Colón entered politics in 1965 by appointment to the post of secretary of justice, where he wrote the Political Code, the Mortgage Code, and the Plebiscite Act of 1967. In 1968 Hernández Colón was elected senator-at-large and served as president of the Senate from 1969 to 1972.

At age thirty-six he was the youngest person to fill the post of governor when first elected in 1972. His inability to deal with growing economic problems led to his defeat in a 1978 reelection bid, but he won the office again in 1984.

See alsoPuerto Rico, Political Parties: Popular Democratic Party (PPD) .


Kenneth R. Farr, Historical Dictionary of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1973); Personalities Caribbean, 7th ed. (1983).

Robert J. Alexander, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Latin American and Caribbean Political Leaders (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Hernández Colón, Rafael. Derecho Procesal Civil. San Juan, P.R.: Michie de Puerto Rico, 1997.

Hernández Colón, Rafael. La nueva tesis. Río Piedras: Editorial Edil, 1986.

Hernández Colón, Rafael. Retos y luchas: 24 años de historia política puertorriqueña en los discursos de Rafael Hernández Colón. San Juan, P.R.: Hernández Colón, 1991.

Hernández Colón, Rafael. San Juan de Puerto Rico y su Barrio Ballaja. San Juan, P.R.: The Officina Estatal, 1992.

Hernández Colón, Rafael. Vientos de cambio, 1964 a 1972. San Juan, P.R.: R. Hernández Colón, 2004.

Muriá, José María. Reflexiones sobre Puerto Rico. Zapopan, Jalisco: El Colegio de Jalisco, 1999.

                                      David Carey Jr.

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