LUIS A. FERRE was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on February 17, 1904. He received both a B.S. and M.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1924 and 1925, respectively. Ferré entered politics at a propitious time in the island’s history. In 1948, Puerto Ricans elected a governor for the first time, choosing Luis Muñoz Marín. In 1952, ¬the year before commonwealth status and internal self-government, Ferré was elected to the Puerto Rican House of Representatives. From this position, he advocated commonwealth as a stepping stone to his ultimate goal of statehood for Puerto Rico. Ferré saw the chance to further the cause in 1967, the year of the first political status plebiscite on the island. While commonwealth was the winning option, Ferré utilized the plebiscite to mobilize statehood forces and establish a new political entity, the New Progressive Party (PNP). Ferré ran for Governor of Puerto Rico as the PNP candidate in 1968, and he won a close race. His victory marked the end of 25 years of political dominance by Muñoz Marín’s Popular Democratic Party (PDP), and the beginning of a new era in which the PNP and PDP would vie for the support of the Puerto Rican people. Ferré was Governor for one term, from 1969 to 1973. During his tenure, Governor Ferré served in on the Executive Committee of the National Governors’ Conference in 1971 and chaired the Southern Governors’ Conference from 1971 to 1972.
Governors of the American States, Territories and Commonwealths, National Governors' Conference, 1972.