Luis Muñoz Marín

Gov. Luis Muñoz Marín

Puerto Rico

January 2, 1949 - January 2, 1965

February 18, 1898

April 30, 1980

Popular Democratic Party

Georgetown University Law Center

Birth State
Puerto Rico

Married Ines Mendoza; four children

Presidential Medal of Freedom


LUIS MUÑOZ MARÍN was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 18, 1898. Just a few months later, the United States captured Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War. Marín’s father was a prominent figure in Puerto Rican politics, and from 1910-1916 he served as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico (non-voting member in Congress). Muñoz Marín was mostly educated in the United States, studying for a short period at the Georgetown University Law Center before dropping out after the death of his father. In 1926, Muñoz Marín returned to Puerto Rico and began editing the newspaper La Democracia. In 1932 he was elected to the Puerto Rican Senate and began advocating for independence from the United States. For this reason, he was expelled from the Liberal Party. Muñoz Marín then founded his own party in 1938 called the Popular Democratic Party, which gained power in 1940 and allowed Muñoz Marín to serve as president of the Senate from 1940 until 1948. During this time, he began advocating for cooperation with the United States rather than independence. In 1948, Congress granted Puerto Rico the right to elect its own governor. Muñoz Marín was overwhelmingly elected to four consecutive terms, from 1949 to 1965. His main achievement was helping to change Puerto Rico’s status from a U.S. territory to a commonwealth. Governor Luis Muñoz Marín passed away in San Juan on April 30, 1980.