University of Notre Dame; Yale University; University of Puerto Rico
Married; three children
PEDRO ROSSELLÓ is a native of San Juan. He graduated in 1966 from the University of Notre Dame and in 1970 earned an M.D. from Yale. In 1976 he entered private practice as a pediatric surgeon and began teaching at the University of Puerto Rico, where in 1981 he obtained a master’s degree in public health. In 1985 he was appointed director of the San Juan Health Department. That led to eight years of service in political and governmental posts, culminating in the gubernatorial nomination of his pro-statehood party. As governor, he reversed a spiraling crime rate; effected sweeping reforms in health care, education, and the judicial system; elevated the English language to official status, along with Spanish; slashed working families’ income tax rates by 30 percent; and implemented a new economic development model that has reduced unemployment to its lowest level in two decades. His achievements were recognized in the form of honorary degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Massachusetts, as well as the President’s Awards of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and League of United Latin American Citizens. In 1998 Governor Rossello was simultaneously president of the Council of State Governments and chair of the Democratic and Southern Governors’ Associations.
This searchable database identifies former governors by state and dates of service. The governors' biographies available on the NGA website provide summary biographical information only and are edited infrequently.