ROBERTO SANCHEZ-VILELLA was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, on February 19, 1913. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1934 with a bachelor of arts in civil engineering. Public offices include: Representative to Constitutional Electoral Redistribution Board; Member, Status Commission to study relations between Puerto Rico and the United States; Assistant Commissioner of the Interior, 1941-42; Administrator of Transportation Authority, 1942-45; Mayor of San Juan, 1945-46; Special Assistant to the President of the Puerto Rico Senate, 1946-47; Executive Secretary of Puerto Rico, 1949-51; Secretary of Public Works, 1951-59; and Secretary of State for Puerto Rico, 1952-65. For a brief time he worked in the private sector and was responsible for the construction of a large hotel, which was initiated under a governmental program to promote tourism. As governor, Sanchez-Vilella helped transform Puerto Rico from a poor agricultural society to one of industry and commerce. In 1967, in the face of an increasingly active movement for statehood, Sánchez arranged a plebiscite in which Puerto Ricans could choose among independence, statehood, and maintenance of the commonwealth relationship. An overwhelming majority voted for no change, but Puerto Rico’s status continued to be a lively issue, with most citizens favoring either statehood (an option the U.S. Congress showed little interest in pursuing) or commonwealth; only a small percentage desired independence. After leaving office, Vilella returned to private life, becoming a professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Puerto Rico. Governor Sanchez-Villella died of cancer on March 25, 1997.