Everyone knows Puerto Rico is a beautiful island, full of gorgeous views and a rich history. But, the island is also home to many people who have helped enrich the world through their achievements in the arts, athletic, and scientific fields. While there are numerous famous individuals who are of Puerto Rican ancestry, this article shares five people from very different fields, who have made a significant impact on the world in myriad ways.
Learn more about these amazing Puerto Rican notables.
- Ricky Martin: Born in 1971 in San Juan, Enrique Martín Morales, known today as Ricky Martin, began his singing career at the young age of six. His entrance to fame came when he performed in the boy band Menudo, and he began his solo career in 1991. He has become one of the best-selling Latin music artists of all time, selling more than 70 million records worldwide. Although he has become a very famous musician, Martin makes it a point to give back to Puerto Rico. He is the founder of Fundación Ricky Martin, which advocates for the wellbeing of children around the world. He has done extensive work in the prevention of human trafficking, and has received many awards and accolades for his humanitarian efforts by multiple organizations.
- Rosie Perez: Rosa María Perez, known to her fans as Rosie Perez, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to parents both from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. An Academy Award-nominated actress, Perez is known not only for her acting work in film, but also on Broadway and as a choreographer. She also served as a co-host on the talk show, “The View.” While many people enjoy Perez’s often comedic, spunky portrayals in movies and on stage, she is also known for her activism. She works tirelessly for Puerto Rican rights, including helping to educate the territory’s citizens on HIV/AIDS. She also works to help school children in NYC through her work with the Urban Arts Partnership.
- Roberto Clemente: A legend both on the baseball field and off, Roberto Clemente is one of Puerto Rico’s most famous athletes of all time. Clemente played professionally for the Pittsburg Pirates from 1954 to his untimely death in 1972. He also served in the Marine Corps Reserves. Clemente was a star on the baseball field, playing in every All-Star game during the 60s with the exception of 1968, and winning the Golden Glove award every year consecutively that same decade beginning in 1961. Clemente spent his off-seasons committed to charity work. It was in 1972 during a relief flight to Nicaragua, which had suffered an earthquake, that Clemente lost his life. The plane carrying him crashed off the coast of Puerto Rico, and Clemente’s body was never recovered. A Baseball Hall of Famer, Clemente’s legacy continues in Puerto Rico – baseball is the most popular sport on the island, and the Puerto Rican Baseball League now goes by the name Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente.
- Myrna Báez: Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Myrna Báez was considered one of territory’s most important visual artists. Her art can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the MoMA. She not only was a famous artist, but she also taught art and worked to promote art and art education throughout Puerto Rico. Interestingly, she initially sought a career in medicine, which is evident in her works on the human form and figure. She also supported the women’s rights movement, and was known as a feminist. Báez, who was the recipient of the 1997 National Medal of Culture for Contributions in Art, passed away in 2018 following a heart attack.
- Olga González-Sanabria: Born and raised in Patillas, Puerto Rico, Olga González-Sanabria is a well-known scientist and inventor. She is the highest-ranking Hispanic person at NASA Glenn Research Center, serving as the Director of Engineering and Technical Services. She is responsible for the planning and implementation of a full range of services at the center, and played a key role in the development of the type of long-life batteries used to help power the International Space Station. In addition to her work at NASA, González-Sanabria is an active mentor to students in underrepresented groups going into the scientific field.
Learn more about the rich culture of our island – come stay with us at Maria’s.
The best way to discover Puerto Rico – and the wonderful people of our island – is by visiting. When you stay with us at Maria’s in beautiful Rincón, Puerto Rico, you’ll not only be able to enjoy our beautiful area, but you’ll be within easy driving distance of many other cultural and historical areas on our island. Booking is done through Twin Palms, Maria’s rental and onsite management. Please visit our booking page on this website to view the availability of Maria’s and fill out our convenient contact form. If you have any additional questions regarding Maria’s, you may call Elizabeth at 787-685-6648 (español: Amy at 787-233-9815). They will be more than happy to help you plan your stay in Puerto Rico with us!