Hernandez Colon, Rafael

Rafael Hernandez Colon is a Puerto Rican politician who served as Former Governor of Puerto Rico for three terms (1973-1977, 1985-1993) and organized the annual meeting of the Club of Rome in 1996. An honors graduate of Johns Hopkins University (1956) and the University of Puerto Rico law school (1959), he practiced law in Ponce, and was elected to the senate in 1968. He served as President of the senate (1969-1972) and as president of the Popular Democratic party. In 1972, he defeated Governor Luis Ferré to become, at 36, the island’s youngest governor. He sponsored ambitious programs of economic development and housing construction, seeking to make Puerto Rico less dependent economically on the United States. He also strongly opposed U.S. President Ford’s wish to make Puerto Rico the 51st state. He was reelected in 1984 and 1988, Having retired from public service in 1993, currently he devotes his time to a Foundation that bears his name, writing his memoirs, speaking engagements, and advising on governmental matters.