Muñoz Marín, Luis

Muñoz Marín, Luis lo͞oēsˈ mo͞onyōsˈ märēnˈ [key], 1898–1980, Puerto Rican political leader, governor of Puerto Rico (1949–65). He abandoned a career as poet and journalist in New York City to enter Puerto Rican politics. In 1938 he organized and headed the Popular Democratic party, campaigned vigorously for social and economic reform, and edited La Democracia, a San Juan daily founded by his father, Luis Muñoz Rivera. The slogan “Bread, land, and liberty” won a large following among the poor. In 1948 he won the first free popular election for the governorship of Puerto Rico, and he was reelected in 1952 and 1956. A resourceful and energetic supporter of Commonwealth status for the island, he brought about the 1952 decision that proclaimed Puerto Rico an Associated Free State. In 1960 his election was opposed by the Roman Catholic Church in Puerto Rico, which denounced him for advocating the teaching of birth control; he was easily reelected despite the opposition. He consistently championed economic expansion in close cooperation with the United States. He did not run for reelection in 1964.

See biographies by T. Aitken (1964) and T. G. Mathews (1967).

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