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List of governors of Puerto Rico facts for kids

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La Fortaleza Viejo San Juan
La Fortaleza in Old San Juan is the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico. It was built between 1533 and 1540.
This list of governors of Puerto Rico includes all persons who have held that post, either under Spanish or American rule. The governor of Puerto Rico is the head of government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The position was first established by the Spanish Empire during the 16th century following the archipelago's colonization.

The first person to officially occupy the position was Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León in 1509. At the time, the Spanish monarchy was responsible for appointing the functionary who would perform this office. The first native Puerto Rican to perform the function was Juan Ponce de León II, as interim governor in 1579. During this administration, all of those appointed to take the position had served another function within the empire's government or the Roman Catholic Church. In 1898, the United States invaded Puerto Rico and the Spanish government ceded control of the island to the United States. During the first two years, the entire government in Puerto Rico was appointed by the president of the United States. In 1900, the American government approved the establishment of the Foraker Act as a federal law, this act established a civilian government in the island. In 1947, the federal Elective Governor Act was enacted, which created a new system where, since 1948, the governor is elected through a democratic process every four years. The governor is in charge of Puerto Rico's executive branch and is responsible for appointing executive branch agency heads, including the Secretary of State, who fulfills the role of lieutenant governor, the legislative branch's ombudsman and comptroller and all judges in the judicial branch.

Duties and succession

The standard (flag) and seal of the governor of Puerto Rico
Juan Ponce de Leon II
Juan Ponce de León II, 28th governor of Puerto Rico, grandson of the first governor, and the first born in the island to become governor.

In the governor's absence, or if the governor dies or is unable to perform the executive duties, the Secretary of State of Puerto Rico takes control of the executive position, as acting governor during a temporary absence or inability, and as governor in case of death, resignation or impeachment and conviction. The elected governor must designate a number of secretaries and other agency heads that will control the individual administrative agencies during his time in office, the selected secretaries are in charge of the island's health, natural resources, economy, correctional and judicial agencies and the department of consumer concerns, among others. The Governor's four-year term begins on January 2, the day after the New Year's Day holiday.

On July 24, 2019, Ricardo Rosselló became the first governor to resign his office. This happened after more than a week of protests due to a chain of corruption arrests and a leaked Telegram chat which contained offensive remarks made by the governor.

List of governors of Puerto Rico

Century
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Coat of Arms of Spain (1874-1931) Pillars of Hercules Variant.svg Coat of arms of Puerto Rico (Variant).svg

Governors under Spanish Crown

No. Portrait Governor
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Ref(s)
1 Appletons' Ponce de Leon Juan.jpg Captain General Don

Juan Ponce de León (1st time)
1474 – July 1521
(aged c. 47)

June 15, 1508 October 28, 1509
2 Juan Cerón October 28, 1509 March 2, 1510
3 Appletons' Ponce de Leon Juan.jpg Captain General Don

Juan Ponce de León (2nd time)

March 2, 1510 November 28, 1511
4 Juan Cerón November 28, 1511 June 2, 1512
5 Rodrigo Moscoso June 2, 1512 1513
6 Captain General

Cristóbal de Mendoza

1513 1515
7 Appletons' Ponce de Leon Juan.jpg Captain General Don

Juan Ponce de León (3rd time)

July 15, 1515 September 12, 1519
8 Sánchez Velázquez 1514 1519
9 Antonio de la Gama 1519 1521
10 Pedro Moreno 1521 1523
11 Bishop

Alonso Manso

1523 1524
12 Pedro Moreno 1524 1528
13 Antonio de la Gama 1528 1530
14 Lieutenant General

Francisco Manuel de Landó

1530 1536
15 Vasco de Tiedra 1536 1537
16 Vasco de Tiedra 1537 1544
17 Jerónimo Lebrón de Quiñones 1544 1544
18 Lcdo.

Iñigo López Cervantes y Loayza

1544 1546
19 Lcdo.

Diego de Caraza

1546 1548
20 Diego de Caraza 1548 1550
21 Luis de Vallejo 1550 1555
22 Lcdo.

Alonso Esteves

1555 1555
23 Lcdo.

Diego de Caraza

1555 1561
24 Antonio de la Llama Vallejo 1561 1564
25

Francisco Bahamonde De Lugo

1564 1568
26 Francisco de Solís Osorio 1568 1574
27 Francisco de Obando y Mexia 1575 1579
28 Juan Ponce de Leon II.JPG Juan Ponce de León II 1579 1579
29 Jerónimo de Agüero Campuzano 1580 1580
30 Captain General

Juan de Céspedes

1580 1581
31 Captain General

Juan López Melgarejo

1581 1582
32 Captain General

Diego Menéndez de Valdés

June 12, 1582 May 11, 1593
33 Colonel

Pedro Suárez de Coronel (1st time)

May 11, 1593 December 18, 1597
34 Captain General

Antonio de Mosquera

December 18, 1597 August 13, 1598
35 Colonel

Pedro Suárez de Coronel (2nd time)

November 23, 1598 March 22, 1599
36 Captain General

Alonso de Mercado

March 22, 1599 July 15, 1601
37 Captain General

Sancho Ochoa de Castro

July 15, 1601 July 22, 1608
38 Gabriel de Rojas Párano July 22, 1608 September 14, 1614
39 Captain General Felipe de Beaumont y Navarra September 14, 1614 June 1, 1619
40 Juan de Vargas June 1, 1619 August 29, 1625
41 Captain General Juan de Haro y Sanvítores August 29, 1625 January 24, 1631
42 Captain General Enrique Enriquez de Sotomayor January 24, 1631 February 23, 1635
43 Captain General Iñigo de la Mota Sarmiento February 23, 1635 May 16, 1640
44 Captain General Agustín de Silva y Figueroa May 16, 1640 December 2, 1641
45 Captain General Juan de Bolaños December 2, 1641 July 9, 1643
46 Fernando de la Riva Agüero y Setien July 9, 1643 May 24, 1649
47 Diego de Aguilera y Gamboa May 24, 1649 1655
48 José Novoa y Moscoso Pérez y Buitron 1655 August 15, 1660
49 Captain General Juan Pérez de Guzmán y Chagoyen August 15, 1660 November 23, 1664
50 Jerónimo de Velasco November 23, 1664 June 23, 1670
51 Gaspar de Arteaga y Aunoavidao June 23, 1670 March 17, 1674
52 Diego Roblandillo March 17, 1674 August 20, 1674
53 Captain General Baltazar Figueroa y Castilla August 20, 1674 April 6, 1675
54 Alonso de Campos y Espinosa April 6, 1675 August 22, 1678
55 Juan de Robles Lorenzana August 22, 1678 July 18, 1683
56 Captain General Gaspar Martínez de Andino July 18, 1683 1685
57 Juan Francisco Medina 1685 1690
58 Gaspar de Arredondo y Valle 1690 1695
59 Juan Francisco Medina 1695 1697
60 Tomás Franco 1697 1698
61 Antonio de Robles Silva 1698 1699
62 Gabriel Suárez de Ribera October 17, 1699 July 23, 1703
63 Diego Jiménez de Villarán 1703 1703
64 Francisco Sánchez Calderón 1703 1703
65 Pedro Arroyo y Guerrero 1704 1705
66 Juan Francisco López de Morla 1706 1706
67 Francisco Danío Granados 1706 1708
68 Colonel Juan de Ribera July 18, 1711 February 12, 1715
69 José Francisco Carreño February 12, 1715 May 3, 1716
70 Alfonso Bortodano May 3, 1716 April 7, 1720
71 Francisco Danio Granados Arpril 7, 1720 August 22, 1724
72 Captain General José Antonio de Mendizabal y Azcue August 22, 1724 October 11, 1730
73 Lieutenant Colonel Matías de Abadía October 11, 1731 June 28, 1743
74 Domingo Pérez de Mandares June 28, 1743 October 29, 1744
75 Colonel Juan José Colomo October 29, 1744 August 11, 1750
76 Colonel Agustín de Parejas August 11, 1750 July 8, 1751
77 Lieutenant Colonel Esteban Bravo de Rivero July 8, 1751 May 1, 1753
78 Captain General Felipe Ramírez de Estenos May 1, 1753 August 30, 1757
79 Esteban Bravo de Rivero August 30, 1757 June 3, 1759
80 Mateo de Guaso Calderón June 3, 1759 March 7, 1760
81 Esteban Bravo de Rivero March 7, 1760 April 20, 1761
82 Ambrosio de Benavides.jpg Lieutenant Colonel Ambrosio de Benavides April 20, 1761 March 12, 1766
83 Colonel Marcos de Vergara March 12, 1766 October 28, 1766
84 Lieutenant Colonel José Trentor October 28, 1766 July 31, 1770
85 Colonel Miguel de Muesas July 31, 1770 June 2, 1776
86 José Dufresne 1782.jpg Colonel José Dufresne June 2, 1776 April 6, 1783
87 Don Juan Daban .jpg Field Marshal Don Juan Andrés Daban y Busterino April 6, 1783 March 27, 1789
88 Coronel Francisco Torralbo y Robles March 27, 1789 July 8, 1789
89 Retrato del Governador don Miguel Antonio de Ustáriz (pintura).jpg Brigadier General Miguel Antonio de Ustáriz July 8, 1789 May 19, 1792
90 Coronel Francisco Torralbo y Robles May 19, 1792 March 10, 1793
91 Brigadier General Enrique Grimarest March 10, 1793 March 21, 1795
92 Ramon de Castro.jpg Field Marshal Don Ramón de Castro y Gutiérrez March 21, 1795 November 12, 1804
93 Toribio Montes.jpg Toribio Montes November 12, 1804 June 3, 1809
94 Salvador Meléndez Bruna June 30, 1809 March 22, 1820
95 Brigadier General Juan Vasco y Pascual March 24, 1820 August 7, 1820
96 Brigadier General Gonzalo Arostegui y Herrera August 7, 1820 February 12, 1822
97 Coronel José de Navarro February 12, 1822 May 30, 1822
98 Francisco González de Linares May 30, 1822 December 4, 1823
99 Miguel de la Torre y Pando.png Lieutenant General Miguel Luciano de La Torre y Pando December 4, 1823 January 14, 1837
100 Francisco Javier de Moreda y Prieto January 14, 1837 December 15, 1837
101 Domingo valdivieso-Retrato de Miguel López de Baños.jpg Field Marshal Miguel López de Baños December 15, 1837 October 2, 1840
102 Estado Mayor General del Ejército Español-santiago méndez de vigo.jpg Lieutenant General Santiago Méndez de Vigo October 2, 1840 March 11, 1844
103 Lieutenant General Rafael de Aristegui y Vélez March 11, 1844 December 15, 1847
104 Prim madrazo.jpeg Field Marshal Don Juan Prim de Prats y Gonzalez December 15, 1847 September 12, 1848
105 Retrato de Juan de la Pezuela.jpg Lieutenant General Juan de la Pezuela y Cevallos September 12, 1848 April 23, 1851
106 Enrique de España y Taberner April 23, 1851 August 23, 1852
107 Fernando Escudero Norzagaray.jpg Lieutenant General Fernándo Norzagaray y Escudero August 23, 1852 January 31, 1855
108 GarcíaCamba.jpg Lieutenant General Andrés García Camba January 31, 1855 August 23, 1855
109 José Lemery, de Bernardo Blanco y Pérez (cropped).jpg Lieutenant General José Lemery Ibrarrola Ney y Gonzalez August 23, 1855 January 28, 1857
110 Fernando Cotoner.jpg Lieutenant General Fernando Cotoner y Chacon January 28, 1857 July 31, 1860
111 Sabino Gamir Maladen July 31, 1860 August 19, 1860
112 CARTE DE VISITE DEL GENERAL ECHAGÜE (COLECCIÓN ROMERO ORTIZ).jpg Lieutenant General Rafael Echague y Bermingham August 19, 1860 February 17, 1862
113 Retrato de Rafael Izquierdo y Gutiérrez.jpg Brigadier General Rafael Izquierdo y Gutierrez February 17, 1862 April 29, 1862
114 Felix Maria de Messina Iglesias.jpg Lieutenant General Félix María de Messina Iglesias April 29, 1862 November 18, 1865
115 Jose Matía Marchessi y Oleaga.jpg Lieutenant General José María Marchessi y Oleaga November 18, 1865 November 17, 1867
116 General Julián Juan Pavia Lacy November 17, 1867 December 30, 1868
117 José Laureano Sanz y Posse.jpg General José Laureano Sanz y Posse December 30, 1868 May 21, 1870
118 Paris-gabriel baldrich.jpg Lieutenant General Gabriel Baldrich April 4, 1870 September 13, 1871
119 Gomez1.jpg General Ramón Gómez Pulido September 13, 1871 July 30, 1872
120 Latorre-magues.jpg General Simón de la Torre Ormaza July 30, 1872 November 5, 1872
121 Brigadier General Joaquín Eurile Hernan November 5, 1872 February 14, 1873
122 Lieutenant General Juan Martínez Plowes February 14, 1873 March 25, 1873
123 General Rafael Primo de Rivera y Sobremonte March 25, 1873 February 2, 1874
124 José Laureano Sanz y Posse.jpg General José Laureano Sanz y Posse February 2, 1874 December 16, 1875
125 General Segundo de la Portilla Gutierrez December 16, 1875 January 24, 1877
126 Paris-serna.jpg General Manuel de la Serna Hernandez y Pinzón January 24, 1877 April 26, 1878
127 José Gamir y Maladeñ.jpg General José Gamir Maladen April 26, 1878 June 24, 1878
128 Eulogio Despujols y Dusay.jpg General Eulogio Despujols y Dussay June 24, 1878 July 7, 1881
129 General Segundo de la Portilla Gutierrez July 7, 1881 November 23, 1883
130 Miguel de la Vega Inclán.jpg General Miguel de la Vega Inclán y Palma November 23, 1883 July 31, 1884
131 General Don Carlos Suances Campos July 31, 1884 September 19, 1884
132 Ramón Fajardo Izquierdo.jpg General Ramón Fajardo Izquierdo September 19, 1884 November 25, 1884
133 Luis Dabán y Ramírez de Arellano.jpg General Luis Daban y Ramírez de Arellanó November 25, 1884 March 23, 1887
134 Gen. Romualdo Palacios González, Gobernador de Puerto Rico en 1887 (DSC00441H2b).jpg General Romualdo Palacios Gonzalez March 23, 1887 November 9, 1887
135 Felix badillo-contreras.jpg General Juan Contreras Martinez November 9, 1887 February 25, 1888
136 General Pedro Ruiz Dana February 25, 1888 April 18, 1890
137 Brigadier General José Pascual Bonanza 1890 1890
138 General José Lasso y Pérez 1890 1893
139 Antonio Daban - 1895 General Antonio Daban y Ramírez de Arrellanó January 10, 1893 June 22, 1895
140 José Gamir y Maladeñ.jpg General José Gamir Maladen June 22, 1895 January 17, 1896
141 General Emilio March.jpg General Emilio March January 17, 1896 February 15, 1896
142 Sabas Marin.jpg General Sabas Marín González February 15, 1896 January 4, 1898
143 Ricardo de Ortega y Diez.jpg General Ricardo de Ortega y Diez January 4, 1898 January 11, 1898
144 Andres-Gonzalez-(bw).jpg General Andrés González Muñoz January 11, 1898 January 11, 1898
145 Ricardo de Ortega y Diez.jpg General Ricardo de Ortega y Diez January 11, 1898 February 2, 1898
146 Macias1.jpg General Manuel Macías Casado February 2, 1898 October 14, 1898
147 Ricardo de Ortega y Diez.jpg General Ricardo de Ortega y Diez October 14, 1898 October 16, 1898
148 AngelRiveroMendez.png Captain Ángel Rivero Méndez October 16, 1898 October 18, 1898

Governors under U.S. colonial administration

Military government

No. Image Name Took office Left office Reference
149 Nelson A. Miles by Brands Studios, 1898.jpg Commanding General Nelson A. Miles July 25, 1898 October 18, 1898
150 John R. Brooke.jpg Major General John R. Brooke October 18, 1898 December 6, 1898
151 Guy V. Henry.jpg Major General Guy Vernor Henry December 6, 1898 May 9, 1899
152 GeorgeWDavis.jpg Major General George Whitefield Davis May 9, 1899 May 1, 1900

Post-Foraker Act of 1900

No. Image Name Took office Left office Notes Reference
153 Charles Herbert Allen, 1898.jpg Charles Herbert Allen May 1, 1900 September 15, 1901 First U.S. civil governor appointed by President William McKinley
154 William H. Hunt.jpg William Henry Hunt September 15, 1901 July 4, 1904
155 Beekman Winthrop by George Bain (cropped).jpg Beekman Winthrop July 4, 1904 April 17, 1907
156 Regispost.jpg Regis Henri Post April 17, 1907 November 6, 1909
157 George Radcliffe Colton, governor of Puerto Rico.jpg George Radcliffe Colton November 6, 1909 November 15, 1913
158 Arthur Yager.JPG Arthur Yager November 15, 1913 May 15, 1921 Classmate of President Woodrow Wilson. With his support, the United States Congress adopted the Jones-Shafroth Act
159 José E. Benedicto May 15, 1921 July 30, 1921 Interim governor
160 E Mont Reily.jpg Emmet Montgomery Reily July 30, 1921 February 16, 1923
161 Juan Bernardo Huyke, Comisionado de Instruccion de Puerto Rico c 1921.png Juan Bernardo Huyke February 16, 1923 April 1, 1923 Interim governor
162 TOWNER, HORACE M. HONORABLE.jpg Horace Mann Towner April 1, 1923 September 29, 1929
163 James R. Beverley September 29, 1929 September 9, 1929 The only non-Puerto Rican appointee of 15 from 1900 to 1952 who could speak Spanish before going there.
164 Theodore Roosevelt Jr. 1921.jpg Theodore Roosevelt Jr. September 9, 1929 January 30, 1932
165 James R. Beverley 2nd Term January 30, 1932 July 3, 1933
166 Robert Hayes Gore July 3, 1933 January 11, 1934
167 Benjamin Jason Horton January 11, 1934 February 5, 1934
168 WINSHIP, BLANTON. GENERAL LCCN2016859969.jpg Blanton C. Winship February 5, 1934 June 25, 1939 Summarily removed by President Roosevelt on May 12, 1939.
169 José E. Colón June 25, 1939 September 11, 1939 Interim governor
170 Governor William D. Leahy.jpg William D. Leahy September 11, 1939 November 28, 1940
171 José Miguel Gallardo (sitting at his desk) (pro shot) (from large print) (200dpi).jpg José Miguel Gallardo November 28, 1940 February 3, 1941 Interim governor
172 Guy J. Swope February 3, 1941 July 24, 1941
173 José Miguel Gallardo (sitting at his desk) (pro shot) (from large print) (200dpi).jpg José Miguel Gallardo July 24, 1941 September 19, 1941 Interim governor
174 Rexford G Tugwell 08e03507t.jpg Rexford Tugwell September 19, 1941 September 2, 1946
175 Jesus T. Piñero.jpg Jesús T. Piñero September 2, 1946 January 2, 1949 Only native Puerto Rican governor appointed under US colonial administration

Governors under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

      New Progressive Party (7)
      Popular Democratic Party (7)

US party affiliation

      Democratic Party (10)
      Republican Party (3)
      Independent (1)

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term Duration Party Election National Paty
Affiliation
176 Luis Muñoz Marín.jpg Luis Muñoz Marín
(1898–1980)
January 2, 1949

January 2, 1965

16 years Popular Democratic 1948 Independent
1952
1956
1960
177 Gobernador de Puerto Rico Roberto Sánchez Vilella en el año 1958.jpg Roberto Sánchez Vilella
(1913–1997)
January 2, 1965

January 2, 1969

4 years Popular Democratic 1964 Democratic
178 Luis A. Ferré.jpg Luis A. Ferré
(1904–2003)
January 2, 1969

January 2, 1973

4 years New Progressive 1968 Republican
179 Rafael Hernández Colón, Former Governor of Puerto Rico.jpg Rafael Hernández Colón
(1936–2019)
January 2, 1973

January 2, 1977

4 years Popular Democratic 1972 Democratic
180 Carlos Antonio Romero-Barceló.jpg Carlos Romero Barceló
(1932–2021)
January 2, 1977

January 2, 1985

8 years New Progressive 1976 Democratic
1980
181 Rafael Hernández Colón, Former Governor of Puerto Rico.jpg Rafael Hernández Colón
(1936–2019)
January 2, 1985

January 2, 1993

8 years Popular Democratic 1984 Democratic
1988
182
Pedro Rosselló.png
Pedro Rosselló
(b. 1944)
January 2, 1993

January 2, 2001

8 years New Progressive 1992 Democratic
1996
183 Puerto Rican Governor Sila Calderon at the Pentagon, Feb 27, 2001.jpg Sila María Calderón
(b. 1942)
January 2, 2001

January 2, 2005

4 years Popular Democratic 2000 Democratic
184 Anibal Acevedo Vila.jpg Aníbal Acevedo Vilá
(b. 1962)
January 2, 2005

January 2, 2009

4 years Popular Democratic 2004 Democratic
185 Luis Fortuño official congressional photo 3.jpg Luis Fortuño
(b. 1960)
January 2, 2009

January 2, 2013

4 years New Progressive 2008 Republican
186 Alejandro Garcia Padilla -cropped.jpg Alejandro García Padilla
(b. 1971)
January 2, 2013

January 2, 2017

4 years Popular Democratic 2012 Democratic
187 ROSSELLO HUD (cropped).jpg Ricardo Rosselló
(b. 1979)
January 2, 2017

August 2, 2019

2 years, 212 days New Progressive 2016 Democratic
Pedro R. Pierluisi.jpg Pedro Pierluisi
(b. 1959)
De facto
August 2, 2019

August 7, 2019

5 days New Progressive None Democratic
188 Wanda Vasquez (cropped).jpg Wanda Vázquez Garced
(b. 1960)
Constitutional appointment
August 7, 2019

January 2, 2021

1 year, 148 days New Progressive None Republican
189 Pedro R. Pierluisi.jpg Pedro Pierluisi
(b. 1959)
January 2, 2021

present

3 years, 114 days New Progressive 2020 Democratic

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Anexo:Gobernantes de Puerto Rico para niños

  • First ladies and gentlemen of Puerto Rico
  • Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
  • History of Puerto Rico
  • Politics of Puerto Rico
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