Barbosa, José Celso

Barbosa, José Celso

(1857–1921) physician, public official, activist; born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. He was the first black to attend Puerto Rico's prestigious Jesuit Seminary, then the island's only secondary institution. After graduating (1875), he attended the University of Michigan, graduating first in his medical school class (1880). A life-long political activist and Puerto Rico's first prominent black politician, he formed the Republican Party (July 4, 1899) and was the father of the statehood ideology. He established the newspaper El Tiempo (1907) and was a member of the Puerto Rican Senate (1917–21).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.