Diego, José de

Diego, José de

(1866–1918) poet, public official; born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. He early showed signs of his two great passions, poetry and politics, and was imprisoned at age 17 for political verses he wrote while studying in Spain. Returning to Puerto Rico, he was a founder of the Autonomist Party (1887) and cofounder (with Luis Muñoz Rivera) of the Unionist Party (1904). From 1907–18 he was president of the House of Delegates, Puerto Rico's first legislative body under American rule. In his later years, he became an advocate of independence. Works such as "A Laura" and "Postuma" won him a lasting reputation as Puerto Rico's finest love poet. He died reciting his own poetry.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.