Ferré, Luis Alberto (lōēsˈ älbārˈtō fārāˈ) [key], 1904–2003, Puerto Rican politician, governor of Puerto Rico (1969–73), b. Ponce. An engineer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S. 1924, M.S. 1925) and millionaire, he ran a family cement company and was elected to the the island's house of representatives in 1952. In 1967 he founded the pro-statehood New Progressive party; as its candidate he won the governorship in 1968, breaking the Popular Democratic party's 28-year domination. His reelection campaign in 1972 became a virtual referendum on statehood, which Ferré advocated. Ferré was defeated by Rafael Hernández Colón, who espoused continuation of the commonwealth status. He was a senator in the Puerto Rican legislature for two terms (1976–85), serving as senate president during his first term.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.