Hernández Colón, Rafael (räfäĕlˈ ĕrnänˈdĕs kōlōnˈ) [key], 1936–, governor of Puerto Rico (1973–77, 1985–93). An honors graduate of Johns Hopkins (1956) and the Univ. of Puerto Rico law school (1959), he practiced law in Ponce, and was elected to the senate in 1968. He served as president of the senate and as president of the Popular Democratic party. In 1972 he decisively defeated Gov. Luis Ferré to become, at 36, the island's youngest governor. He sponsored ambitious programs of economic development and housing construction, and he strongly opposed Puerto Rican statehood. He was reelected in 1984 and 1988, but was defeated by Pedro J. Rosselló of the New Progressive party in 1992.
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