Rafael Hernández Colón, former governor of Puerto Rico, dies at 82

Rafael Hernández Colón
Former Puerto Rican Gov. Rafael Hernández Colón waves to the crowd during a celebration at the Capitol in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2002.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Former Puerto Rico Gov. Rafael Hernández Colón, who oversaw one of the U.S. territory’s most prosperous periods, has died at his home on the island state.

Family members said in a statement that Hernández died Thursday at the age of 82. They did not provide further details regarding his health.

Hernández served as governor from 1973 to 1977 and again from 1985 to 1993.

He was an attorney and considered one of the most influential politicians of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island’s current political status.


Before becoming governor, he served as Puerto Rico’s justice secretary and president of the island’s Senate.

A funeral Mass is planned for Saturday at the cathedral in the southern city of Ponce.

Puerto Rico officials have declared 30 days of mourning.

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