Thursday, May 20, 2010

Benjamín Ortiz Ortiz

Benjamín Ortiz Ortiz was a lawyer and politician born on May 20, 1908. He studied law at Harvard University and taught at the School of Law at the University of Puerto Rico. He was a judge of the District of Humacao, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and he chaired the Public Service Commission. He was one of the founders and main leaders of the Popular Democratic Party, of which he was the spokesman in the House. From 1945-1952, he held a seat at-large in the House of Representatives, to which he returned to in 1961 and in 1964 representing several districts in Puerto Rico. In 1943, he assisted the Pro Independence Congress as a delegate and in 1945 he supported Tydings Bill, S. 227 (not to be confused with previous Tydings Bills), which called for Puerto Rico’s independence. He later became a staunch defender of autonomy as a solution to the islands status. He also served on a Committee as a Member of the Constitutional Assembly which drafted the Constitution of Puerto Rico. He died on April 12, 1976.

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