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Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995


Image of Baltasar Corrada del Río
[Office of the Historian]

Resident Commissioner
New Progressive of Puerto Rico

Ninety-fifth - Ninety-eighth Congresses
January 3, 1977 - January 3, 1985

Baltasar Corrada del Río was born on April 10, 1935 in Morovis, Puerto Rico, where he attended elementary school. In 1952 he graduated from the Colegio Ponceño de Varones, and in 1956 he received a B.A. degree from the University of Puerto Rico. In 1959 he received a J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico Law School. That same year he was admitted to the bar and began a law practice in Puerto Rico. In 1969 he was appointed to the Civil Rights Commission of Puerto Rico, which he chaired from 1970 to 1971. During 1971-1972 he was a newspaper columnist for El Mundo, and served as president and editor of the Puerto Rico Human Rights Review. He also founded and was the director of the Puerto Rico Teleradial Institute of Ethics. In 1976 Corrada del Río was elected Resident Commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives and was reelected four years later. During both terms he served on the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, and the Education and Labor Committee. In the second panel, Corrada del Río worked to improve educational opportunities for Hispanics. A strong supporter of the Head Start program, he also introduced legislation to improve access to higher education for Hispanics.

From his position on the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, Corrada del Río, in conjunction with Delegates from other territories, worked to provide a medicaid program and extend supplemental security income programs to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. In 1984 he did not seek reelection as Resident Commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1985 Corrada del Río returned to Puerto Rico, and was elected mayor of San Juan; from 1986 to 1989 he served as the president of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico. In 1988 he challenged incumbent Governor Rafael Hernández Colón for the governorship of Puerto Rico, but was defeated. Corrada del Río is a resident of Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.

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