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Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995


Image of Ron de Lugo
[Office of the Historian]

Democrat of the Virgin Islands

Ninety-third - Ninety-fifth Congresses
January 3, 1973 - January 3, 1979
Ninety-seventh - One Hundred Third Congresses
January 3, 1981 - January 3, 1995

Ron de Lugo was born in Englewood, New Jersey on August 2, 1930. He attended Saints Peter and Paul School in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and Colegio San José in Puerto Rico. From 1948 to 1950 he served in the U.S. Army, where he worked as program director and announcer for the Armed Forces Radio Service in St. Thomas and St. Croix. He began his political career in 1956 when he was elected to the Territorial Senate and served until 1960. From April 1961 to August 1962 he served as administrator for St. Croix, Virgin Islands. From 1963 to 1966 he served again in the Territorial Senate and was minority leader.

From 1959 to 1966 de Lugo was a member of the Democratic National Committee and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968.

From 1968 to 1972 de Lugo was a Representative of the Virgin Islands Government to the United States. In 1972, he became the first Virgin Islands Delegate to the U.S. Congress and served until 1979. He was one of the founding members of the Territorial Caucus. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election as governor of the Virgin Islands. In 1980 he was once again elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was reelected six times, serving until January 3, 1995. He chose not to run for reelection in 1994. As a Delegate de Lugo worked to extend privileges to the people of the Virgin Islands, and to build an economic infrastructure for the Island. He served on the Education and Labor Committee, and the Public Works and Transportation Committee. He also served on the Natural Resources Committee, where he achieved the position of Chairman of the Subcommittee on Insular and International Affairs, and played an important role in the discussions on the Puerto Rican plebiscite. He was a member of the steering committee of the U.S. Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus.

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