José de Diego was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico on April 16th, 1867. He studied law in Barcelona, Spain and came back to Puerto Rico to practice. His literary works include poems and newspaper articles. De Diego is considered a forerunner of the modernist movement in Puerto Rico. De Diego’s poetry books include Pomarrosas, Jovillos, Cantos de Rebeldía and Cantos del Pitirre.
Not only was de Diego a great poet but he was also a great jurist, journalist, essayist, orator and politician. He was heavily involved in politics helping found political parties, advocating independende for Puerto Rico, and as an elected official and leader. Today he is known more for his advocacy of independence for Puerto Rico than for his poetry. De Diego died in New York, July 16, 1918.
He is known as “The Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement”, was a statesman, journalist, poet, and advocate for Puerto Rico’s independence from Spain and from the United States.