Dr. Ricardo E. Alegría: Father of Modern Puerto Rican Archaeology

Pa'lante Latino

by Efrain Nieves

Dr. Ricardo E. Alegría Gallardo was born on April 14, 1921 in San Juan Puerto Rico. His father,  José S. Alegría, was vice president and co-founder of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and taught him to love his history and culture.

Alegría first studied at the University of Puerto Rico and found Alpha Beta Chi fraternity in 1941. After earning his  Bachelors of Science degree in archeology in 1942, he went to the University of Chicago where he earned his Masters  in anthropology and history in 1947. Alegría  then went on to Harvard University earning his PhD  in anthropology in 1954.

Luis Muñoz Marín selected Alegría as the first director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña where he created an understanding  of Puerto Rico’s Taíno cultural history before and after Columbus. He also found the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe which trains “professionals committed to Puerto Rico and its culture.”

Alegría is credited with renovating…

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