April 8, 1827- September 16, 1898
Ramón Emeterio Betances was a Puerto Rican nationalist. He was the primary instigator of the Grito de Lares revolution and is considered to be the father of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Since the Grito galvanized a burgeoning nationalist movement among the Puerto Ricans, Betances is also considered "El Padre de la Patria" (Father of the Puerto Rican Nation). Because of his charitable deeds for people in need, he also became known as "The Father of the Poor."
Betances was also a medical doctor and surgeon in Puerto Rico, and one of its first social hygienists. He had established a successful surgery and ophthalmology practice. Betances was also a diplomat, public health administrator, poet and novelist. He served as representative and contact for Cuba and the Dominican Republic in Paris.
Betances died on Friday, September 16, 1898. His remains were creamated soon after and entombed at the Père Lachaise Cemetery of Paris on Monday, September 19. He had requested that no formal ceremony be made for his funeral. His common law-wife Simplicia survived him for over twenty years. A look at his will implies that, besides a life insurance policy payout and two parcels of land in the Dominican Republic, Betances died almost in poverty.