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Famous People from the Dominican Republic

Sourabh Gupta Feb 15, 2019
The Dominican Republic was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century. The country is on the island of Hispaniola and occupies two-thirds of its area. Although small in size, the country has produced many famous people, particularly world-renowned baseball players.
Considering the small size and economy of the Dominican Republic, it has been tough for people to excel in a professional field and make their presence felt all over the world. The country has produced some of the best talent in sports, movies, music, politics, and more.

Some Notable Dominicans

Juan Pablo Duarte

Juan Pablo was a liberal leader of the famous La Trinitaria, along with Francisco del Rosario Sanchez and Ramon Matias Mella. These people are considered as national heroes, as they helped the Dominican Republic achieve independence from Haiti in 1844. He is considered as the architect of the Republic.

Rafael Trujillo

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina was a famous military dictator, who ruled the Dominican Republic from 1942 to 1952. He was also the official president of the country from 1930 to 1938. His totalism known as 'The Trujillo Era', is referred to as one of the bloodiest times in the 20th century.

Mariasela Alvarez Lebron

Mariasela Lebron was the first Dominican woman to win the Miss World contest in 1982. She became a noted television personality with the successful run of her award-winning show, Esta Noche Mariasela. A mother of four, Mariasela lives in Spain.

Pedro Mir

Pedro Julio Mir Valentin was a poet and writer. His only novel, When They Loved the Communal Land, was highly appreciated all over the world. In 1984, the Dominican Congress named him the Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic. Pedro Mir was also awarded the Dominican National Literature Award for his lifetime achievements in 1993.

Milly Quezada

Milagros Quezada Borbon (better known as Milly Quezada), is considered as the queen of merengue music in the Dominican Republic, and USA. She received the Latin Grammy awards for her albums, Pienso asi and MQ.

Santiago Rodriguez

Santiago Luis Polanco Rodriguez, one of the richest Dominican drug kingpins in the United States, was the first to distribute cocaine in mass quantities in the country. Santiago Rodriguez organized Dominican, Jamaican, and American street drug dealers into lords of business. He has retired from his life of crime and now lives in the Dominican Republic.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic but at present is an American citizen. A leading fashion designer, Oscar has won many awards which includes CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990, and the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2000.

Junot Diaz

He is a famous novelist and a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His best-known works include, Drawn (1996) and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), for which he won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The New Yorker magazine included him in the list of the 20 top writers of the 21st century.

Juan Luis Guerra

One of the most recognized international faces of the country, Juan Guerra has won 11 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and two Latin Billboard Music awards. He has sold over 20 million records and is known for his merengue, bolero, and Latin fusion pop style in music.

Felix Sanchez

An athlete by profession, he won the first ever gold medal for the Dominican Republic in 400-meter hurdles during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Born in the United States, Felix has competed for the country since 1999 because his parents were from that country. Felix Sanchez is also known as Super Felix, Invincible, and the Dictator.

Amelia Vega

Amelia Victoria Vega Polanco was crowned Miss Universe in 2003, the first Dominican woman to achieve this feat. She also won the National Costume competition and is the third among Miss Universe winners to do so.

Dania Ramirez

Dania Ramirez is a television star. She has acted in much-loved series Heroes, and the award-winning television series, The Sopranos. She has appeared in many music videos and won critical appraise for her role as Callisto in X-Men: The Last Stand.

Alexandra Cheron

Alexandra Cheron is a successful Hollywood actress and model. One of the richest persons of Latin origin, she has acted in movies like Miami Vice (2006) and The Fast and Furious pt. 4 (2009).

Alex Rodriguez

Nicknamed as A-Rod, he is a professional baseball player. Considered as one of the best baseball players of all time, he plays for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. He holds the record of being the youngest to hit 500 home runs. In 2007, he signed a 10-year contract with Yankees for $275 million which is the highest recorded in baseball history.

Praiseworthy Dominicans

  • Agliberto Meléndez (Film Director)
  • Alfonso Soriano (Baseball Player)
  • Ada De La Cruz (Model)
  • Angela Carrasco (Singer)
  • Andrés García (Actor)
  • Aisha Syed Castro (Violinist)
  • Arcangel (Reggaeton Artist)
  • Birmania Rios (TV Personality)
  • Bartolo Colón (Basketball Player)
  • Billo Frómeta (Singer)
  • Carmen Wong Ulrich (Journalist)
  • Carlos Almanzar (Baseball Player)
  • Charytín (Singer/Actress/TV Host)
  • Cristian Guzman (Baseball Player)
  • Carlos Pena, Jr. (Actor/Singer)
  • Charlie Villanueva (Basketball Player)
  • Dawson Danger (DJ/Designer)
  • Duaner Sanchez (Baseball Player)
  • Dante Rosario (NFL Football Player)
  • Donald Reid Cabral (Former President)
  • Daniel Santacruz (Songwriter/Singer)
  • El Cata (Merengue Musician)
  • Enrique Segoviano (Director/Producer)
  • Edward Vinicio Espinal (Soccer Player)
  • Fernando Guerrero (Boxer)
  • Fausto Carmona (Baseball Player)
  • Fernando Rodney (Baseball Player)
  • Fabolous (Rapper)
  • Felix Sanchez (Runner)
  • Frank Moya Pons (Historian)
  • Héctor Valdez Albizu (Economist)
  • Hanley Ramirez (Baseball Player)
  • Joan Guzmán (Boxing Champion)
  • Johnny Pacheco (Band Leader/Salsa Singer/Producer)
  • Jessy Terrero (Director)
  • José Guillermo Cortines (Musician/Actor)
  • Juan Francisco Ordóñez (Composer/Guitarist)
  • Joseline Peña-Melnyk (member of the Maryland General Assembly)
  • Junot Diaz (Writer)
  • Julio Alberto Hernández (Composer)
  • Judy Reyes (Actress)
  • Leonel Fernández Reyna (Current President of the Dominican Republic - 2012)
  • Luis Castillo (Football Player)
  • Ludo Vika (Comedian/Actress)
  • Luny Tunes (Artists/Reggaeton Producers)
  • Merlin Santana (Actor)
  • Mario Rivera (Artist/Jazz Composer)
  • Michel Camilo (Jazz Pianist)
  • Miguel Tio (Painter)
  • Mary Joe Fernández (Tennis Player)
  • Nancy Alvarez (TV Talk Show Host/Psychologist)
  • Nelson de la Rosa (Comedian/Actor)
  • Pedro Florentino (Battle of Jacuba Hero)
  • Pavel Nuñez (Rock/Pop Musician)
  • Ramón Matías Mella (One of the Founding Fathers of the Dominican Republic)
  • Rosa Acosta (Model)
  • Rick Gonzalez (Actor)
  • Ruperto Vanderpool (Comedian)
  • Thomas Perez (Civil Rights Lawyer)
  • Stalin Colinet (NFL Player - Former)
  • Tilo Rivas (Government Official)
  • Vladimir Guerrero (Baseball Player)
  • Victor Martinez (Professional Bodybuilder)
  • Wolf Hudson (Adult Film Star)
  • Willy Taveras (Baseball Player)
  • Yorlin Madera (Actor)
  • Zoe Saldana (Actress)
Sports as you can see, is an area in which the Dominicans excel in. They're an extremely talented bunch that have made a name for themselves individually, whilst making their country proud. Baseball is the national game of the country where many Dominican baseball players dominate this game all over the US.