José Celso Barbosa Alcala (July 27, 1857 – September 21, 1921) was a Puerto Rican physician, sociologist and political leader. Known as the father of the statehood movement in Puerto Rico, Barbosa was the first Puerto Rican, and one of the first persons of African descent to earn a medical degree in the United States.After his return to the island in 1880, Barbosa made many contributions to medicine and public health. He initiated an early form of health insurance, encouraging employers to pay a fee to cover future needs of their employees. In 1900 Barbosa was among the first five Puerto Rican leaders appointed to the Executive Cabinet under Governor Charles H. Allen, in the first civilian government organized by the United States. He served in the Cabinet until 1917. From 1917 to 1921, Barbosa served in the first elected Puerto Rican Senate.Early years
Barbosa was born in 1857 in the city of Bayamón, Puerto Rico to parents of African and European ancestry. He received bo
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