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Jose Rafael Passalacqua Santiago

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Name  Jose Passalacqua
Role  Writer
Died  July 6, 2006

Dr. Jose Rafael Passalacqua, (April 23, 1905, Coamo, Puerto Rico – July 6, 2006) was a Puerto Rican leading cardiologist and writer.


The youngest of nine children, he always had an affinity for medicine. In his youth he graduated from George Washington University with a degree in medicine and subsequently obtained his specialization from the University of Middlesex in NY. Upon his return to Puerto Rico he found that his specialization was not valid. Therefore, he decided to go to Mexico and begin his specialization over again. He was working at a hospital in Ponce when on March 27, 1937 what subsequently became known as the Ponce Massacre occurred. He obtained his second medical degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1945.

He became head doctor to Pablo Casals one faithful day when during rehearsals for the first Casals Festival the famous cellist had a heart attack. This became such an international issue that US President Dwight Eisenhower sent his own doctor to make sure that the famous composer was being taken care of. The doctor proclaimed that Dr. Passalacqua had done precisely what he needed to do to save his life.

Dr. Passalacqua was also the first doctor to ever use a defibrillator in Puerto Rico.

Upon his retirement at the ripe age of 75 he researched an article on the causes of death of Saint Francis of Assisi "Sobre las causas de la muerte de San Francisco de Asis" published in "Estudios Franciscanos" 1989.

He also published four poetry books: Horizontes, Brevario lírico, Ecos de vida y Vecino mar y Diálogo marítimo: 90 poemas de amor.

Casals even composed music to one of the poems in the book Horizontes; the published music can be found in the last pages of the poetry book.

He died July 6, 2006 at the age of 101.


Jose Rafael Passalacqua Santiago Wikipedia