Vito Marcantonio only lived 52 years. But he spent eight of those years in the US Congress, representing the people of El Barrio, NYC.
He was a great friend to Pedro Albizu Campos, and a supporter of the independence of Puerto Rico.
During a time when Puerto Ricans were facing harsh discrimination in housing, employment, and the public schools, Marcantonio stood up for them – firmly and constantly.
He also traveled to Puerto Rico, to testify in court on behalf of Albizu Campos.
One day in New York, he found out that Don Pedro’s hospital room had been bugged by the FBI. Vito rushed to the hospital, ripped out the electronic bugs, and started cursing at J. Edgar Hoover…through his own bugs.
Here is a photo of a young Vito Marcantonio (the figure at center), the champion of El Barrio.