Santiago, a.k.a. "Tony the Marine," is a writer and administrator
for Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, specializing in Puerto Rican related
Tony was born on March 9, 1950 in the South Bronx section of New York
City, to Puerto Rican parents. When he was 13, his family moved to Queens
during a time in history when the United States was going through the
Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam conflict. Upon graduating high school
he continued the family tradition by joining the United States Marine
Corps. and soon served in Vietnam.
In the Marines he and a group of fellow Puerto Ricans formed a group called
"Puerto Rican Power in Unity" which eventually became "Latin
Power in Unity". The objective of this group was to unite all the
Hispanic Marines regardless of their national background, as a brotherhood.
Together they shared their cultures and demanded to be treated equally
as their black and white counterparts in the military.
Upon being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Tony went to Puerto
Rico with the intention of getting in touch with his roots. There he met
and married his wife Milagros and together they had three children.
In Puerto Rico Tony realized that as a child he was never taught about
the contributions which Puerto Ricans had made to society. When he was
a student in the United States, he recalled that he never heard nor read
about any contributions made by Hispanics to that nation. The only Hispanic
heroes that he ever heard about were "El Zorro" and "El
Cisco Kid". He then made it a point to read and study the lives of
Puerto Rican historical figures and soon had a library in his house with
books about these people.
In 1990, he sold his business and retired, moving to Arizona, there his
children finished their superior education and went to college. He spent
many hours in the campuses library, while his children attended classes,
looking for more information about Puerto Ricans who helped shape our
society but were relatively unknown.
"Tony 'the Marine" is the editor of our Puerto
Rican Military History channel.