Dominican New York City
The first non-Native American to settle in Mannahatta was Juan Rodriguez of Santo Domingo. He arrived in 1613, just four years after Henry Hudson first explored the great harbor and river that now bears his name. Rodriguez came to Mannahatta as a ship’s translator. He chose to stay rather than go to Holland with the ship.
Henry Santos (Moca, Dominican Republic, 1979) is one of the founders of Bachata supergroup Aventura.
Michel Camilo (Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1954) is a Grammy, Latin Grammy and Emmy award winning Classical, Jazz, and Latin pianist and composer. He regularly plays at Birdland.
Johnny Pacheco (Santiago, Dominican Republic, 1935) founded the Fania All-Stars and coined the term “Salsa” back in the 1970s.
Dania Ramirez (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1979) is a TV and film actress (Sopranos, Entourage, Devious Maids).
Julia Alvarez (New York City, 1950) is the author of the historical fiction “In the Time of the Butterflies.” It is a story about the Mirabal sisters. The four sisters opposed the Trujillo dictatorship until they were murdered in 1960. The Mirabal sisters have since become a symbol of female empowerment.
Junot Díaz (Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1968) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Drown” (1996), “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” (2007) and other short stories and novels.
Oscar de la Renta (Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1932-2014) designed one of the most elegant American fashion brands.
Lineisy Montero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a supermodel (Next Models).
Robinson Canó (San Pedro de Macros, Dominican Republic, 1982) was an All-Star second baseman for the New York Yankees from 2005 – 2013. He now plays for the Seatle Mariners.
In 2016, Adriano Espaillat (Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, 1954) became the first Dominican-American U.S. Congressman.
Ydanis Rodríguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic, 1965) is the New York City councilman for Manhattan’s 10th District (Washington Heights, Inwood, & Marble Hill). Rodríguez was Time Magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year.