Historian Fernando Picó Passes Away


Our most heartfelt condolences for the family of leading Puerto Rican historian and Jesuit priest Fernando Picó (1941), who passed away unexpectedly this morning (June 27, 2017). Diálogo UPR reports:

Fernando Picó is considered to be one of the Puerto Rican historians who addressed the broadest range of subjects. [. . .] He was exemplary in integrating the tasks of researcher, theoretician, educator, academic, and working in service to his faith. [. . .]

Dr. Fernando Picó was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, in 1941 and died in Rio Piedras on June 27, 2017. In 1959 he entered the Jesuit seminary of Saint Andrew-on-Hudson [in Hyde Park] New York. In the seminary he carried out studies in philosophy and theology, which led to his ordination as a Catholic priest. He later obtained a master’s degree in history from Fordham University.

Picó, who followed the philosophy of St. Ignatius [of Loyola] as a Jesuit priest, obtained his PhD in 1970 at Johns Hopkins University, and since 1972, taught in the Department of History at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

A specialist in medieval history, Picó was one of the most prestigious intellectuals at the University of Puerto Rico. His prolific work, including the book Historia general de Puerto Rico (1986) and Puerto Rico, tierra adentro y mar afuera (1991) set guidelines in Puerto Rican historiography and enriched the curricular offerings of educational institutions on the island. The comportment of this distinguished professor and priest transcends the classroom as a living example of sensitivity and social commitment to the most marginalized in society.

His other publications include Registro General de Jornaleros de Utuado 1849-50 (editor, 1977), Libertad y servidumbre en el Puerto Rico del siglo XIX (1979), Amargo café (1981), Las vallas rotas (1982), Los gallos peleados (1983), La Guerra después de la Guerra (1987), Vivir en Caimito (1989), Historia de Caimito (1992), Don Quijote en motora (1993), El día menos pensado: historia de los presidiarios en Puerto Rico (1793-1993)San Fernando de la Carolina: identidades y representacionesCayeyanos: familias y solidaridades en la historia de Cayey; and the children’s story La peineta colorada, among others.

In 2008 the historian was selected as recipient of the Eugenio María de Hostos Chair. As part of the commemoration of the 169th anniversary of the birth of Puerto Rican hero Eugenio María de Hostos, Picó was in charge of the main speech under the title “Coacciones Celestes: la demonización fundamentalista del otro y la censura del pensamiento insular” [Celestial Constraints: The Fundamentalist Demonization of the Other and Censorship of Island Thought]. [. . .]

For full article, see http://dialogoupr.com/adios-fernando-pico/

[Photo from https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/falleceelhistoriadorfernandopico-2335077/]

Also see https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2017/06/27/muere-profesor-fernando-pico.html and http://www.primerahora.com/noticias/puerto-rico/nota/muereelhistoriadorymediadorfernandopico-1232526/

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