Maurice A. Ferré (born June 23, 1935) is a former six-term Mayor of Miami. Ferré was the first Puerto Rican-born United States mayor and the first Hispanic Mayor of Miami. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2010 elections for the U.S. Senate seat for Florida vacated by Mel Martínez for the Democratic primary.
Ferre was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was the son of businessman José Ferré and nephew of the former governor of Puerto Rico Luis A. Ferré. Ferre’s father José visited Miami, Florida in the 1920s and wondered why the city did not have any tall buildings. He then ventured into construction and real estate development in Miami. Ferré was born when José and his family returned to his hometown, Ponce in Puerto Rico. Ferré is a graduate of the University of Miami.
From 1993 to 1996, Ferré was Vice-Chairman of the Dade County Board of Commissioners. He has been active in national political campaigns and he was a member of several presidential advisory boards. Ferré has also worked as a banker and business consultant and has held various research and teaching posts.
On December 20, 1995, Francisco Ferré Malaussena, Mariana Gómez de Ferré, and Felipe Antonio Ferré Gómez, the son, daughter-in-law, and grandson of Ferré, died when American Airlines Flight 965 crashed into a mountain in Colombia.
In November 2001, Ferré lost his bid to be reelected Mayor of Miami.
Ferré is on a fellowship at Princeton University and is writing a book about the contributions Hispanics have made to the American culture. Ferré is one of the driving forces behind the INTERMESTIC (stands for “International” – “Domestic“) dialogue, which attempts to seek consensus regarding Puerto Rico’s political status problem from an “international” as well as “domestic” point of view. He most recently spoke about this effort to deal with Puerto Rico’s political status in an address to the Puerto Rico Senate as keynote speaker during the Governors’ Day special session on February 16, 2006.
In October 2009, Ferré announced that he was running for the open US Senate seat of Mel Martinez. His bid for the Senate was unsuccessful, however, coming in last in the Democratic primary.
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At 83 years old and battling cancer, Maurice Ferre slowly walked up to receive what he called the greatest honor of his life.
The 23-acre museum park, stretching from the Perez Art Museum to the American Airlines Arena, and from Biscayne Boulevard to the bay, is now Maurice A. Ferre Park.
Museum Park is now officially Maurice A. Ferré Park! Mayor Ferré is a man of class and grace who, as “the father of modern Miami,” made us a true world-class city. His legacy, like the park that now bears his name, is one #Miami will always cherish.
Miami’s mayor Francis Suarez and city commission cut the ribbon to make it official.
“Things are named for people when others think they have done something, so I am honored by them,” said Ferre.
Ferre served 6 terms as mayor, from 1973 until 1985.
The nation’s first Puerto Rico-born mayor, he spearheaded the purchase of Bayfront property to preserve green space in Miami’s urban core.
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