SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Former Puerto Rico Gov. Rafael Hernández Colón, who oversaw one of the U.S. territory's most prosperous periods, died Thursday. He was 82.
Family members said in a statement that Hernández died at his home in Puerto Rico. He had issued a public statement late last year saying he was being treated for leukemia.
Hernández served as governor from 1973 to 1977 and again from 1985 to 1993. He was an attorney and considered one of the most influential politicians of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island's current political status.
Before becoming governor, he served as Puerto Rico's justice secretary and president of the island's Senate.
Puerto Rico officials declared 30 days of mourning as politicians including those from opposition parties issued statements praising the leader.
"Rafael Hernández Colón was a man of deep intelligence and faith, and a fundamental figure in Puerto Rico for the last half century," said Rubén Berríos of the Puerto Rican Independent Party.
A funeral Mass is planned for May 4 at the cathedral in the southern city of Ponce.
Hernández is survived by a wife and four children.