He was born in San Germán on March 23, 1907, the son of Juan Angel Tió Malaret and Laura Nazario de Figueroa. He completed his elementary studies in his hometown and went to high school at the Polytechnic Institute and at the Wyoming Academy in Pennsylvania. He then moved to New York, where he earned a degree in civil engineering at Syracuse University in 1928.
In 1932, upon his return to Puerto Rico, he worked as an engineer and participated in a project to create an aerial and topographic map of Puerto Rico, as well as a cadastral map of Vieques. In 1939, he was elected mayor of San Germán. However, from a young age he showed interest in studying the history of Puerto Rico, a task to which he dedicated a large part of his life.
In 1956, he published La Fundación de San Germán y significación en el desarrollo político, económico, social y cultural de Puerto Rico, a work that collected the research he had conducted over the years about his hometown. In it, he supports the thesis of Puerto Rican historian Adolfo de Hostos that Añasco was the siteSite: A place where there are archeological remains or naturally occurring minerals, rocks, or fossils. where Christopher ColumbusChristopher Columbus: His letters and his diaries provide valuable information about the aboriginal Antillean culture before the arrival of the Spaniards. landed in Puerto Rico. He also asserted that Juan Ponce de León founded the first settlement in the area of San Germán and called it Higüey.
Two years later, he became a member of the recently reactivated Puerto Rican Academy of History and he served as president of the organization from 1961 until his death. During his presidency, he dedicated himself to revitalizing the institution. He promoted relations between it and other academies of history in Latin America. He also founded the Boletín de la Academia Puertorriqueña de la Historia.
His studies focused on the history of Puerto Rico and the Americas. Specifically, he investigated the European discovery of the Americas and of Mexico, the establishment of an institution of higher education on the islet of San Juan in 1532, and the history of engineering on the island, among other topics. These studies were disseminated in various publications, including the official bulletin of the academy, the newspapers El Mundo and El Nuevo Día, the magazine of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the magazine of the Engineers, Architects and Surveyors Association of Puerto Rico, the magazine Blanco y Negro of Madrid, the newspaper ABC and the weekly ABC de las Américas. He collected the articles published between 1966 and 1979 in the latter three publications in a book titled Lengua e historia (1983).
Other books of his include Nuevas fuentes para la historia de Puerto Rico (1961) and Dr. Diego álvarez Chanca: estudio biográfico (1966), both of which won an award from the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature. He organized and edited the Obras completas of Lola Rodríguez de Tió, who was a relative of his.
Among the institutions of which he was a member were the Puerto Rico Academy of Arts and Sciences, which awarded him the Puerto Rican History prize in 1983; the Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education; the Genealogical Sciences Academies of Brazil and Costa Rica; the Puerto Rican Institute for Spanish Culture, of which he was vice president; the Puerto Rican Academy of the Spanish Language; the Puerto Rico Society of Evaluating Engineers; the National Academy of History and Geography of Mexico; the Institute of Spanish Culture in Madrid; the New York Academy of Sciences; and the American Association for State and Local History, among others.
He died in San Juan on February 9, 1992.
Autor: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: August 27, 2010.