Went to local schools and received a law degree from Harvard University in 1917.
Entered the U.S. Army and became a lieutenant. In the army he was subjected to racial segregation, which perhaps created his lifelong violent enmity for the United States.
Returning to civil life, Albizu Campos became an advocate of Puerto Rican independence and spent several years in South America preaching that idea. In 1930 he was elected president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, which had been formed two decades earlier. The party participated in the 1932 election, in which Albizu Campos was candidate for insular senator-at-large. However, the party received less than 10 percent of the total vote needed to make it a “legal” party.
Thereafter, under Albizu’s leadership, the Nationalists turned to personal terrorism. Their greatest “success” was the assassination of insular police chief, Colonel E. Francis Riggs, in February 1936. As a result, Albizu Campos and seven supporters were sentenced to federal prison, part of which sentence he spent in a hospital in New York City. He was finally released in December 1947.
The Nationalists’ attempts to murder President Harry Truman and Puerto Rican Governor Luiz Muñoz Marín in 1950 resulted in Albizu Campos again being given a jail sentence, this time in Puerto Rico. He was pardoned by Governor Muñoz Marín in 1953. However, when the Nationalists made an armed attack on the U.S. Congress in March 1954, Albiza was jailed once again. He was once more pardoned by Governor Muñoz Marín in November 1964.