More commonly known by Puerto Ricans as "Luis A. Ferré" or "Don Luis", he was the first governor to be elected from the Partido Nuevo Progresista (the "New Progressive Party" or "PNP"), a party Ferré had founded in 1967.
Ferré was also a talented pianist who recorded several albums of his piano music. His dedication to the world of arts led him to open a museum of art in Ponce, which is now one of that city's biggest tourist attractions, and is named after him. Also named after him is the freeway that crosses the island from north to south, from San Juan to Ponce. As a musician and former governor, Ferré remained accessible to his fans and he liked to sign autographs when the opportunity to do so arose.Ferré had been hospitalized with a urinary tract infection on September 29, 2003, and underwent surgery for an intestinal blockage on October 1. While in hospital he developed pneumonia before finally succumbing to respiratory failure. His body lay in state at the Capitol building in San Juan, then was guarded in his museum in Ponce, before being taken for a state funeral and burial nearby.