Noel Estrada (June 4, 1918 – December 1, 1979) was a Puerto Rican composer. He was the author of “En mi Viejo San Juan”, a song “widely known around the world”.
Noel Estrada was born in the town of Isabela, Puerto Rico where he received his primary education. During the Great Depression, many Puerto Ricans either emigrated to the United States (mainly to the northeastern coast area) or joined the armed forces, with the hope of improving their economic situation. At the outbreak of World War II, Noel Estrada joined and served in the United States Army. Being away from his homeland for the first time in his life would in the future serve him as inspiration when composing his world-renowned bolero “En mi viejo San Juan”. In his youth, he joined Fi Sigma Alfa Fraternity.
Noel Estrada became a government employee after being honorably discharged from the Army. He was a protocol official for the State Department. It was during the 1940s and 1950s that he wrote and interpreted his songs in Puerto Rico and in the U.S.
Among the many songs which he wrote were the following: “El Romance del Cafetal” (Romance of the coffee field); “Verde Navidad” (Green Christmas); “El Amor del Jíbaro” (The poor farmers Love); “Pobre Amor” (Poor Love); “Pedacito de Borinquen” (A piece of Puerto Rico); “Amor del Alma” (Love of the Soul); “Lo Nuestro Termino” (Our love is Finished); etcetera. However, it was “En mi Viejo San Juan” (In my Old San Juan) that would bring Estrada international acclaim.
Estrada’s composition “Mi romantico San Juan” (My romantic San Juan) won a first prize in the “Festival of the Puerto Rican Composer”. In 1966, the City of San Juan honored Noel Estrada by declaring him its adopted son.
Noel Estrada died in the City of San Juan in 1979. San Juan and the town of Isabela have honored Estrada’s memory by naming streets and a school after him