1928 He is born in the neighborhood of Bélgica, Ponce on January 12. He is the son of Esmeralda Alicea and
José Rodríguez and the second child of six brothers and sisters. Three months later he returns with Esmeralda to New York, where she lived.
1932 His parents separate and he returns to Puerto Rico.
1936 A baquiné is celebrated at his house and it leaves a great impression on his life.
1938 Publishes a strip about the adventures of the Tiger of Malasya, by Emilio Salgari. The strip circulated in his school (Emeterio Colón) and was in competition with his friend William Hadock for the title of the best strip of the month.
1939 Begins to work as a furniture maker apprentice.
1940 Graduates from eight grade. The federal program National Youth Administration to provide employment to youths starts that year, but only for 18 year-olds and older. He exaggerates his age in his application and gets accepted.
1941 Attends to the spirit sessions of the Water Beings. He makes the swords and crosses used in their rituals. One night he is told he will be drafted into the Army, but that they will protect him from any harm. He was only 13 years old.
1942 Inscriptions for the obligatory military service begin. So not to lose his job he registers
1943 On June 17 he was called to serve in the Army, together with his brother Jorge and his cousin Jose Luis. After basic training he is sent to Fort Brooke, in Puerto Rico, for training in meteorological service. While in the Army he meets Luis Cañizares, a fellow soldier, who is an amateur portrait painter. It is the first time he sees oil painting. That same month he starts a course of art by correspondence.
1944 After finishing his training he is assigned to the weather station of Fort Bundy in Ceiba. This was an artillery battalion of black puerto ricans in a segregated Army. One of the battalion members is Antonio Alomar. He later on becomes a professional baseball player and is known as Guinea. He also met the pianist Rubén Escabí and, also professional baseball player, Julio "Jueyito" Andrades. They all belonged to the 817 artillery coastal battalion, anti-torpedo boat.
1945 Receives his honorable discharge from the Army. He has a bit more than 18 years of age. Returns to Ponce. In a session of the Water Beings he is reminded that the spirits fulfilled their promise of guarding him. His brother was in Panamá, his cousin in Europe while he was in Puerto Rico. He finishes high school.
1946 Begins painting and drawing studies with Miguel Pou in Ponce.
1949 Shows his first art works in a joint exhibition of the students of the Pou Academy in the lobby of the La Perla theater in Ponce.
1951 Travels to New York for his father's burial. Although they communicated through mail, it was the first (and last) time he sees his father since he was three yeas old.
1952 Opens a Signs business in the Villa street in Ponce. One of his customers is the Cafeteros of Puerto Rico and establishes a decades long relationship as Art Director of the Coffee Magazine. He also is the director of the magazine Isla Literaria, whose editor is the writer Ernesto Juan Fonfrías.
1954 Closes his Signs business and moves to San Juan. Works as a store window decorator for the New York department stores in Rio Piedras.
1956 Works as illustrator for the Labor department in San Juan. He also gets married to Carmen Morales Rodríguez, also from Ponce.
1957 Attends night classes of the first sculpture workshop by the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, directed by the Spanish sculptor Francisco Vázquez Díaz, "Compostela ". When he later on gets a scholarship for three days a week he switches to the day session. There he meets Tomás Batista and his future son's godfather Rafaél López del Campo