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The Baltimore Sun

Sen. Mel Martinez

U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) stands on the Senate steps after leaving the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol April 27, 2006 in Washington, DC. Senator Melquiades "Mel" Rafael Martinez was sworn in as Florida's thirty-third Senator on January 4, 2005 and became the first Cuban-American to serve in the U.S. Senate. Martinez has called Florida home since the age of 15 when he arrived in Orlando from his native Sagua la Grande, Cuba as part of 'Operation Pedro Pan,' a humanitarian program that helped Cuban children escape communist Cuba. Martinez lived with foster families who generously opened their homes to him until he was reunited with his family at age 19. MARK WILSON, AFP/GETTY IMAGES