Remembered for her involvement in the important 1904 United States Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Williams, Gonzalez played a key role in securing United States citizenship rights for her fellow Puerto Ricans.
She began her series of court battles after arriving pregnant at Ellis Island, New York, in 1902, to join her fiance in the mainland United States.
While seeking American citizenship, she wrote numerous influential letters to the New York Times.
The child of Antonia and Severo Gonzalez, she grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her first marriage, which ended with her husband's death, resulted in one child; her second marriage, to Juan Francisco Torres, lasted five decades and produced four children.
Thirteen years after Gonzalez's case was tried in federal court, the Jones-Shafroth Act, which guaranteed United States citizenship to all Puerto Rican citizens, was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson.