Ramon Fernandez Matos was born in 1900 in Puerta de Tierra, a neighborhood adjacent to Viejo San Juan in Puerto Rico, the fifth of ten children born to Juan Fernandez Quinta and Catalina Matos Maldonado. His father was born in northern Spain, either in Ourense, Galicia or Santander, Spain, but so far, he is the only person with this surname in Puerto Rico since his arrival in 1887. By 1920, his family moved from Calle San Agustin in Puerta de Tierra to Santurce; Juan was doing well at this point, since he had a servant living in the household, along with his, wife, six children, his brother in law Etanislaus Matos and Luis Gomez, another relative.
A decade later, Ramon's father Juan was a supplier, a commerciante de provisiones, and his wife Catalina worked the counter. There were three daughters at home, along with three grandchildren, two of them Ramon's daughters with Carmen Dorios Picon, Silvia and Carmen. For Ramon, the twenties proved a horrifically difficult period of time, that went from hope to loss and hope again once he returned to New York.