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Cruz is a surname of Iberian origin, first found in Castile,[citation needed] Spain, but later spread throughout the territories of the former Spanish and Portuguese Empires. In Spanish and Portuguese, the word means "cross", either the Christian cross or the figure of transecting lines or ways. For example, in the Philippines, the adopted Tagalog word is rendered to "krus" in plain usage, but the Spanish spelling survives as a surname.

Meister des Reliquienkreuzes von Cosenza 002.jpg
PronunciationSpanish: IPA: [kruθ] or [krus]
Portuguese: IPA: [kruʃ]
Language(s)Spanish, Portuguese.
Region of originSpain, Portugal
Other names
Variant form(s)"Vera Cruz", "Santa Cruz", "De la Cruz"

The word "Cruz" (Spanish for "Cross"), as well as "Vera Cruz" ("True Cross") and "Santa Cruz" ("Holy Cross") are used as surnames and toponyms. Its origin as a surname particularly flourished after the Alhambra Decree of 1492 and the increasing activities of the Spanish Inquisition, when New Christian families with Crypto-Jewish, Moorish, and/or mixed religious heritage converted to the state-enforced religion of Catholicism and subsequently fashioned and adopted surnames with unambiguous religious affiliation.


People with the surnameEdit




  • Claudia Cruz (born 1986), Dominican Miss World contestant 2004
  • Gaspar da Cruz (ca. 1520–1570), Portuguese Dominican friar, author of the first European book on China
  • Gemma Cruz, Filipino crowned Miss International
  • Nilo Cruz (born 1962), Cuban-American playwright and Pulitzer prize winner

Actors and ActressesEdit


Musical ArtistsEdit

  • Celia Cruz (1924-2003), Cuban salsa singer
  • Simon Cruz, Swedish singer of glam metal band Crashdïet
  • Taio Cruz, British singer (born Adetayo Ayowale O. A. Onile-Ere)
  • Adam Cruz, American jazz drummer
  • Tony Sunshine (Antonio Cruz, born 1977), Puerto Rican R&B singer
  • Bobby Cruz (born 1937), Puerto Rican salsa singer and religious minister
  • Jason Cruz (born 1974), American musician, artist, poet


  • Angel Cruz, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 180th District
  • Inmaculada Cruz (1960–2013), Spanish politician
  • Ted Cruz (born 1970), (Rafael Edward Cruz) Canadian-American politician and United States Senator from Texas since 2013
  • Benjamin J.F. Cruz (born 1951), Guamanian politician
  • Catalina Cruz (born 1980s) New York politician



  • Edvandro Cruz (born 1978), Brazilian mountaine biker
  • Frank Cruz (born c. 1959), American college baseball coach
  • José Cruz also known as Cheo Cruz (born 1947), Puerto Rican baseball player
  • José Cruz, Jr. (born 1974), Puerto Rican baseball player
  • Juan Cruz (born 1978), Dominican baseball player
  • Luis Cruz (born 1984), American baseball player
  • Nelson Cruz (born 1980), baseball outfielder from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
  • Nelson Cruz (pitcher) (born 1972), baseball pitcher from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic


As a given nameEdit

Fictional charactersEdit

See alsoEdit