María Elena Holly (née Santiago; born December 20, 1932) is the widow of rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly. She later remarried. She owns the rights to his name, image, trademarks, and other intellectual property. In 2010, Santiago-Holly co-founded, with Peter Bradley, "The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation" also known as TBHEF. Santiago-Holly (birth name: María Elena Santiago) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. María Elena's mother died when she was 12 years old. In 1953, her father sent her to live with her aunt (Provi Garcia) in New York City. Santiago worked as a receptionist for music publisher Peermusic. As a receptionist Maria Elena probably first met Buddy in August 1957 when as rising stars he and the Crickets first visited Peer Southern Music in the Brill Building at 1619 Broadway to meet their publishing manager Murray Deutch who was Maria's boss. Then a day or so before Thursday, June 19, 1958 when he recorded 'Early In The Morning' in New York's Pythian Temple, Buddy asked her out. Santiago had never been out on a date and told Holly he would have to ask her aunt for permission. Holly promptly got her aunt's permission. Five hours into their first date, Buddy handed a rose to Maria and asked her to marry him.