Ricardo Romo has been documenting the Latino community for the past 50 years. His interest in photography began while teaching Latino high school students in East Los Angeles [1967-1970] and working with Upward Bound students at Occidental College [Cover photo, 1970].
Romo grew up in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Fox Tech High School. He attended the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship and won acclaim as the first Texan to run the mile in less than four minutes. After earning All-American honors in track, Ricardo married his college sweetheart Harriett and they moved to California in 1967. While in Southern California, Romo earned a master’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University (1970) and a Ph.D. in American history from UCLA (1975).
A nationally respected urban historian, Romo is the author of East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio[UT Press], now in its ninth printing. As a recognized urban historian, Ricardo
taught and published in the field of civil rights, Mexican American history, and urban history. He served as an expert witness in the landmark voting rights lawsuit Yolanda Garza v. County of Los Angeles which MALDEF won in Federal Court in 1991. The legal victory gave East
Los Angeles residents political representation for the first time.
Romo accepted a position in the History Department at UT Austin in 1980, and he and his family returned to Texas. He taught at UT Austin and served as Vice Provost. Romo left UT Austin to become the fifth president of the University of Texas at San Antonio where he served from 1999 to 2017.
Ricardo and Harriett have been recognized for their philanthropy in the arts. Over the past 20 years, they have donated over 2,000 Latino art prints and paintings to museums, universities, and nonprofits including the McNay Contemporary Art Museum and the Washington, DC Smithsonian Institution. Other recipients of art gifts from the Romos include the Witte Museum, the University of Texas Blanton Art Museum, UT Benson Latin American Collection, Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, Say Si!, the University of Houston Downtown, the Fort Worth Amon Carter Museum, the Progreso Library in Uvalde, The University of Texas-San Antonio, San Antonio Public Library, St. Philip’s College, and the Mexican Museum of Chicago.
CALIFORNIA DAYS–UCLA TEATRO CAMPESINO 1
East L.A in the 70’s
Read more about Dr. Romo’s work on page 10.