By Leonard Rodriguez
This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and wom- en have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics.

Antonio R. Sanchez Sr.

Co-founder of the International Bank of Commerce in Laredo and the Sanchez-O’Brien Petroleum Group, Antonio Sanchez is known for creating one of the largest Hispanic Business Empires in the Southwest. By the early ‘70s, his financial empire included two banks, a construction company, an industrial park, a horse farm and real estate. In 1984, along with his son, Sanchez organized Bankshares, a multi-million dollar holding company which controls three banks. He then expanded his empire to include automobile agencies, a savings and loan company and a Laredo daily newspaper. Dubbed the “Latino Petro-Baron,” Sanchez was a highschool dropout with an undying will to succeed. Recently passing away, he was born in 1916 in Webb County, Texas.