Category: Outstanding Hispanics

Manuel Gregorio Acosta

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Manuel Gregorio Acosta Born May 9, 1921, in Villa Aldama, Mexico, sculptor, muralist and painter Manuel Gregorio Acosta studied art at the University of Texas at El Paso and the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. By the early 1950s, he was considered an accomplished painter and painted numerous murals for banks and corporate buildings throughout the Southwest. In 1958, he held his first...

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Rosie Perez

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Rosie Perez From an undergraduate student to a sought-after “hip-hop” music choreographer and rising actress, Rosie Perez had watched her career flourish in a short time. Stepping into the limelight as a dancer on “Soul Train,” Perez grabbed the attention of Louis Silas Jr., senior vice-president of MCA Records, who invited her to choreograph one of his artists. Before long, Perez was choreographing Fox...

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Nydia Velazquez

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. Nydia Velazquez Born to a hard-working family in Puerto Rico in 1953, Nydia Margarita Velazquez inherited her father’s passion for politics. In 1983, she began working as a special assistant to former U.S. Representative Edolphus Twons. The following year, she was appointed to the New York City Council to fill Councilman Luis Olmedo’s vacancy. With this appointment, Velazquez became the first Latina to...

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Edward Kunhardt Hidalgo

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Edward Kunhardt Hidalgo Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Edward Kunhardt Hidalgo was born in Mexico City in 1912. He immigrated to the U.S and was naturalized in 1936, enjoying prolific military and law careers. He holds degrees from Columbia Law School and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and practiced with the finest law firms in New York, Paris and Mexico City. During...

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Walter Alvarez

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. Walter Alvarez In the 1970s, Walter Alvarez, with his father Luis Alvarez, the 1968 Physics Nobel Prize winner, developed the “Impact Theory” of dinosaur extinction. Following his discovery of an iridium-rich layer of sediment, commonly found in meteorites, Walter, with his father, theorized that a massive asteroid collided with the earth, which ultimately led to the extinction of dinosaurs. The impact theory sparked...

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Antonio R. Sanchez Sr.

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...

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Edward Baca

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Edward Baca In 1956, Edward Baca began his military career. During the Vietnam War, Baca volunteered for overseas deployment. In 1966, he was released from active duty and made his career in New Mexico’s National Guard. Over the next several years, Baca served in a myriad of key battalion, brigade and state level assignments before being promoted to lieutenant general and then Chief of...

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Cherrie Moraga

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Cherrie Moraga A radical Chicana lesbian poet and writer, Cherrie Moraga is an advocate against the oppression of lesbians, women and minorities. Born in 1952 in California, Moraga began writing her first lesbian works after recieving her B.A. in English in 1974. She is known as one of the first to write from the standpoint of being a minority and lesbian. In 1981, with...

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Octavio J. Visiedo

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Octavio J. Visiedo Following the resignation of New York School Chancellor Ramon Cortinas in 1995, Octavio J. Visiedo became the nation’s highest-ranking Hispanic superintendent. Overseeing America’s fourth-largest school district, Dade County Public Schools in Florida, Visiedo began his career in 1971 as a bus aide. In 1990, at age 39, Visiedo assumed the superintendency. A visionary leader, he guided the district through its worst-ever...

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Dr. France Anne Cordova

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Dr. France Anne Cordova Prior to being named Chief Scientist of NASA, Dr. France Anne Cordova was the head of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at Penn State. She earned her B.A from Stanford and a Ph.D in physics from Cal-Tech. Over the years, Cordova has been involved with numerous scientific communities. She worked with the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera Team, was Deputy...

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Cristina Teuscher

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Cristina Teuscher Quickly making swimming history and garnering national attention, swimmer Cristina Teuscher is compiling an enormous wealth of victories. A two-time U.S. national champion, Teuscher won a 1994 silver medal at the World Championships and three gold medals at the 1995 Pan Am Games. Recently making Olympic history at the 1996 games in Atlanta, Teuscher won a gold medal and set an Olympic...

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Dr. George Castro

By Leonard Rodriguez This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics. Dr. George Castro The associate dean of the College of Science at San Jose State University and a fellow of the American Physical Society, Dr. George Castro has made enormous contributions to the world of chemistry and applied physics. He discovered the mechanism of intrinsic charge carriers of organic photo conductors and is a research pioneer in the field of high-resolution laser techniques. He...

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