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 R. Roybal
A descendant of one of the original founding families of Santa Fe, N.M., Edward R. Roybal moved to Los Angeles at age 4. After serving in World War II, Roybal became involved with Hispanic discrimination issues. In 1949, Roybal became the first Mexican-American since 1881 elected to the Los Angeles City Council.
In 1963, he was elected to the U.S Congress. Roybal worked endlessly on behalf of Latinos. He won approval of the First Federal Bilingual Education Act and led the opposition against the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
After 30 years, Roybal announced that his legacy would continue through his daughter, Lucille Roybal-Allard, who became the first woman of Mexican-American ancestry elected to the U.S Congress.