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.

Jellybean Benitez

Raised in the South Bronx in a poor. Broken family, Jellybean Benitez beat the odds. Dropping out of school, Benitez worked as a DJ where he met record producers who brought him demos to play. Accompanying them to the studios, he learned the industry. He became known as a record producer even though he had never cut a record. With the help of his mom who acted as his manager, he made his first record for $400 and, more importantly, got his name on the label. Today, Benitez is the CEO and chairman of Jellybean Productions, Inc., a company that has produced records that have sold 1 billion copies worldwide for artists such as Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Whitney Houston and Madonna.

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