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

Jose GrecoJose Greco

The greatest flamenco dancer of modern times, Jose Greco was born in 1923 in Italy. He spent several years with his mother’s family in Spain before immigrating to the U.S at age 10. Dropping out of school to pursue painting, he caught the performance of Vicente Escudero and immersed himself in Spanish dancing. By 1945, he formed his own ballet company. After winning plaudits throughout Europe, Greco and his ensemble made their U.S debut in 1951.

For the next 25 years, Greco revealed the art of flamenco dancing to audiences throughout the world, becoming internationally known. He made TV, movie and symphony guest appearances before retiring from the stage in 1993, leaving his company in the hands of son Jose Greco III.