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 exhibition and, in 1962, his first one-man show at the Chase Gallery in New York.

In 1969, he was commissioned to do a portrait of Cesar Chavez for the cover of Time magazine. To date, Acosta’s works are part of many private and public galleries throughout the U.S., including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.