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.

Carolyn Curiel

Closer to President Clinton than perhaps any other Hispanic in his administration, Carolyn Curiel, senior speechwriter, is the first minority to write speeches for a U.S. president. Born to Mexican-American parents in Indiana, Curiel discovered the joy of writing in high school. After writing for The Washington Post, the New York Times, and ABC News’ “Nightline”, she was hired as a speechwriter for the president in 1993. One of her most famous speeches on affirmative action was delivered in 1995. In it, President Clinton coined the phrase, “mend it but don’t end it,” and remarked afterward, “it may be that the one she wrote today will go down as one of the two or three most important speeches I have ever delivered.”