Born in 1944 in California, Richard Rodriguez is best known for his 1982 autobiography “Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez,” which elicited controversy for his views on bilingual education and affirmative action. Rodriguez’s story of a “minority student” who gains social assimilation and academic success at the cost of alienation from his parents and culture alerted many Hispanics and sociologists to the cost of “making it” in America as a minority. For his autobiography, Rodriguez received the Charles Frankel Humanities Award from the National Endowment of the Arts by President Bush. He writes for Harper’s and The New Republic and serves as a guest essayist for “The News-Hour with Jim Lehrer.” (Photo courtesy of