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.

Tony Mendoza

Graduating from Yale and pursuing a post-graduate architecture degree from Harvard, photographer Tony Mendoza quit school to take part in the ‘60s revolution in San Francisco. He has won more awards than any other fine arts photographer in the country and his work has appeared in nearly every publication. While working on his photo book “Ernie,” the quintessential cat book, Mendoza photographed a New York City tomcat for two years, capturing and creating a witty dialogue of the world from Ernie’s perspective. Thirty rejection letters later, Mendoza was picked up by Capra Press. The photo book sold more than 50,000 copies and the rest is history.