U.S. Latinos have made important contributions to American society, and this biographical dictionary is devoted to celebrating those contributions. All 127 men and women profiled in this work have immigrated to or been born in the United States and have made major contributions to American life and culture. Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and others of Spanish, South American, Central American and Caribbean heritagemore than one-third of them womenrepresent 35 fields of endeavor and all 50 states. From historical figures to the newest sports champion, figure-skater Rudy Galindo, this work provides profiles of both prominent and important but less-familiar people who have made significant contributions in their fields. Many of those profiled can be found in no other biographical source. A selection of photos complements the text.
All biographies have been written by experts in their ethnic fields. Those profiled range widely from distinguished scientists to sports stars, from actors to activists, from businesswomen to political personalities, from literary luminaries to labor organizers. All are potential role models for young men and women, and many have overcome extreme odds to succeed. These colorfully written, substantive biographies detail their subjects' goals, struggles, and commitments to success and to their ethnic communities. Among the 127 people profiled are: Nobel Prize-winning scientist Luis Alvarez; Treasurer of the United States Romana Acosta Bañuelos; actor/composer/activist Rubén Blades; classical dancer Fernando Bujones; baseball player José Canseco; U.S. Secretary of Education Lauro Cavazos Jr.; writer Sandra Cisneros; fashion designer Oscar de la Renta; U.S. Congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart; teacher Jaime Escalante; composer/singer Gloria Estefan; tennis players Gigi Fernández and Mary Joe Fernández ; playwright Mara Fornés; U.S. Men's 1996 Figure Skating Champion Rudy Galindo; physician/political activist Héctor García; Coca-Cola CEO Roberto Goizueta; labor leader Dolores Huerta; U.S. Ambassador María-Luci Jaramillo; artist Marisol; civil-rights activist Vilma Socorro Martínez; businessman/politician Jorge Mas Canosa; federal judge Harold Medina; graphic artist Nicholasa Mohr; U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello; astronaut Ellen Ochoa; Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Severo Ochoa; TV personality Geraldo Rivera; U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; educational psychologist George I. Sánchez; newspaper editor Roberto Suárez; women's rights activist/businesswoman María Elena Toraño-Pantín; New York State Supreme Court Judge Edwin Torres; mystic Teresa Urrea; film producer/director Luis Valdez. For ease of use, the heading of each profile identifies ethnic group, field of endeavor, birthdate and, where appropriate, death date. Each profile concludes with a suggested reading list of books and periodical articles about the subject. An ethnic index, field of endeavor index, and a general index make research easy. This much needed reference work is essential for school and public libraries.
About the Author
MATT S. MEIER is Patrick A. Donohoe, S. J. Professor Emeritus at Santa Clara University in California. A pioneer in researching and teaching the history of Mexican Americans, he is author of Mexican American Biographies (Greenwood, 1988), the update of Carey McWilliams's North From Mexico (1990), and Bibliography of Mexican American History (Greenwood, 1984), and coauthor with F. Rivera of Dictionary of Mexican American History (Greenwood, 1981, ALA Outstanding Reference Book of 1982), Mexican Americans/American Mexicans (1993), Readings on La Raza (1974), and Chicanos: A History of Mexican Americans (1972). In 1985 he received Santa Clara University's Ethnic Studies Distinguished Service Award.
CONCHITA FRANCO SERRI, J. D., is President of Serri Compliance Training and specializes in AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training. Born in San Juan, she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico. She then came to the mainland to obtain her M.A. in education at Harvard University and for her law degree went to Boston College, where she wrote for the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest and was editor of the law school's Third World Law Journal. She is actively involved in children's education and research.
RICHARD A. GARCIA is Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Hayward. He is an American cultural and intellectual historian who specializes in ethnic and cultural studies. He is author of Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class: San Antonio, 1929-1941 (1991) and coauthor with Richard Griswold del Castillo of Cesar Chavez: A Triumph Of Spirit (1995).
Table of Contents
Appendix A: Fields of Professional Activity
Appendix B: Ethnic Subgroups