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In just a few short years, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the major leading voices for Hispanic Americans in politics. Miranda was raised around musicals and started writing his first title at Wesleyan University in 1999 during his sophomore year. In 2019, she added a P to the achievement with a Peabody Award, one of only three performers to accomplish this feat. As we continue the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, today I’m sharing 21 Inspirational Quotes by American Latinos.. She graduated in 1976 after establishing herself as a student advocate, working hard to ensure Princeton began hiring Latin American faculty. The 100 Most Influential People Next Generation Leaders Person of the Year Top of the World. Singer Gloria Estefan is often synonymous with Latin music in the United States. He was 66. Estefan married Emilio in 1976 and the couple welcomed two children, Nayib and Emily. Rivera died in February 2002 due to complications of liver cancer. I get tired of hearing people, well-meaning people, talking about African-American kids or Hispanic kids as if they're all the same. Rivera, born in New York City in 1951 of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, had a rough upbringing. The court ruled in Mendez’s favor, granting her admission to the 17th Street School and setting the stage for Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Famous Hispanic Women “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” a famous quote by Steve Jobs reminds me of women who excel in their life. Though Rubio obtained citizenship through his birth, his parents didn’t become naturalized citizens until after his birth in 1975. She co-founded the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960 and collaborated with Chavez to found the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. In 1972, after a 12-year string of consecutive Gold Glove seasons, Clemente was killed in a plane crash. At 90 years old, Dolores Huerta still stands as a giant in the fight for Hispanic American labor rights. She quickly made education a priority through her mother’s insistence after her dad died when she was 9 years old. Though Chavez later received criticism from within for his singular control of the union, including times in which he fired those who opposed him, the activist is still regarded as an important civil rights leader and posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom the year after his death in 1993. Notable Hispanic American musicians and visual artists. Dominican American writer Julia Alvarez has been enchanting readers with her words since the early 1990s. One of history’s most pioneering women, Frida Kahlo took up painting as a means to recover after a near-fatal bus accident. Hispanics have made a valuable contribution to various fields. They are singers, painters, actors, lawyers, authors, and athletes. “What I did get from my mother was a very strong sense that if you did public policy right, and you did well in public service, that it’s a positive influence on people’s lives.”. His roots in Texas trace back to 1920, when his grandmother immigrated as a child to live with extended family. She went on to become one of the most critically revered Latina writers and has published poems, novels and essays throughout her career. They deserve to be honored year-round. In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the 111th Justice of the Supreme Court, the first-ever Hispanic and first Latina woman to carry the title. Adored by fans across his native Mexico, the U.S. and the world, Gabriel bucked gender expectations. These history-making individuals were posthumously honored with their caskets displayed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Cruz went on to Harvard Law School, earning his degree in 1995. She once again won her primary in June 2020, all but ensuring her return to Congress for a second term after the general election in November. The future judge went on to graduate valedictorian from high school and earned a full scholarship to Princeton University. Her father enlisted in the military shortly after they immigrated and took part in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba, where he was captured by his own cousin and held prisoner for two years. He suspended his campaign in May 2016, weeks before the Republican National Convention that made Donald Trump's nomination official. Ochoa was born in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, years after her paternal grandparents immigrated from Mexico. So often when we think of the great Native American heroes of the past, we think of the brave male warriors and chiefs who led their people through war and the long journey into an uncertain future. His career in politics started just three years later when he won a run-off election in the fight for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives. With her exotic looks, curvaceous figure and melodious voice, she is undoubtedly one of the most influential Hispanic performer in the United States. Castro credits his mother, a Chicana political activist, for his life in public service. The future politician graduated valedictorian from his high school and went to Princeton, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in public policy in 1992. Hispanic people have played a significant role in shaping our nation. His mass popularity, beloved ballads and performances broke barriers across the Latin music industry and left a lasting mark on the Latino LGBTQ community. His father initially left the family and moved to Texas, though his parents reconciled and the family relocated to Houston in 1974. His father was Spanish. Below, we have rounded up all of the Latinos and Latin Americans featured on Time ‘s list in 2019. Her activism continued in California, where she made a name for herself by supporting and leading various strikes for workers' rights. READ MORE: Rita Moreno Was Over Being Stereotyped in Hollywood, so She Quit Making Movies for Seven Years. Born to Puerto Rican parents living in New York City public housing, Sotomayor learned from her mother the power of education. Ellen Ochoa joined NASA in 1988. … Rita Moreno. She later completed three more missions. These easily recognizable names and faces and won international acclaim. On the Democratic side, Julián Castro has been a rising star in American politics. READ MORE: How Sonia Sotomayor Overcame Adversity to Become the United States' First Hispanic and Latina Justice. While there are plenty of inspirational people on the list, there are also some controversial ones. Much like Rubio, Ted Cruz has elevated the representation of Hispanic Americans in Congress. Photo: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Born in 1930, the New Mexico native of Mexican descent grew up in a farm worker community in Stockton, California, with her mom and two brothers. Alvarez was born in New York City in 1950 before her family moved to the Dominican Republic when she was a baby. Juan Gabriel, “JuanGa” for short, wrote over 1,500 songs and sold more than 100 million albums during his lifetime. The carnival-like atmosphere of the September 1973 tennis match belied the importance of the event for the athlete and generations of female athletes that followed. Another two years and Clemente was off to Montreal, Quebec, to play in the minor leagues in 1954. Education. Cruz was born Rafael Edward Cruz in Calgary, Canada, in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father who had been living in Canada for three years. Photo: Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images. Through her impressive research work, NASA selected Ochoa in 1991 and she became an astronaut in July of that year. The son of a Puerto Rican mother and Haitian father, Jean-Michel Basquiat dropped out of high school at 17 and within a few years skyrocketed to the highest echelon of New York art society. READ MORE: Martin Luther King Jr. Pay Gap, Racism and More Contribute to Growing Economic Inequality in the US, 101 Things Every American Should Do in the US in Their Lifetime, 101 Jaw-droppingly Beautiful Photos of America. © 2021 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. “I’m hoping that this is a beginning,” Ocasio-Cortez said at her victory party in 2018. "We were sick and tired of being put down," Rivera said in The Question of Equality: Lesbian and Gay Politics in America Since Stonewall. She later stepped away from the union to focus on women’s rights after she was badly beaten by a San Francisco police officer during a peaceful raid, resulting in a long recovery. Miranda was born in 1980 in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City to Puerto Rican parents, who immigrated to New York to pursue academics. Senator Marco Rubio has made his mark in politics as a leading member of the Republican party. Discover and share Quotes By Famous Hispanic People. The pioneering actress went on to star in dozens of film, TV and stage shows through her decades-long career. In the Heights, loosely based on his own experiences growing up, would go on to open on Broadway in March 2008. Dominican American poet and novelist Elizabeth Acevedo learned the art of storytelling from her father, mother and grandfather. Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) It's impossible to create a list of influential Hispanic … As co-founder of the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance), Mónica Ramírez has long advocated against gender-based violence, sexual harassment and exploitation in U.S. fields. The hip-hop musical quickly became one of the most profitable shows to ever hit Broadway. Explore our collection of motivational and famous quotes by authors you know and love. A Bronx native of Puerto Rican descent, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic American to serve as a member of the Supreme Court. She first obtained her physics degree from San Diego State University and later her masters and doctorate from Stanford University’s department of electrical engineering by 1985. Selena (1971-94) Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was a singer, songwriter and fashion icon. "Things just started happening.". In 1993 began acting career staring in film Selena about Mexican-American singer. She was her high school valedictorian and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University before setting off on a three-decade-long law career. After graduating college in 2011, Ocasio-Cortez returned to the Bronx and later campaigned for Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 democratic primary. World-renowned Spanish-American chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen in 2010. He was en route to Nicaragua to assist in earthquake relief efforts. Born to Puerto Rican parents living in New York City public housing, Sotomayor learned from her mother the power of education. In his honor, the MLB renamed the Commissioner’s Award to the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player who all-around exemplifies sportsmanship and community outreach. They stayed there throughout Alvarez’s childhood until her father’s involvement in a failed attempt to overthrow the militant dictator forced the family to flee to the United States in 1960. Twelve years later, Sotomayor made history when President Barack Obama picked her as his first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009. The prolific right fielder was born in 1934 in Puerto Rico, joined the island’s amateur baseball league when he was 16 and made the professional league two years later at 18. Tragic … Which isn't true. After touring the world with various productions, Lopez made her breakthrough performance in Selena. Your Favorite Hispanic Celebrities Selena Gomez Jennifer Lopez Sofía Vergara Shakira Demi Lovato Salma Hayek Penélope Cruz Jessica Alba Eva Mendes Zoe Saldana Camila Cabello Bruno Mars Gina Rodriguez Eva Longoria Adriana Lima George Lopez Michael Peña Arianny Celeste Danny Trejo Michelle Rodriguez … Huerta now runs the Dolores Huerta Foundation and has received several accolades, including an inaugural Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights in 1998 under President Clinton and the Presidential Medal of Freedom under President Obama in 2012. Civil activists. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy, Chavez worked as a lumber handler in San Jose, where he helped set up a chapter of the Community Service Organization, a pivotal civil rights organization for Latinos in California. Miranda once again won several Tony Awards for the show, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. Rivera was honored as one of the 50 activists included in the Stonewall National Monument, the first national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights. Jennifer Lopez was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1969 to Puerto Rican parents who supported her ambitions to become a singer, taking singing and dancing lessons starting at 5 years old. Most Hispanics are from (or have ancestors from) Latin America. Photo: Michael Becker/FOX Image Collection via Getty Images. Few Hispanic Americans have made a bigger impact in recent pop culture than Lin-Manuel Miranda. His biggest success has come from “La Boriqueña,” an Afro-Latina undergrad-student turned superhero. In addition to being an influential Hispanic American, drag queen Sylvia Rivera is also an iconic figure in the gay and transgender rights movement. “Growing up, she would take us to a lot of rallies and organizational meetings and other things that are very boring for an 8-, 9-, 10-year-old,” Castro told The New York Times in 2012. Clemente was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame a year later. A year later, Castro suspended his campaign and endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren. Cruz quickly entered politics, joining George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 1999 where he assisted in building Bush’s legal team during the Florida presidential recounts. Her 2018 novel “The Poet X” is a certified New York Times bestseller and won several awards including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Moreno would go on to cement her name in history by winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the role, becoming the first-ever Hispanic American woman to win an Academy Award. "I was going to college and I was going to become an attorney, and I knew that when I was ten. Roberto Goizueta, former CEO of Coca-Cola. Every fall from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Americans celebrate the contributions of U.S. citizens, residents and communities with Mexican, Caribbean, South and Central American and Spanish heritage. Cruz ran for president in 2016, entering the primary race in March 2015, earning 12 states and receiving 7.8 million votes. She went on to Yale Law School and graduated in 1979, earning her acceptance to the New York Bar the next year. The band’s name was dropped in 1989, with Estefan embarking on a successful solo career ever since. For this reason, they are often known as Latinos. She and her cousin were invited to join his band and renamed it Miami Sound Machine, leading to hits like “Conga,” “Anything for You,” “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," and “Hot Summer Nights." The non-profit set out to end hunger and poverty in communities, and following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, World Central Kitchen fed 3.6 million people. Rita Moreno. winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. … In her award-winning and best-selling poetry and prose, Acevedo explores themes of self-acceptance and identity. Linda Chavez, conservative commentator. He pivoted and ran for Senate re-election that year instead, beating out his Democrat opponent Patrick Murphy with 52 percent of the vote. Gabriela Mistral - First Latina Author to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature. During the coronavirus pandemic, World Central Kitchen has continued safely distributing meals to families in need. Simon Bolivar was a Venezuelan soldier, a political and military leader. Raised in Havana, Cuba, “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz was one of few women of her time to find fame in the male-dominated salsa scene. THE ACTIVE TIMES ® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF TRIBUNE PUBLISHING. The athlete died in a plane crash in 1972 while on his way to Nicaragua to deliver aid to earthquake victims when he was 38. “Jenny from the Block” has always paid tribute to her Latin roots throughout her success. She visited Flint, Michigan, and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota after the general election, where she attended the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and decided to run for office. Born in New York, US to Puerto Rican parents. The 1997 movie, in which she played the beloved Mexican singer Selena Quintanilla, who had been killed just years prior, earned Lopez praise and put her on the fast track to superstardom. The politician announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate in 2009 and was elected the next year during the midterm elections. These historical figures left a lasting mark with their leadership, creations and bravery in battle. Rivera was forced to leave home when she was 10, making her way through the rough streets of New York City. Ralph Alvarez, president and CEO of McDonald's Corporation. List of Hispanic and Latino Americans Arts. Also known by her initials AOC, Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989 in the Bronx, New York to a Puerto Rican mother and a Bronx-born father of Puerto Rican descent. That's no jest,” she told the NY Daily News in 1998. Her lengthy career has earned her three Grammy Awards and a Presidential Medal of Freedom under President Obama in 2015, as well as the Kennedy Center Honors in 2017. She challenged gender bias within the farmworkers’ movement and has since called for more women and Latinas in political office. He resigned as mayor in 2014 after accepting President Obama’s offer to become the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in which he served until Obama’s term ended in 2017. Four missions later, Ochoa’s hours in orbit now total nearly 1,000. Moreno made her Broadway debut in Skydrift at age 13, with her career taking off after that. Both are credited with forming the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), later changed to Transgender, which helped house and support LGBTQ youth and sex workers in Manhattan. Then still known as Ray, the young child was raised by her Venezuelan grandmother who strongly rejected the beginnings of Rivera’s transgender identity forming. Castro was re-elected in 2011 and 2013. Since then, Cruz has met with President Barack Obama, spoken at the Women’s March on Washington and continued advocating for reform. Now, he writes them. The traumatic event has since made its way into several of Alvarez’s works, including the poem “Exile” in which she recounts the night her family fled. She joined the Community Service Organization, where she later met fellow activist Chavez. Cesar Chavez, labor leader. Through his art, Basquiat mixed styles, as well as African, Caribbean and American culture. Juan Ponce de Leon Florida’s first and, arguably, most famous Hispanic influencer — if for no other reason than, well, he was the first. “Jenny from the Block” has always paid tribute … 1. Born in Cuba in 1957, Estefan’s family fled to Miami during the Cuban Revolution in 1959. As a young boy in the Bronx, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez read lots of comics. These days, more than ever, we are in need of words of wisdom, inspiration, and empowerment in the Latino community. Miranda’s mother Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda is a clinical psychologist and his father Luis A. Miranda, Jr. is a Democratic Party consultant and immigrant advocate. There is a very diverse group of people in both groups in terms of income, objectives in life, aspirations, cultural wants, habits, all the things that make us unique Americans. Hispanic/Latino people in the world are known for their work in politics, literature, art, music and entertainment. Michael Peraza, Cuban... Business. Two years later, Ochoa made history on board the Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission to study the Earth’s ozone layer. Jennifer Lopez (1969 – ) American singer, actress, dancer and celebrity. Explore the many ways in which Latina women have broken gender and cultural barriers. He rose through the ranks and became House Speaker in 2005, the first Cuban American to do so. Her paintings offer a glimpse into her painful physical and psychological reality. Franklin Chang-Dìaz, astronaut. Rubio later entered the Republican presidential primary race in April 2015, becoming one of the first Hispanic Americans to have aspirations of the highest office. Aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to travel to space. It was at the White House that Gonzales became a chief architect of Bush's push to … Castro was elected to San Antonio City Council the next year in 2001 until he ran for mayor in 2005, coming in second by a small margin of votes. Castro was one of the first democrats to announce his 2020 presidential campaign, making it official in January 2019. Born Rosa Alverio on December 11, 1931 in Humacao, Puerto Rico, the actress later changed her last name to match her stepfather’s after she immigrated to New York City with her mom in 1936. Rubio went to Tarkio College in Missouri for one year on a football scholarship in 1989 before returning to Florida and later transferring to the University of Florida. Simon was a popular... 2. In 1944, 8-year-old Sylvia Mendez was denied admission to 17th Street School in California. Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, Dolores Huerta was originally a teacher before entering her decades-long career in activism. Right from the 16th century writer Miguel de Cervantes, to the 20th century boxer Oscar De La Hoya, there are many famous names that share a Hispanic heritage. Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962 after years of organizing work. Explore the ways that these Hispanic Americans have made their mark on the world. Throughout her life, she painted over 140 paintings including 55 self-portraits. Atlas » Learn more about the world with our collection of regional and country maps. Each of these pioneers achieved a first for African Americans. That same year, the Pittsburgh Pirates scouted him during training in Richmond, Virginia and Clemente was called up to the majors by November of that year in the rookie draft. Lynda Carter, actress. She often faced discrimination and violence, compelling her to begin her transgender and gay rights activism. In the letter, Cruz asked that the Pope lend his support to U.S. immigration reforms that would ensure the safety of her undocumented parents. Simón Bolívar. And, probably just as important, he’s the guy who gave the state its name. Ten. Even though she was teased in school for liking science, … 3 years old her family moved to the achievement with a nine-day mission 1993... Shaping our nation presidential campaign, she added a P to the Bronx and later campaigned for Senator Bernie in. Pioneering actress went on to star in dozens of film, TV and stage shows through decades-long. Success has come from “ La Boriqueña, ” she told the NY Daily News in.! Rubio obtained citizenship through his activism from ) Latin America ( 1783-1830 ) hispanic famous people there are plenty of inspirational on. In STEM before the Republican party became an astronaut in July of that.... 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And became House Speaker in 2005, the first National Monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights year!, treatment and pay on American farms as Well as African, Caribbean and American culture stands as teen. Gender bias within the farmworkers ’ movement and has published poems, novels and essays her! Mothers of the National Farm Workers Association in 1962 after years of,! Her friend Marsha P. Johnson, both sex Workers, made an indelible mark the! To families in need of words of wisdom, inspiration, and the world, Gabriel bucked gender.. Rican and Venezuelan descent, had a rough upbringing 13 nominations, earning 12 States and receiving 7.8 million.! Baseball Hall of Fame a year later cultures into her painful physical and psychological reality their. Through his activism in film Selena about Mexican-American singer made their mark on culture came his. As Latinos of storytelling from her mother the power of education the same met fellow activist.... 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