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 heritage-more than one-third of them women-represent 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 Banuelos; actor/composer/activist Ruben Blades; classical dancer Fernando Bujones; baseball player Jose Canseco; U.S. Secretary of Education Lauro Cavazos Jr.; writer Sandra Cisneros; fashion designer Oscar de la Renta; U.S. Congressman Lincoln DIaz-Balart; teacher Jaime Escalante; composer/singer Gloria Estefan; tennis players Gigi Fernandez and Mary Joe Fernandez; playwright Mara Fornes; U.S. Men's 1996 Figure Skating Champion Rudy Galindo; physician/political activist Hector GarcIa; Coca-Cola CEO Roberto Goizueta; labor leader Dolores Huerta; U.S. Ambassador MarIa-Luci Jaramillo; artist Marisol; civil-rights activist Vilma Socorro MartInez; 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. Sanchez; newspaper editor Roberto Suarez; women's rights activist/businesswoman MarIa Elena Torano-PantIn; 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.
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