Aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to travel to space. Jennifer Lopez. A Miami native, Rubio was born in 1971 to Cuban immigrants who fled the Batista regime in 1956, two years before Fidel Castro took over through the Cuban Revolution. Born to Puerto Rican parents living in New York City public housing, Sotomayor learned from her mother the power of education. Tragic … She incorporated African influences into her dress, music and performance in ways her contemporaries did not and captivated the world with her unmatched voice and candy-colored wardrobe. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1993 there and later earned his law degree from the University of Miami in 1996. Jennifer Lopez (1969 – ) American singer, actress, dancer and celebrity. Sotomayor was born in 1954 in the New York City borough, where she grew up in a predominantly Catholic and Puerto Rican community. 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. George Lopez - 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America - … She quickly made education a priority through her mother’s insistence after her dad died when she was 9 years old. This changed when Lopez dropped out of college to pursue acting, with her parents strongly opposing her aspirations. Another two years and Clemente was off to Montreal, Quebec, to play in the minor leagues in 1954. As we continue the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, today I’m sharing 21 Inspirational Quotes by American Latinos.. In 1972, after a 12-year string of consecutive Gold Glove seasons, Clemente was killed in a plane crash. These women fought endlessly for equality women throughout the 20th century. Twelve years later, Sotomayor made history when President Barack Obama picked her as his first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009. On the Democratic side, Julián Castro has been a rising star in American politics. 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. The hip-hop musical quickly became one of the most profitable shows to ever hit Broadway. 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. Selena (1971-94) Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was a singer, songwriter and fashion icon. A feminist and LGBTQ icon, Kahlo mixed aspects of Mexican mythology, varying religions and cultures into her art. Rivera died in February 2002 due to complications of liver cancer. There isn’t an industry in which Hispanic Americans haven’t made their mark in history, with some of the most iconic politicians, singers, actors, athletes and more coming from Hispanic descent. These history-making individuals were posthumously honored with their caskets displayed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. 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. The politician announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate in 2009 and was elected the next year during the midterm elections. 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. Following the life of Alexander Hamilton, Miranda reimagined the beginnings of America told by all actors of color, whose ancestors didn’t have a say in how the country was built. Alongside Chávez and other organizers, Huerta played a key role in passing monumental worker protections. Ellen Ochoa joined NASA in 1988. Most Hispanics are from (or have ancestors from) Latin America. Through his art, Basquiat mixed styles, as well as African, Caribbean and American culture. The future judge went on to graduate valedictorian from high school and earned a full scholarship to Princeton University. 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. Throughout her life, she painted over 140 paintings including 55 self-portraits. … As a young boy in the Bronx, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez read lots of comics. José Argüelles (1939–2011) – American New Age author and artist. In addition to being an influential Hispanic American, drag queen Sylvia Rivera is also an iconic figure in the gay and transgender rights movement. Miranda once again won several Tony Awards for the show, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. Since then, Cruz has met with President Barack Obama, spoken at the Women’s March on Washington and continued advocating for reform. Rivera, born in New York City in 1951 of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, had a rough upbringing. 10 Famous Hispanic People You Might Not Know Well Enough 1. Sophie Cruz, then 5 years old, made national headlines in 2015 for hand-delivering a letter to Pope Francis during a Washington, D.C. motorcade. "We were sick and tired of being put down," Rivera said in The Question of Equality: Lesbian and Gay Politics in America Since Stonewall. His roots in Texas trace back to 1920, when his grandmother immigrated as a child to live with extended family. We're celebrating 15 of the most notable Hispanic Americans whose influence has touched everything from pop culture to politics: Rita Moreno has been a household name for decades, ever since she captivated audiences with her fierce portrayal of Anita in 1961’s West Side Story. Ellen Ochoa made her mark by becoming the first Hispanic American woman to go to space with a nine-day mission in 1993. “Jenny from the Block” has always paid tribute to her Latin roots throughout her success. READ MORE: Rita Moreno Was Over Being Stereotyped in Hollywood, so She Quit Making Movies for Seven Years. 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. It was at the White House that Gonzales became a chief architect of Bush's push to … One of history’s most pioneering women, Frida Kahlo took up painting as a means to recover after a near-fatal bus accident. Lynda Carter, actress. His father was Spanish. Rita Moreno. Latin America includes Mexico , Puerto Rico , Cuba , and the countries of South and Central America . He was then successful in 2009 after stepping away to run his own law practice. Her father left the family when she was a baby and her mother later died by suicide when Rivera was just 3 years old. Rita Moreno is a Puerto-Rican American singer, dancer and actor who had an excellent career for over... 3. These easily recognizable names and faces and won international acclaim. He was en route to Nicaragua to assist in earthquake relief efforts. "I was going to college and I was going to become an attorney, and I knew that when I was ten. 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. After serving as Texas Solicitor General from 2003 to 2008, Cruz stepped away to work in private practice. 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. Michael Peraza, Cuban... Business. As a leader, he championed several worker victories by organizing weeks-long hunger strikes, marches and boycotts. Hispanic Americans are people living in the United States who are descendants of Spanish-speaking peoples. 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. 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 won his first Tony Award that summer after the show received 13 nominations, earning four wins including Best Musical. The actress, singer, … 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. The letter was signed on behalf of 700,000 female farmworkers. 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. 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. She graduated in 1976 after establishing herself as a student advocate, working hard to ensure Princeton began hiring Latin American faculty. “I’m hoping that this is a beginning,” Ocasio-Cortez said at her victory party in 2018. Photo: Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images. Famous Hispanics Jennifer Lopez is probably the first name that pops into our minds when we talk of Hispanic people. Much like Rubio, Ted Cruz has elevated the representation of Hispanic Americans in Congress. Simon Bolivar was a Venezuelan soldier, a political and military leader. These historical figures left a lasting mark with their leadership, creations and bravery in battle. Below, we have rounded up all of the Latinos and Latin Americans featured on Time ‘s list in 2019. Through her impressive research work, NASA selected Ochoa in 1991 and she became an astronaut in July of that year. Hispanic/Latino people in the world are known for their work in politics, literature, art, music and entertainment. Marisol Rios De La Luz lives in New York but draws her superhuman powers of flight, strength and weather control from the mysticism of Puerto Rico. 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 … In 2017, at the height of the #MeToo movement, Ramírez drafted a letter in support of the affected Hollywood actors. 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. 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. 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. After graduating college in 2011, Ocasio-Cortez returned to the Bronx and later campaigned for Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 democratic primary. Two years later, Ochoa made history on board the Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission to study the Earth’s ozone layer. 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. Juan Gabriel, “JuanGa” for short, wrote over 1,500 songs and sold more than 100 million albums during his lifetime. Hispanic people have played a significant role in shaping our nation. He graduated from Stanford University in 1996, interning for Clinton administration at the White House between his sophomore and junior year, and later Harvard Law School in 2000. He was also inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, making him the first Latin American and Caribbean honoree. 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. Now, he writes them. After retiring with 30 years of service, Ochoa continues to advocate for women in STEM. 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. winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She has since been heralded alongside Johnson as the mothers of the gay rights movement. Castro was one of the first democrats to announce his 2020 presidential campaign, making it official in January 2019. 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. 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. These renowned educators are just a handful of the many teachers who have transformed people's lives. List of Hispanic and Latino Americans Arts. They later divorced in 1997. These days, more than ever, we are in need of words of wisdom, inspiration, and empowerment in the Latino community. Cesar Chavez, labor leader. During the coronavirus pandemic, World Central Kitchen has continued safely distributing meals to families in need. Senator of Texas in the 2012 election. A year later, Castro suspended his campaign and endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren. In her award-winning and best-selling poetry and prose, Acevedo explores themes of self-acceptance and identity. A Bronx native of Puerto Rican descent, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic American to serve as a member of the Supreme Court. His father initially left the family and moved to Texas, though his parents reconciled and the family relocated to Houston in 1974. Photo: Michael Becker/FOX Image Collection via Getty Images. Adored by fans across his native Mexico, the U.S. and the world, Gabriel bucked gender expectations. She went on to Yale Law School and graduated in 1979, earning her acceptance to the New York Bar the next year. After working for over four years as an assistant district attorney in New York and stepping away to work in private practice, Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1997. Rita Moreno was born in Puerto Rico in 1931. 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. Senator Marco Rubio has made his mark in politics as a leading member of the Republican party. 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. He pivoted and ran for Senate re-election that year instead, beating out his Democrat opponent Patrick Murphy with 52 percent of the vote. Though Rubio obtained citizenship through his birth, his parents didn’t become naturalized citizens until after his birth in 1975. Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive. Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962 after years of organizing work. Chavez made the CSO his full-time job after he was laid off, meeting fellow activist Dolores Huerta while traveling to chapters around the state of California. The musical On Your Feet, telling the story of her and Emilio’s life, premiered on Broadway in 2015. She challenged gender bias within the farmworkers’ movement and has since called for more women and Latinas in political office. Through a grassroots campaign, she became the youngest person elected into the House of Representatives during the midterm elections that year. Notable Hispanic American musicians and visual artists. “Jenny from the Block” has always paid tribute … Miranda was raised around musicals and started writing his first title at Wesleyan University in 1999 during his sophomore year. A pioneer of the game, Roberto Clemente paved the way for Hispanic Americans in Major League Baseball. READ MORE: Martin Luther King Jr. Ocasio-Cortez eventually challenged Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley, the first to do so since 2004, and pulled off a surprise primary win in June 2018. 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. Each of these pioneers achieved a first for African Americans. Linda Chavez, conservative commentator. Jose Canseco, baseball player. With her exotic looks, curvaceous figure and melodious voice, she is undoubtedly one of the most influential Hispanic performer in the United States. His mass popularity, beloved ballads and performances broke barriers across the Latin music industry and left a lasting mark on the Latino LGBTQ community. Two years later, she received a ground-breaking job promotion from research engineer to astronaut. She often faced discrimination and violence, compelling her to begin her transgender and gay rights activism. Since then, Lopez has remained one of the most notable Hispanic American figures in the movie and music industry, often earning the status of “triple threat.” She also earned critical acclaim for her role in 2019’s Hustlers, which generated Oscar buzz that resulted in strong opposition to her being snubbed for the awards show. They deserve to be honored year-round. Few Hispanic Americans have made a bigger impact in recent pop culture than Lin-Manuel Miranda. 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. They are singers, painters, actors, lawyers, authors, and athletes. Here, we honor the Native American women who soldiered alongside them. Civil activists. Estefan married Emilio in 1976 and the couple welcomed two children, Nayib and Emily. 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. 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. Her activism continued in California, where she made a name for herself by supporting and leading various strikes for workers' rights. 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. He participated in his first public exhibition in 1980 but got his start painting graffiti on subway cars and other city surfaces. THE ACTIVE TIMES ® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF TRIBUNE PUBLISHING. The pioneering actress went on to star in dozens of film, TV and stage shows through her decades-long career. She went on to become one of the most critically revered Latina writers and has published poems, novels and essays throughout her career. Notable Hispanic People Who Became Famous Across the Globe. Clemente, wearing the iconic number 21, went on to become the first Latin American and Caribbean to win a World Series as a starting player in 1960. 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. Simon was a popular... 2. As a second-generation migrant farmworker, César Chávez was subject and witness to unjust working conditions, treatment and pay on American farms. Explore our collection of motivational and famous quotes by authors you know and love. In … Education. World-renowned Spanish-American chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen in 2010. Franklin Chang-Dìaz, astronaut. 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. Praised Cesar Chavez For His 'Indefatigable Work', Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images. READ MORE: How Roberto Clemente Lived Life to the Fullest Before Tragically Dying in a Plane Crash, Julia Alvarez (L) and President Barack Obama (R). They also worked with the Gay Liberation Front, founded after the Stonewall Riot in 1969. I get tired of hearing people, well-meaning people, talking about African-American kids or Hispanic kids as if they're all the same. 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. 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. In 2019, she added a P to the achievement with a Peabody Award, one of only three performers to accomplish this feat. Rita Moreno. She briefly worked as an elementary school teacher after attending college before setting off on the path of civil rights activism. In just a few short years, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the major leading voices for Hispanic Americans in politics. 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. Even though she was teased in school for liking science, … Rivera and her friend Marsha P. Johnson, both sex workers, made an indelible mark in the advancement of LGBTQ rights. 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. 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." He counted her influence as the reason why he and his brother, a U.S. Representative for Texas, are politicians. Castro credits his mother, a Chicana political activist, for his life in public service. 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. Ochoa was born in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, years after her paternal grandparents immigrated from Mexico. Her paintings offer a glimpse into her painful physical and psychological reality. Alvarez was born in New York City in 1950 before her family moved to the Dominican Republic when she was a baby. Photo: Louis Requena/ MLB via Getty Images. Explore the many ways in which Latina women have broken gender and cultural barriers. While performing in a church ensemble in 1975, Estefan first met her future husband Emilio Estefan, who had recently formed a band in Miami. Born in Arizona to a Mexican American family, Cesar Chavez grew up around the people he later helped through his activism. Born Rosita Dolores Alverio, Rita Moreno is the first Hispanic woman to win an Academy Award and is one of few people to hold the honor of being a “PEGOT” winner. Cruz ran for president in 2016, entering the primary race in March 2015, earning 12 states and receiving 7.8 million votes. Dominican American poet and novelist Elizabeth Acevedo learned the art of storytelling from her father, mother and grandfather. Moreno made her Broadway debut in Skydrift at age 13, with her career taking off after that. In 1993 began acting career staring in film Selena about Mexican-American singer. … 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. “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.”. Four missions later, Ochoa’s hours in orbit now total nearly 1,000. Born to Puerto Rican parents living in New York City public housing, Sotomayor learned from her mother the power of education. Clemente was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame a year later. These children of the 'Bel Paese' left behind an indelible imprint with their contributions to humanity, sports, science and popular culture. He rose through the ranks and became House Speaker in 2005, the first Cuban American to do so. In the Heights, loosely based on his own experiences growing up, would go on to open on Broadway in March 2008. After touring the world with various productions, Lopez made her breakthrough performance in Selena. “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. The defining moment in Chavez’s life came when his family moved to California during the Great Depression to become farm workers, cementing his fight for farmers rights. Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) It's impossible to create a list of influential Hispanic … He returned to public policy when he was elected U.S. Singer Gloria Estefan is often synonymous with Latin music in the United States. Photo: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images. READ MORE: How Sonia Sotomayor Overcame Adversity to Become the United States' First Hispanic and Latina Justice. 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