Oscar de La Renta
Oscar de la Renta was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, studied in Madrid, and became an international fashion legend by dressing many First Ladies, including Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy. Now that’s a beautiful thing!
Born in Brooklyn to Puerto Rican mother and Haitian father, Jean-Michel Basquiat started out as a graffiti artist in the streets of New York under the name SAMO. Along with collaborating with Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel painted subjects that he knew best, such as poverty, segregation, African-American heritage, the body, and his lived experiences. His art tells a fascinating story!
He won a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, an EMMY, a MacArthur Fellowship Award, three Tonys, and revolutionized modern entertainment with his hit, Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents and continues to churn out hit after hit.
Gustavo Santoalla was born in and part of several bands in Argentina, becoming part of the Rock en Español development when he came to Los Angeles. He’s won Academy Awards for Best Original Score for the movies Brokeback Mountain and Babel. Now that’s a sweet sound!
Carlos Santana was born in Mexico and moved to San Francisco in the 1960s, where he formed his band, Santana. He has received a Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, become a Kennedy Center Honors Recipient, won GRAMMY Awards, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now that rocks!
Born in New York to Puerto Rican parents, Jennifer Lopez began acting in high school with a role in My Little Girl. She got her big break starring in Selena before finding success in the music industry on the pop and dance charts. What an incredible journey!
Born in Los Angeles to Salvadorian parents, when Carlos Hernández became the International Boxing Federation super featherweight champion by beating David Santos, he became the first Salvadorian to win this world title. How amazing that he won it again!
At a very young age, she was already singing and playing the piano. Karina Pasian was born in New York to a Dominican family and has performed at the White House for President George W. Bush. Now that sounds wonderful!
Anna Maria Chávez
Born in Arizona to Mexican parents, Anna Maria Chávez served as legal counsel to the Federal Highway Administration and as Attorney-Adviser to the White House Counsel. After leading the Girl Scouts as CEO, she now travels, giving talks on moral leadership. Now that’s an inspiring thing!
Matías Duarte was born in Chile and studied computer science and art at the University of Maryland. He began as a programmer at Psycoft and is now designing Android technology as one of the top guys at Google. How incredible!
Referred to as the “Latin Oprah,” Cristina Saralegui is a Cuban-born American who launched her Spanish talk show, El Show the Cristina in 1989, and when this ended, began her magazine, Cristina: La Revista.
This son of Mexican immigrants became an American politician. As the 41st mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa’s work got him featured in Time’s list of the country’s “25 Most Influential Latinos”. Now that’s a powerful thing!
Robert Rodriguez was born in San Antonio to Mexican parents and developed an interest in film at the age of seven years old. He’s won many awards for the films he’s produced, which include Spy Kids, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Machete Kills, From Dusk till Dawn, and Sin City.
Anthony Romero was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. After serving as the director of Human Rights and International Cooperation for the Ford Foundation, he became the first Latino to become executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union. What a wonderful thing!
Born in Tucson, Arizona, to Mexican parents, Arturo Moreno is a successful businessman who bought the Los Angeles Angels baseball team and led a partnership of buyers to purchase Radio 830 KMXE for the team. And that’s pretty amazing!
Mexican-American George Lopez began as a standup comedian, exposing race and ethnic relations. He reached fame through his self-produced sitcom George Lopez and has received several honors for his work and contributions to the Latino community. Now that’s truly an incredible thing!
Jorge Pérez was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Cuban parents and lived in Colombia before moving to Miami. He started building low-income apartments across Miami and is now CEO of the Related Group and one of the most successful builders of high-rise condos in the southern United States.
Born in Puerto Rico, Rita Moreno began her career voicing Spanish versions of American films. She has acted in many films, including Singing in the Rain and West Side Story, and is one of only 12 artists to have gain EGOT status by having won all four major American Entertainment Awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony. Now that’s something to be celebrated!
The New York Times wrote that he “made it possible for many of New York City’s tallest buildings to withstand wind, gravity, and even earthquakes.” Ysrael Seinuk was born in Cuba and has designed the structure of various landmark buildings, including the Condé Nast Building, Arthur Ashe Stadium, the New York Mercantile Exchange building, Chapultepec Tower, and the O-14 Tower.
Gina Rodriguez was born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents and is part of many philanthropic efforts, including being a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Board of Directors. She currently stars in the TV show, Jane the Virgin, a role for which she won a Golden Globe Award. Now that’s really fantastic!
Thomas Perez was born in New York to Dominican parents. He served as a principal adviser on civil rights, criminal justice, and several constitutional issues for the U.S. Department of Justice. Thomas was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
She is considered to be one of the most popular and important muralists in the United States. Judith Baca was born in Los Angeles to a Mexican family and, in collaboration with other locals, has created over 400 murals in public places for people to enjoy. Now that’s a marvelous thing!
Born in Veracruz, Mexico, Salma Hayek got her first big break when Robert Rodriguez hired her for the movie Desperado. She starred in the movie Frida and was nominated for several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Born in New York to Cuban parents, Douglas Rodriguez got his first restaurant job as a summer apprentice at age 14. He later opened his own upscale Cuban restaurant and has won “Chef of the Year Miami”. Now that’s delightful!
Franklin Chang Díaz
NASA astronaut Franklin Chang Díaz was born in Costa Rica and has gone into space seven times, performing three spacewalks during these trips. Since retiring from NASA, he started the Ad Astra Rocket Company. What an astronomical thing!
Mario J. Molina
Mario J. Molina was born in Mexico and, in 1974, discovered the Antarctic ozone hole. His work in relation to this discovery helped bring attention to an important environmental issue and earned him a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995. Now that’s brilliant!
Born in Venezuela, Eddie Pérez has played for the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers. Over 564 games, he’s had 386 hits and 40 home runs, and has since taken up coaching for the Atlanta Braves. What a hit!
Diana Farrell was born in Venezuela and was Global Head of the McKinsey Center for Government, Deputy Director of the US National Economic Council, and Deputy Assistant on Economic Policy to President Barak Obama. She is now the CEO of the JPMorgan Chase Institute. What a powerful journey!
Also known for directing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Alfonso Cuarón was born in Mexico City and has received Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Film Editing, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Director for Gravity, a film he took part in writing, directing, producing and editing. What an amazing thing!
Born in New Jersey to Cuban parents, Narciso Rodriguez was a designer for Calvin Klein when his solo career began with a wedding dress for Carolyn Bessette. He has since won several awards, including the Womenswear Award by the council of Fashion Designers of America. Now that’s really lovely!