From fighting for justice to being groundbreaking thinkers, artists, athletes, and more, Latinas and Latinos have been breaking boundaries in the United States for centuries. Check out the information below to learn more about famous Latinos and Latinas, from actors to activists.
Instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta were leaders in the fight against the unfair treatment of farm workers in the United States. In 1962, they founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later merged with other unions to become the United Farm Workers of America.
An experimental physicist, Luis Álvarez joined the Manhattan Project in 1943, which is known for producing the first atomic bombs. The transformational scientist went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968. Álvarez is also credited in collaboration with his son, Walter Álvarez, for creating the hypothesis that dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago because of an asteroid.
Entertainers + Athletes
Miranda is an award-winning composer, playwright, and actor known for being the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” He continues to be a leader in the entertainment industry through his involvement in projects such as Disney’s “Moana” and “Encanto.” Miranda remains active in his efforts to increase the representation of people of color.
The “Merci Suarez Changes Gears” author, Meg Medina, received a Newbery Medal in 2019 and has shared that her writing is influenced by her Cuban heritage. Medina currently serves as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at the Library of Congress. Through this position, she will engage readers across the country with her platform “¡Cuéntame!: Let’s talk books.”
García became the first Mexican national to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor following his heroic efforts during World War II. García bravely fought while injured to help his fellow soldiers while serving in Germany in 1944. After returning home, he gained his U.S. citizenship and was active in his community and a strong advocate for civil rights.
Raised in Venezuela, Carolina Herrera arrived in the United States with her family in 1980. Inspired by her European travels and attendance at fashion shows, she launched a clothing brand in New York just one year later, in 1981. The fashion designer’s brand continues to be known for timeless, stylish pieces.