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Famous Hispanic Activists

Updated August 10, 2021 37.5k views30 items

This is a list of famous Hispanic activists. These are some of the most well known Mexican Americans in the United States. Currently, over 10 percent of the population of the United States is Hispanic. Mexican American culture is robust and full of history, with a focus on family.

The people on this list vary in importance, from Mexican American heroes to sources of pride within America's Mexican community. There are Hispanic, Latino, and Mexican civil rights leaders and activists on this list. Rodolfo Gonzalez is one of the famous Chicano leaders you will find on this list. Other Hispanic human rights activists include Carlos Cadena, Gustavo C. Garcia, and Norma V. Cantu. 

Mexican immigrants are an important part of the fabric that is the great American melting pot. They include many important, distinguished, and notable people within the USA - many of whom you will find on this list. Learn more about beloved Mexican American activists below. 

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  • 1927-03-31

    BirthplaceYuma, Arizona

    Cesar Chavez (born César Estrada Chávez, locally [ˈsesaɾ esˈtɾaða ˈtʃaβes]; March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American labor leader and Latino American civil rights activist. Along with Dolores  ...more
  • 1933-10-25

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Salvador B. Castro (October 25, 1933 – April 15, 2013) was a Mexican-American educator and activist. He was most well known for his role in the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkouts, a series of  ...more
  • 1930-04-10

    BirthplaceNew Mexico, USA

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta (born April 10, 1930) is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later  ...more
  • 1939-07-22

    BirthplaceSan Juan, Texas

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Raul Humberto Yzaguirre (born July 22, 1939) is an American civil rights activist. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as the president and CEO of the National Council  ...more
  • BirthplaceDenver, Colorado

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales (June 18, 1928 – April 12, 2005) was a Mexican American boxer, poet, and political activist. He convened the first-ever Chicano youth conference in March 1969, which was  ...more
  • 1954-05-31

    BirthplaceTexas, Contiguous United States, United States of America, United States, with Territories

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Maria Echaveste (born May 31, 1954) is a former U.S. presidential advisor to Bill Clinton and White House Deputy Chief of Staff during the second Clinton administration. She is one of the  ...more
  • 1958-08-01

    BirthplaceJoliet, Illinois

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Alexander Fernando Pacheco (born August 1958) is an American animal rights activist. He is the founder of 600 Million Stray Dogs Need You, co-founder and former chairman of People for the Ethical  ...more
  • 1917-01-01

    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Carlos C. Cadena (1917–2001) was a Mexican American lawyer, civil rights activist and judge based in San Antonio, Texas.Carlos Cristian Cadena, who was the son of Mexican immigrants, was born in San  ...more
  • 1946-02-15

    BirthplaceOmaha, Nebraska, USA

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John Trudell (February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2015) was a Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist. He was the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes' takeover  ...more
  • BirthplaceLaredo, Texas

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Gustavo "Gus" C. Garcia (July 27, 1915 – June 3, 1964) was a Mexican-American civil rights attorney. Garcia worked with fellow attorney Carlos Cadena in the landmark case Hernández v. Texas (1954),  ...more
  • NationalityUnited States of America

    Linda Chavez-Thompson (born August 3, 1944) is a second-generation Mexican American and union leader. She was elected the executive vice-president of the AFL-CIO in 1995 and served until September  ...more
  • 1910-04-12

    BirthplaceLouisiana

    NationalityUnited States of America

    John James Herrera (April 12, 1910 – October 12, 1986) was an American attorney, activist, and leader in the Chicano Movement. Herrera was born in Cravens, Louisiana. He joined the League of United  ...more
  • BirthplacePharr, Texas

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Baldemar Velásquez (born February 15, 1947) is an American labor union activist. He co-founded and is president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO. He was named a MacArthur Fellow (also  ...more
  • 1954-11-02

    BirthplaceTexas

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Norma V. Cantú (born November 2, 1954) is an American civil rights lawyer and educator. She is currently a professor of both its law and education at the University of Texas at Austin. She served as  ...more
  • NationalityUnited States of America

    José Angel Gutiérrez, is an attorney and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington in the United States. He was a founding member of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) in San  ...more
  • 1916-12-21

    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Emma Tenayuca (December 21, 1916 – July 23, 1999) was a Mexican American labor leader, union organizer and educator. She is best known for her work organizing Mexican workers in Texas during the  ...more
  • 1918-05-18

    BirthplaceEl Paso, Texas

    Humberto Noé "Bert" Corona (May 29, 1918 – January 15, 2001) was an American labor and civil rights leader. Throughout his long career, he worked with nearly every major Mexican-American  ...more
  • NationalityUnited States of America

    Josefina Fierro (1914 in Mexicali, Baja California – March 1998), later Josefina Fierro de Bright, was a Mexican American leader who helped organize resistance against discrimination in the American  ...more
  • NationalityUnited States of America

    Miguel Contreras (September 17, 1952 – May 6, 2005) was an American labor union leader. He "was known as a king-maker for both local and state politicians." Contreras was born in Dinuba, a city in  ...more
  • 1933-01-01

    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas

    Mimi Lozano (born 1933) is an educator and activist for Hispanic rights who co-founded the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research and is the editor and publisher of Somos Primos, an  ...more
  • 1950-01-01

    BirthplaceMexicali, Mexico

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Olga Talamante (born 1950) is a Chicana political activist and the past executive director of the California-based Chicana/Latina Foundation.  ...more
  • 1929-03-12

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Lupe Anguiano (born 12 March 1929) is a Mexican-American civil rights activist known for her work on women's rights, the rights of the poor, and the protection of the environment. She is credited  ...more
  • 1914-01-01
    Aurora Castillo (1914–1998) better known as "la doña-- a title of respect given to her by her largely Latino community--" was a Mexican-American environmentalist from Los Angeles, California. She  ...more
  • 1940-04-16

    BirthplaceMiami, Arizona

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Rueben Martinez (born 1940 in Miami, Arizona) is a Mexican-American activist and businessman. Seeing no future for himself in the small mining town where he grew up, at the age of seventeen Martinez  ...more
  • 1951-01-01

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Nativo Lopez-Vigil (born Larry Lopez; October 3, 1951 – May 19, 2019) was a Mexican American political leader and immigrant rights activist in Southern California. Lopez was a national president of  ...more