Famous Hispanic Scholars, Teachers, and Educators

This is a list of famous Hispanic scholars, with photos. 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.Below you'll learn a bit about some famous Hispanic educators. 

There will also be influential Hispanic figures in American history on this list. 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.

This list includes famous Hispanics, such as Hispanic teachers, and Mexican and Hispanic historical figures. 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.

  • Arturo Islas
    Photo: Texas State Historical Association / TSHA / Fair use
    Arturo Islas, Jr. (May 25, 1938 – February 15, 1991) was an English professor and novelist from El Paso, Texas, whose writing focused on the experience of Chicano cultural duality. He received three degrees from Stanford: a B.A. in 1960, a Masters in 1963 and a Ph.D. in 1971, when he joined the Stanford faculty. Islas was one of the first Chicanos in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in English. In 1976, he became the first Chicano faculty member to receive tenure at Stanford.Islas died on February 15, 1991 from complications related to AIDS.
    • Born: 05-24-1938
    • Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
  • Juan Gómez-Quiñones
    Photo: UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center / Los Angeles Times / Public domain
    Juan Gómez-Quiñones (born January 28, 1940) is an American historian, professor of history, poet, and activist. He is best known for his work in the field of Chicana/o history. As a co-editor of the Plan de Santa Bárbara, an educational manifesto for the implementation of Chicano studies programs in universities nationwide, he was an influential figure in the development of the field.
    • Born: 01-28-1940
    • Birthplace: Parral, Hidalgo del Parral Municipality, Mexico
  • Elsa Salazar Cade
    Photo: EISDofSA / YouTube
    Elsa Salazar Cade (born 1952) is an award-winning Mexican American science teacher and entomologist. Elsa received her undergraduate degree in elementary education at the University of Texas at Austin and her master's in public school administration at Niagara University. She is certified for New York State as a school district administrator. A long time amateur entomologist, with her husband, William H. Cade, she discovered the first case of a parasite using the sexual signal of a host in order to locate and parasitize the host. She also was selected as one of the top ten science teachers in 1995 by the National Science Teachers Association.The Cades have done over 30 years of research on ...more
    • Born: 01-01-1952
  • Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a Chicano performance artist, writer, activist, and educator. Gómez-Peña has created work in multiple media, including performance art, experimental radio, video, photography and installation art. His ten books include essays, experimental poetry, performance scripts and chronicles in both English, Spanish and Spanglish. He is a founding member of the art collective Border Arts Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo and director of the performance art troupe La Pocha Nostra.Gómez-Peña has contributed to cultural debates for nearly 30 years staging seminal performance art pieces including Couple in The Cage: Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West (with Coco Fusco, ...more
    • Born: 01-01-1955
    • Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Arnulfo Duenes Trejo (August 15, 1922 – July 5, 2002) was a writer and Professor of Library Science at the University of Arizona. He was a leader in the movement to increase library collections of Latino literature and Spanish-language materials in the United States. He was also instrumental in efforts to train more Latino and Spanish-speaking people as professional librarians.
    • Born: 08-15-1922
    • Birthplace: Durango, Mexico
  • Dr. Robert Davila (born July 19, 1932) served as the ninth president of Gallaudet University, the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. His appointment came after the wake of the Unity for Gallaudet Movement protests of 2006, when many students, staff, and alumni objected to the initial choice of Jane Fernandes as the intended next president. It was originally intended that he serve only 18–24 months as an interim-president, but the Board dropped the interim designation and then extended his contract to 36 months.
    • Born: 01-01-1932
    • Birthplace: California