Did you know that nearly 10-15% of the population in the United States is Hispanic? Let’s know some of the well-known Hispanic personalities here.
What do you understand by ‘Hispanic people’? Well, it specifically refers to the people and culture that have historical roots to Spain. The term Hispanic is basically used for the countries that were once owned by the Spanish Empire in Asia and the Americas. So here we have compiled a list of some famous Hispanic people which includes some distinguished and known personalities in the US.
Simon Bolivar was a Venezuelan soldier, a political and military leader. Simon was a popular revolutionary who led the liberation movement for 6 countries against Spanish empire. Bolivar is regarded as one of the greatest heroes of the Hispanic independence movements of the early 19th century. While many Spanish Americans wanted him to be their king, some criticized him as a traitor and some even tried to kill him. (12.1)
Rita Moreno is a Puerto-Rican American singer, dancer and actor who had an excellent career for over seven decades. Apart from this, she is one of the very few actresses to win all four important awards: an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy. Moreno is highly acknowledged for her supporting roles in the musical films like West Side Story and The King and I.
Moreno has achieved the so-called ‘Triple Crown Of Acting’ and America’s highest civilian honor ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’. She has also earned the Hispanic Organization of Latin actresses (HOLA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Also, the Hispanic Organization of Latin actresses (HOLA) renamed their Award for Excellence in her honor which was later known as the HOLA Rita Moreno Award for Excellence since 2000.
Penélope Cruz Sánchez is a popular Spanish actress and a model who made her acting debut at the mere age of 16. The actress has been featured in a number of films of different genres including comedy, adventure and thriller. Known worldwide as the Spanish enchantress, she has received Golden Globe and SAG nomination for her performances.
Also, she won a Goya Award, her first Academy Award and BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actress in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. As the first Spanish actress and sixth Hispanic person, she went on to win Academy Award in Best Supporting actress category. (12.2)
James Roday Rodríguez is one of the most famous Hispanic personalities who is widely recognized as an American actor, screenwriter, and director. Roday began his acting career from ‘A Respectable Wedding’, ‘Severity’s Mistress’, ‘Three Sisters’ among others but his big screen debut came in the 1999 movie ‘Coming Soon’. And his role of hyper-observant consultant detective and fake psychic Shawn Spencer in USA Network’s original series ‘Psych’ turned out to be his big break on TV. (12.3)
A businesswoman and an actress, the immensely talented Jessica Alba started her career at an early age of 13 with ‘Camp Nowhere’ and ‘The Secret World of Alex Mack’. This glamorous Hispanic diva gained recognition for her lead role in the TV series ‘Dark Angel’.
Apart from that, she is also one of the founders of a popular consumer goods company ‘The Honest Company’ that deals in non-toxic household products. Alba has won the Saturn Award for Best Actress, a Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress and other awards for her roles in several TV series and films. (12.4)
Cesar Chavez was a renowned Latino American civil rights activist and labor leader who was the co-founder of National Farm Workers Association (that later came to be known as the United Farm Workers union) in 1962. A former Mexican American farm worker, he was strongly backed by the American labor movement that was eager to take in Hispanic members.
In his lifetime, Chavez had the institution Colegio Cesar Chavez named after him. And after his death, he emerged as a historical icon for the Latino community and had several schools, parks and streets named in his honor. His strong support for workers and Hispanic empowerment made him an icon.
Sonia Sotomayor is an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court who has been serving since August 2009. she holds the honor of being its first Hispanic justice, the first Latina, the third female and twelfth Roman Catholic Justice.
Sotomayor became Southern District’s youngest judge and the New York State’s first Hispanic federal judge. Also, she became the first Hispanic and fourth woman to administer the oath to a President or Vice President.
Armando Christian Perez, famously known as Pitbull (or Mr. Worldwide), is a much celebrated Hispanic rapper. Lil Jon’s album King of Crunk had his first mainstream performance on a solo track. in 2004, he debuted with album ‘M.I.A.M.I.’ His second album ‘El Mariel’ came in 2006 and the third ‘The Boatlift’ came in 2007 but it was his fourth album ‘Rebelution’ (2009) that gave him his breakthrough single “I Know You Want Me”. This song peaked at #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In his 2011 album ‘Planet Pit’, the track ‘Give Me Everything Tonight’ became his first US #1 single. In 2013, the track “Timber” from Meltdown EP topped the charts in 20 countries.
Franklin Chang Diaz is a former NASA astronaut, mechanical engineer and physicist. Currently, he also serves as the CEO & President of Ad Astra Rocket Company. A veteran of 7 Space Shuttle Missions, he holds the record of most spaceflights. He is also a member of NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Danny Trejo is a famous Hispanic actor who has played the role of villain or antihero in various Hollywood movies. The X-Files, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy are some of his prominent TV shows. Desperado, Delta Farce, Heat, Con Air and most significantly Spy Kids are few of his many movies.
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