Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Betcha Didn't Know...?

Some of the most notable names from the dawn of film and television are of Latino descent. Here are some of them.

In this edition, politicians (a president of a non-Latino nation, a White House Chief of Staff, a governor, a mayor and a representative of Congress).

Éamon de Valera (1882–1975), born Edward George de Valera Coll al estilo latino, was the third president of Ireland (and the first to not be born in Ireland) from 1959-1973. Born in New York City in 1882 to an Irish mother, Catherine Coll (an immigrant from  Bruree, County Limerick), and Juan Vivion de Valera (a Cuban settler and sculptor of Spanish descent), he was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth-century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century, from 1917 to 1973; he served multiple terms as head of government and head of state. He also led the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland. His father died in 1885 leaving the family in poor circumstances. He was taken to Ireland by his uncle before his third birthday. Even when his mother married a new husband in the mid-1880s, he was not brought back to live with her but reared instead by his grandmother Elizabeth Coll, her son Patrick and her daughter Hannie, in County Limerick. At the age of sixteen, he attended Blackrock College. He later graduated in mathematics from the Royal University of Island in 1904. He taught mathematics at the university level before embarking on his political career. was a leader of Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain in the War of Independence and of the anti-Treaty opposition in the ensuing Irish Civil War (1922–1923). In 1926, he founded Fianna Fáil, and was head of government from 1932 to 1948, 1951 to 1954 and 1957 to 1959. His political creed evolved from militant republicanism to social and cultural conservatism. He was inaugurated President on 25 June 1959. He was re-elected president in 1966 aged 84, still a world record for the oldest elected head of state. At his retirement in 1973 at the age of 90, he was the oldest head of state in the world. He died in Blackrock, County Dublin in 1975 and is buried in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery.

John H. Sununu
(1939- ), born John Henry Sununu Dada al estilo latino in Havana, Havana, Cuba to a Palestinian father and a Salvadoran mother. He served as the 75th Governor of New Hampshire (1983–89) and later White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush. He is the father of John E. Sununu, a former senator from New Hampshire. He was the Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party from 2009 to 2011. He was the first White House Chief of Staff for George H.W. Bush, serving from 1989 to 1991, and is considered to have engineered Bush's mid-term abandonment of his 1988 campaign promise of "no new taxes". He also co-hosted CNN's nightly series "Crossfire" from March 1992 until February 1998. He earned a bachelor of science degree in 1961, a master of science degree in 1963, and a Ph.D. in 1966 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), all in mechanical engineering. From 1968 until 1973, he was Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at Tufts University and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He served on the Advisory Board of the Technology and Policy Program at MIT from 1984 until 1989.

Bill Richardson (1947- ), born William Blaine Richardson López al estilo latino in Pasadena, California, U.S.A. to a father of English and Mexican descent and a mother of Mexican and Asturian (Spanish) descent. Raised in both Mexico and the United States, served as the 30th Governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. Before being elected governor, he served in the Clinton administration as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary. He has also served as a U.S. Congressman, chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. He earned a Bachelor's degree at Tufts University in 1970, majoring in French and political science. He went on to earn a master's degree in international affairs from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971. He was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. When he took office in 2003 as Governor of New Mexico, he was the only governor of Latino/Hispanic descent. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election but dropped out on January 10, 2008 after lackluster showings in the first primary and caucus contests.
Adrian Fenty (1970- ), born Adrian Malik Fenty Perno al estilo latino in Washington, District of Columbia, U.S.A. to an Italian-American mother and a father of Bajan (Barbadian) and Panamanian descent. He served as the sixth mayor of the District of Columbia (2007-2011). Before that, he served for six years on the D.C. Council. He is reportedly a distant relative to Bajan singer Rihanna (née Robyn Rihanna Fenty) on his father's side. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Howard University Law School and since leaving office, has joined nationally known Washington D.C. based litigation firm, Klores Perry Mitchell, P.C. He has also embarked on a career as a paid speaker, part-time college professor, adviser for the state and local government practice of an information technology consulting firm.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
(1952- ), born Ileana Ros y Adato al estilo latino, is the U.S.
Representative for Florida's 18th congressional district, serving since 1989. Born in Havana, Havana, Cuba to parents with Cuban and Turkish Sephardic Jews ancestry, she is currently the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was the first Republican woman elected to the House of Representatives from Florida. Since 2011, she is chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Her family emigrated to the United States when she was seven years old. She received her Bachelor of Arts in edication and her Master of Arts in educational leadership from Florida International University. She attended the University of Miami where she earned a Ph.D. in higher education.

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