Being the first to achieve and move up the ladder of success must have not been easy, as they don’t have role models to follow a path or get inspired by. These 23 Hispanic American men and women were the first to arrive and accomplish in their respective sectors and because of it they cemented their names in American history. We suggest you google each one, read about them with an open mind, to not only be entertained, but to understand how they accomplished what they accomplished and what or who motivated them.
Medal of Honor recipient: Philip Bazaar, a Chilean member of the U.S. Navy, for bravery during the Civil War. He received his Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865.
Admiral, U.S. Navy: David G. Farragut. In 1866, he became the first U.S. naval officer ever to be awarded the rank of admiral. The first Hispanic American to become a four-star admiral was Horacio Rivero of Puerto Rico, in 1964.
General, U.S. Army: Richard E. Cavazos, 1976. In 1982, he became the army’s first Hispanic four-star general.
Member of U.S. Congress: Joseph Marion Hernández, 1822, delegate from the Florida territory.
U.S. Representative: Romualdo Pacheco, a representative from California, was elected in 1876 by a one-vote margin. He served for four months before his opponent succeeded in contesting the results. In 1879 he was again elected to Congress, where he served for two terms.
U.S. Senator: Octaviano Larrazolo was elected in 1928 to finish the term of New Mexico senator Andieus Jones, who had died in office. He served for six months before falling ill and stepping down; he died in 1930. The first Hispanic senator to serve an entire term (and then some) was Dennis Chávez, of New Mexico, who served from 1935 through 1962
Nobel Prize in Physics: Luiz Walter Alvarez, 1968, for discoveries about subatomic particles. Later, he and his son proposed the now-accepted theory that the mass dinosaur extinction was caused by a meteor impact.
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Severo Ochoa, 1959, for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA).
Art & Entertainment
Tony, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1975, The Ritz. In 1977, Moreno became the first Hispanic American (and the second person ever) to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, picking up the last of those for her performance as guest host on The Muppet Show.
Opera diva: Lucrezia Bori, who debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1912.
Oscar, Best Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn, 1952, Viva Zapata!.
Star of a network television show: Desi Arnaz, 1952, I Love Lucy.
Hollywood director: Raoul Walsh, 1914, The Life of General Villa.
Matinee idol: Ramón Navarro, 1923, The Prisoner of Zenda.
Leading lady: Dolores del Río, 1925,
Hall of Fame inductee: Roberto Clemente, 1973. He was also the first Hispanic player to serve on the Players Association Board and to reach 3,000 hits.
Grand Slam championship winner: Richard “Pancho” González, 1948.
NFL player: Ignacio “Lou” Molinet, 1927.
Major league player: Esteban Bellán, 1871, Troy Haymakers
No-hitter: Juan Marichal, June 15, 1963, for the San Francisco Giants, against the Houston Colt .45s.
Rookie of the Year: Luis Aparicio, 1956, shortstop, Chicago White Sox.
Astronaut: Franklin Chang-Dìaz, 1986. He flew on a total of seven space-shuttle missions.
Labor leader:Juan Gómez, 1883. The first female Hispanic labor leader of note was Lucy González Parsons, 1886.