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List of Spanish Americans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of notable Americans of Spanish descent, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

There are also many people in the United States of Hispanic "national" origin, (e.g.: Cuban Americans, etc) or other Latin Americans, who self-identify their heritage as being from Spain.

The list also includes many settlers and descendants of Spanish settlers who lived in the Spanish colonies south of the current U.S. when those territories were incorporated into U.S. and to his inhabitants were given the U.S. citizenship (Louisiana is incorporated in 1803, Florida in 1819, and the Southwest was incorporated in 1848).

This list is ordered by surname within section.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Spanish American or must have references showing they are Spanish American and are notable.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Latin American Revolutions: Crash Course World History #31
  • ✪ American Imperialism: Crash Course US History #28
  • ✪ Are There Differences Between Spanish In Latin America And Spain?
  • ✪ The Black Legend, Native Americans, and Spaniards: Crash Course US History #1
  • ✪ Is This the Most Important Date in U.S. History?


Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course World History and today things are going to get a little bit confusing, because we’re going to talk about revolution and independence in Latin America. It’s a bit confusing because 1. Latin America is big, 2. It’s very diverse, 3. Napoleon makes everything complicated and 4. As we’ve seen in the past, sometimes revolutions turn out not to be not that revolutionary. [why a solid marketing dept. is key] Witness, for instance, the New England Revolution, who instead of, like, trying to form new and better governments are always just kicking balls around like all the other soccer [futbol] teams. [Intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] Right, so before independence, Latin American society was characterized by three institutions that exercised control over the population. The first was the Spanish Crown, or if you are Brazilian, the Portuguese crown. So, as far as Spain was concerned, the job of the colonies was to produce revenue in the form of a 20% tax on everything that was called “the royal fifth.” So government administration was pervasive and relatively efficient— because it had to be in order to collect its royal fifth. I mean, the church even controlled time – the church bells tolled out the hours and they mandated a seven day work week so that people could go to church on Sunday. [so HobbyLobby store hours aren't super inconvenient, they're just old skool?] And finally, there was patriarchy. [yeuup, there's a shocker] In Latin America, like much of the world, husbands had complete control over their wives and any extra-or-pre-marital skoodilypooping was severely punished. I mean, when it was the women doing the illicit skoodilypooping. Men could basically get up to whatever. [RIP Helen Gurley Brown. much love] This was mainly about property rights because illegitimate children could inherit their father’s property, but it was constructed to be about, you know, purity. To get a sense of how patriarchy shaped Latin American lives, take a gander at Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, whose name I’m actually abbreviating. A child prodigy who spoke five languages by the age of 16, de la Cruz wanted to disguise herself as a boy so she could attend University, [plot of 80's flick Just One of the Guys] but she was forbidden to do so. Still, she wrote plays and poetry, she studied math and natural science, [Girls do Get Curves, Danica McKellar!] and for being one of the leading minds of the 17th century, she was widely attacked, and eventually forced to abandon her work and sell all 4,000 of her books. That’s a shame because she had a great mind, once writing that “Aristotle would have written more if he had done any cooking.” [oooh, snap!] Couple other things: First, Latin America led the world in transculturation or Cultural Blending. A new and distinct Latin American culture emerged mixing 1. Whites from Spain called Peninsulares, 2. Whites born in the Americas called creoles, 3. Native Americans, and 4. African slaves. This blending of cultures may be most obvious when looking at Native American and African influences upon Christianity. The Virgin of Guadalupe, for instance, was still called Tonantzin, the indigenous earth goddess, by Indians, and the profusion of blood in Mexican iconography recalls the Aztec use of blood in ritual. But transculturation pervaded Latin American life, from food to secular music to fashion. Somewhat related: Latin America had a great deal of racial diversity and a rigid social hierarchy to match. There were four basic racial categories: white, black, mestizo –a mix of white and American Indian- and mulatto, a mix of white and black. We try not to use that word anymore because it’s offensive, but that’s the word they used. And from the 16th century on, Latin America had a huge diversity of mixed race people, and there were constant attempts to classify them and divide them into castes. You can see some of these in so called casta paintings, which attempted to establish in a very weird and Enlightenment-y way all the possible racial combinations. But of course that’s not how race works, as evidenced by the fact that successful people of lower racial castes could become “legally white” by being granted gracias al sacar. [pretty jacked up, white? right, I mean..] So by 1800, on the eve of Latin America’s independence movements, roughly a quarter of the population were mixed race. So Brazil… he said as thousands of Argentinians booed him— is obviously different because it was ruled, not by Spain, but by Portugal. But like a lot of revolutions in Latin America, it was fairly conservative. The creoles wanted to maintain their privilege while also achieving independence from the Peninsulares. And also like a lot of Latin American revolutions, it featured Napoleon. [forever makes me think of Bill &Ted] Freaking Napoleon. You’re everywhere. [except in line for certain roller coasters] He’s behind me, isn’t he? Gah. So when Napoleon took over Portugal in 1807, the entire Portuguese royal family and their royal court decamped to Brazil. And it turned out, they loved Brazil. King Joao loved Brazil so much. Off topic, but do you think that J-Woww named herself after King Joao? I mean, does she have that kind of historical sensibility? I think she does. [that whole bit really just happened, btw] So King Joao’s life in Rio was so good that even after Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, he just kind of stayed in Brazil. And then, by 1820, the Portuguese in Portugal were like, “Hey, maybe you should come back and, like, you know, govern us, King of Portugal.” So in 1821, he reluctantly returned to Lisbon, leaving his son Prince Pedro behind. Meanwhile, Brazilian creoles were organizing themselves around the idea that they were culturally different from Portugal, and they eventually f ormed a Brazilian Party— no, Stan not that kind of party, come on— yes. That kind. A Brazilian party to lobby for independence. Then in 1822, they convinced Prince Pedro of boring, old Portugal that he should just become King Pedro of sexy, big Brazil. So Pedro declared Brazil an independent constitutional monarchy with himself as king. [as one does, naturally] As a result, Brazil achieved independence without much bloodshed and managed to hold on to that social hierarchy with the plantation owners on top. And that explains why Brazil was the last new world country to abolish slavery, not fully abandoning it until 1888. Right, so even when Napoleon wasn’t forcing Portuguese royals into an awesome exile, he was still messing with Latin America. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. So Latin America’s independence movements began not with Brazil, but in Mexico when Napoleon put his brother on the Spanish throne in 1808. [nepotism; always a classy move] Napoleon wanted to institute the liberal principles of the French Revolution, which angered the ruling elite of the Peninsulares in what was then called New Spain. They were aristocrats and they just wanted to go back to some good old-fashioned divine right monarchy with a strong church. So the Mexican Creoles, seeking to expand their own power at the expense of the Peninsular elite saw an opportunity here. They affirmed their loyalty to the new king, who was French even though he was the king of Spain. I told you this was complicated. Then, a massive peasant uprising began, led by a renegade priest Padre Hidalgo, and supported by the Creoles because it was aimed at the Peninsulares, even though they weren’t actually the ones who supported Spain. This was further complicated by the fact that to the mestizo peasants led by Hidalgo, Creoles and Peninsulares looked and acted basically identical— they were both white and imperious— [preferable to avada kedavrious?] so the peasants often attacked the Creoles, who were, technically on their side in trying to overthrow the ruling peninsulares. Even though it had tens of thousands of supporters, this first peasant uprising petered out. But, a second peasant revolt, led by another priest, Father Morelos, was much more revolutionary. In 1813, he declared independence and the revolt lasted until his death in 1815. But since he was a mestizo, he didn’t gain much Creole support, so revolutionary fervor in Mexico began to fade until … 1820, when Spain, which was now under the rule of a Spanish, rather than a French king, had a REAL liberal revolution with a new constitution that limited the power of the church. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So, in the wake of Spain’s liberalizing movements, the Mexican elites, who had previously supported Spain, switched sides and made common cause with the creoles in the hopes that they could somehow hold onto their privileges. And pushing for independence together, things went very well. [stay together to stay alive, just like L4D!] The Creole general Iturbide and the rebel mestizo commander Guerrero joined forces and won independence with most of the Peninsulares returning to Spain. Iturbide –the whiter of the two generals – became king of Mexico in 1822 (remember, this was a revolution essentially AGAINST representative government). But that didn’t work out and within a year he was overthrown by the military and a republic was declared. Popular sovereignty was sort of victorious, but without much benefit to the peasants who actually made independence possible. This alliance between conservative landowning elites and the army - especially in the face of calls for land reform or economic justice— would happen over and over again in Latin America for the next century and a half. But before we come to any conclusions, let’s discuss one last revolution. But, the interior of Venezuela was home to mixed-race cowboys called llaneros who supported the king. They kept the Caracas revolutionaries from extending their power inland. And that, is where Simon Bolivar, “el Libertador,” [young portrait w foppish 'stache is fave] enters the picture. Bolivar realized that the only way to overcome the various class divisions (like the one between the Caracas creoles and llaneros) was to appeal to a common sense of South American-ness. I mean, after all, the one thing that almost all South Americans had in common: they were born in South America, NOT SPAIN. So then, partly through shows of toughness that included, like, crossing flooded plains and going without sleep, Bolivar convinced the llaneros to give up fighting for Spain and start fighting against them. He quickly captured the viceregal capital at Bogota and by 1822 his forces had taken Caracas and Quito. Hold on, hold on. Lest I be attacked by Argentinians [to get back the plutonium you stole?] who are already upset about what I said about their really good soccer team, I want to make one thing clear. Argentina’s general Jose de San Martin was also vital to the defeat of the Spanish. He led an expeditions against the Spanish in Chile and also a really important one in Lima. [helping McKinley advance to Nationals over dreaded rivals, Vocal Adrenaline] And then, in December of 1824, at the battle of Ayacucho, the last Spanish viceroy was finally captured and all of Latin America was free from Spain. Oh, it’s time for the open letter? That’s A chair, Stan, but it’s not THE chair. [damp spirit kicks internal pebble] [rolls with broken heart to unimpressive leather-not-puce-velvet club chair sub] An Open Letter to Simon Bolivar. [part-time purple pieman impersonator] But first, let’s see what’s in the secret compartment today. Oh, llanero. I wonder if his hips swivel when I wind him up. [sorry, Meatwad, night-vision goggles & action bills not included.] Context is everything. They do! Hey there, cowboy. Dear Simon Bolivar, First, you had fantastic [legit] muttonchops. It’s as if you’re some kind of handsome Martin Van Buren. [surely an original sentence there] You were a man of immense accomplishments, but those accomplishments have been richly rewarded. I mean, you have a country named after you. Not to mention, two different currencies. [Canadian loonie pwns, regardless] But for my purposes, the most important thing you ever did was die. You may not know this, Simon Bolivar, but when I'm not a world history teacher sitting next to a fake fireplace, I am a novelist. [young adult + Dawson's Creek FanFic] [tell you his pen names for a price] And your last words, “Damn it, how will I ever get out of this labyrinth,” feature prominently in my first novel, Looking for Alaska. [ sup, Nerdfighteria? xoxo, dj ] Except it turns out, those weren’t your last words. [d'oh?] Your last words were probably, “Jose, bring the luggage.” [alt: "Hey, watch this!"] But I decided to use your fancy, romantic, inaccurate last words. It’s called artistic license. Put that in your luggage. [my, Johnny Bookwriter is saucy today] Anyway, fantastic life. I just wish you’d nailed it a little bit better with your last words. Best wishes, John Green So by 1825, almost the entire western hemisphere – with a few exceptions in the Caribbean —was free from European rule. Oh, right. And Canada. [Oh, Canada!] I’m just kidding, Canadians. It’s so easy to make fun of you because you’re so nice. So I tease you and then you’re like, “Aw, thanks for noticing that we exist.” My pleasure. Anyway, this is pretty remarkable, especially when you consider that most of this territory had been under Spanish or Portuguese control for almost 300 years. The most revolutionary thing about these independence movements were that they enshrined the idea of so called popular sovereignty in the New World. Never again would Latin America be under the permanent control of a European power, and the relatively quick division of Latin America into individual states, despite Bolivar’s pan South American dream, showed how quickly the people in these regions developed a sense of themselves as nations distinct from Europe, and from each other. This division into nation states prefigures what would happen to Europe in the mid-19th century, and in that sense, Latin America is the leader of 19th century world history. And Latin American history presages another key theme in modern life— multiculturalism. And all of that makes Latin America sound very modern, but in a number of ways, Latin American independence wasn’t terribly revolutionary. First, while the Peninsulares were gone, the rigid social hierarchy, with the wealthy creoles at the top, remained. Second, whereas revolutions in both France and America weakened the power of the established church, in Latin America, the Catholic Church remained very powerful in people’s everyday lives. And then, there is the patriarchy. Although there were many women who took up arms in the struggle for independence, including Juana Azurduy who led a cavalry charge against Spanish forces in Bolivia, patriarchy remained strong in Latin America. Feminist ideas like those of Mary Wollstonecraft would have to wait. Women weren’t allowed to vote in national elections in Mexico until 1953. And Peru didn’t extend voting rights to women until 1955. Also, Latin America’s revolutionary wars were long and bloody: 425,000 people died in Mexico’s war for independence. And they didn’t always lead to stability: Venezuela, for instance, experienced war for much of the 19th century, leading to as many as a million deaths. And it’s important to note that fighting for freedom doesn’t always lead to freedom, the past two centuries in Latin America have seen many military dictatorships that protect private property at the expense of egalitarian governance. “Freedom,” “independence,” and “autonomy” are complicated terms that mean different things to different people at different times. So too with the word “revolutionary.” Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week. Location change because I forgot to record the credits, and my shirt matches the wall. Probably should have thought about that one a little bit harder. [DFT record the credits, next time then?] Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller. Our script supervisor is Danica Johnson, [!] the show is ably interned by Agent Meredith Danko, TVCS and it’s written by my high school history teacher Raoul Meyer and myself. Our graphics team is Thought Bubble. Last week’s phrase of the week was "giant squid of anger." If you want to suggest a future phrase of the week or guess at this week’s, you can do so in comments, where you can also ask questions that will be answered by our team of historians. Look at the beautiful Crash Course poster! [nice job, ThoughtBubblers!] Available now at link in the video description. Thanks for watching, and as we say in my home town, Don’t Forget they can’t get your goat if they don’t know where you keep it.



Artists and designers



Screenwriter, Directors and Producers of film and television

Actors and actresses

Emilio Estevez with father Martin Sheen at the premiere of The Way.[80]
Emilio Estevez with father Martin Sheen at the premiere of The Way.[80]
  • Martin Sheen – Born 'Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez', father from Galicia, Spain.[81]
  • Charlie Sheen – American actor, Spanish paternal grandfather
  • Margarita Sierra (January 5, 1936 – September 6, 1963) – Spanish born American actress.
  • Henry Silva – American film and television actor of Spanish and Sicilian descent.[82]
  • Chrishell Stause – of both Japanese and Spanish descent.
  • Hilary Swank – American film actress. Her maternal grandmother was of Mexican (Spanish) and Shoshone (Native American) ancestry.[83]
  • Chuti Tiu – American actress of Chinese, Filipina and Spanish descent
  • Celeste Thorson – American actress, model, screenwriter, and activist of Lebanese, Spanish, Apache (Native American) and South Korean descent.
  • Bitsie Tulloch – mother of Spanish descent.[84]
  • Alanna Ubach – American actress of Spanish descent.
  • Raquel Welch – born 'Jo Raquel Tejada', American actress of part Spanish-Bolivian descent.[85][86]
  • Elena Verdugo – 1940s Spanish-American actress.
  • Carlos PenaVega – American Film and TV actor, singer-songwriter, dancer and television show host. His father is of Spanish and Venezuelan descent, while his mother is of Dominican descent.[87]
  • Charlyne Yi – American actress, comedian, musician, writer, and painter. Her mother, a native of the Philippines, is of Filipino and Spanish descent[88]
  • Michael Wayne (1934–2003) – American film producer and actor, and the eldest son of actor John Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz, who was of Spanish descent.
  • Patrick Wayne – actor, the second son of John Wayne and Josephine Alicia Saenz.
  • Donna Wilkes – American film actress known for her roles in several films, to Spanish/French mother and Irish father.
  • Mikaela Hoover – American actress of Iranian, Italian and Spanish descent[89]


Daisy Fuentes is a TV presenter and model.
Daisy Fuentes is a TV presenter and model.


  • Jhené Aiko – American singer-songwriter and recording artist. Her father is African-American, maternal grandfather is Japanese-American, maternal grandmother is Spanish and Afro-Dominican.
  • Esperanza Spalding – jazz singer and composer.[99]
  • David Archuleta – father of Spanish (Basque) descent.
  • Leonardo Balada – Spanish composer.
  • Cedric Bixler-Zavala – rock singer of predominantly European descent has Spanish ancestry from father.
  • Fortunio Bonanova (1895–1969) – who was a baritone singer and a film, theater, and television actor. He occasionally worked as a producer and director.
  • Eduardo Cansino, Sr. (1895–1968) – Flamenco dancer and Spanish actor. Father of Rita Hayworth.
  • Julian Casablancas – vocalist and songwriter of the New York band The Strokes.[100]
  • Al Cisneros – American musician from San Jose, California. He is the singer and bassist for the legendary stoner metal band Sleep
  • Nichole Cordova – singer and dancer. Cordova is a member of the musical group Girlicious.
  • Darren Criss – American actor, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. His Philippine mother is of Spanish partial descent.[31]
  • Xavier Cugat (1900–1990) – conductor, American Catalan artist and entrepreneur. He was a key figure in the spread of Latin music in the United States popular music.[101]
  • Charo – Spanish-American actress, comedian and Flamenco guitarist. She is best known for her exuberant stage presence and provocative outfits.
  • Chick Corea – American jazz and fusion pianist, keyboardist, and composer. He is of southern Italian and Spanish descent.[102][103]
  • Jonny Diaz – American contemporary Christian pop artist and brother of Matt Diaz. His grandfather who had emigrated from Barcelona.[104]
  • Vernon Duke (1903–1969) – American composer/songwriter, born into a noble family of mixed Georgian-Austrian-Spanish-Russian descent, en Belarus.
  • Gloria Estefan – Mothers parents were born in Pola de Siero, Asturias and Logroño, La Rioja, Spain .[105][106]
  • Joe Falcón (1900–1965) – American accordionist descendant of Cajuns and Spanish settlers (Isleños) of Louisiana. He was the first person recording a song and a Cajun music album.
  • Lilian García -American singer and ring announcer born in Spain. Spanish descent via Puerto Rico.
  • Jerry Garcia – guitarist and singer for the Grateful Dead. Father was born in La Coruña, Spain.[107]
  • Synyster Gates - American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist of the band Avenged Sevenfold. He is of Spanish and German descent.
  • Claudio S. Grafulla (1812–1880) - Spanish-born composer in the United States during the 19th Century, most noted for martial music for regimental bands during the early days of the American Civil War
  • Emilio de Gogorza – (1874–1949) American baritone.
  • Safeway Goya – singer of The Nobodys, who released an album on Capitol Records and EMI International August 8, 1984.
  • Scott Herrenmusic producer. His father is Catalan and his mother is Irish and Cuban.[108]
  • Eric Himy – American-born classical pianist of French-Spanish-Moroccan descent
  • Julio Iglesias – Spanish singer with American citizenship.
  • Enrique IglesiasGrammy Winning Spanish pop singer songwriter. Spanish father (Julio Iglesias) and Spanish Filipina mother (Isabel Preysler)
  • José Iturbi (1895–1980) – Spanish conductor, harpsichordist and pianist.
  • Jeanette (singer) – London-born, American-raised singer. She is of Canarian and Maltese descent.[109]
  • Mila J – American singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer from Los Angeles, California. Her father is African-American, maternal grandfather is Japanese-American, maternal grandmother is Spanish and Afro-Dominican. She is the sister of Jhené Aiko.
  • Chris Kirkpatrick – American singer, dancer, and voice actor who is best known as a founding member of the pop group 'N Sync. He is of Irish, Scottish, Spanish and Indian descent.
  • Joseph Lacalle (1860–1937) – Spanish born American clarinetist, composer, conductor and music critic.
  • Kirstin Maldonado – American singer. Her mother is Spanish-Italian
  • Jim Martin (born 1961) – former guitarist of Faith No More
  • Bruno Mars – American singer-songwriter and record producer. Mars' mother immigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines as a child, and is of Filipino and some Spanish descent. Mars' father is of Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi Jewish descent.[110][111]
  • Mikaila – American singer of French, Mexican (Aztec) and Spanish descent.
  • Chino Moreno – American musician. He is children to a Spanish-Mexican father and a Spanish/Chinese mother;[112]
  • Alcide Nunez (1884–1934) – Isleño American jazz clarinetist.
  • Robert Nunez – Isleño American jazz clarinetist and grandson of Alcide Nunez.
  • Kenny Ortega – Emmy-award-winning producer, director and choreographer. Most known for directing the High School Musical series and Michael Jackson's This Is It. Spanish grandparents.[113]
  • Franky Perez – American musician best known as a solo artist, singer of Finnish Cello-based rock band Apocalyptica. Son of Spanish and Cuban immigrants.
  • Irvan Perez (1923–2008) – Isleño singer.[114]
  • Manuel Perez (musician) (1871–1946) – American cornetist and bandleader born into a Creole of Color family of Spanish, French and African descent.
  • Achille Rivarde (1865–1940) – American-born British violinist and teacher.
  • Andy Russell (September 16, 1919 – April 16, 1992) – American popular vocalist to Mexican parents of Spanish descent.
  • Jessica Sanchez – American singer-songwriter
  • Paul Sanchez – American guitarist and a singer-songwriter. He was a founding member of the New Orleans band Cowboy Mouth, guitarist and one of the primary singers and songwriters for the band from 1990 to 2006. His father was an Isleño of Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
  • Matthew Santos – rock and folk singer-songwriter, musician and painter, father of part-Spanish descent.[115]
  • Carly Simon – American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. Her mother is of Spanish and half Swiss descent.
  • Lucy Simon – American composer for the theatre and popular songs. Sister of Carly Simon.
  • Joanna Simon (mezzo-soprano) – sister of Carly and Lucy Simon.
  • Mariee Sioux – American folk singer-songwriter. Her father Gary Sobonya is a mandolin player of Polish and Hungarian descent, and her mother Felicia is of Spanish, Paiute, and Indigenous Mexican descent.
  • John Philip Sousa (1854–1932) – American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches. His father was of Portuguese and Spanish ancestry.[116][117][118]
  • Malu Trevejo – Cuban-American singer of Cuban and Spanish descent.
  • Anton Torello – Catalan born American double bass player.
  • Camile Velasco – Filipino American singer and came in ninth place on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series, American Idol. She is of Irish, Spanish, and Filipino descent.[119]
  • Jaci Velasquez – descends of Spanish and Mexican settlers in Texas and French, Scottish, and Arabs immigrants.[120]
  • Camille Zamora – American soprano, Spanish ancestry on her father's side
  • Samuel Arredondo (born 2002) – Californian-born singer who mostly works in his mother's country of the Republic of Korea where he has been on Produce 101 Season 2.


  • Corky Ballas – American retired competitive ballroom dancer who holds several Latin dance championship titles. He was the son of George Ballas.
  • Mark Ballas – American dancer, son of Corky Ballas.
  • María Benítez – American dancer, choreographer and director in Spanish dance and flamenco
  • Carmencita – Spanish-born American-style dancer in American pre-vaudeville variety and music-hall ballet
  • Joaquín De Luz – Spanish ballet dancer. He was formerly with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and currently, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet (NYCB).


Military (excluding those who were also governors and politicians)

Confederate General G. T. Beauregard
Confederate General G. T. Beauregard
Union Admiral David Farragut
Union Admiral David Farragut

Governors and politicians

Sheriff, police, Texas Ranger and lawyers

  • Eugene W. Biscailuz (1883–1969) – Sheriff of Los Angeles County. His mother was descended from old Spanish settlers of California.
  • Tony Bouza – 40-year veteran of municipal police, serving as Minneapolis police chief from 1980 to 1989. He was born in Spain[168]
  • Alex Ferrer – American television personality, lawyer, and retired judge who presides as the arbiter on Judge Alex.
  • Manuel T. Gonzaullas (July 4, 1891 – February 13, 1977) – Spanish born American Texas Rangers captain and a staff member of the Texas government.
  • Rafael Piñeiro – Spanish-born American who served as First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
  • Manuel Real – judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.[169]
  • Tomas Avila Sanchez (1826–1882) – American soldier, sheriff and public official, was on the Los Angeles County, California, Board of Supervisors and was a member of the Los Angeles Common Council, the legislative branch of the city. He was descendant of Spanish settlers.
  • Michael G. Santos – American prison consultant, author of several books about prison, a professor of criminal justice, and an advocate for criminal justice reform. Santos is the son of a Cuban immigrant father and a mother of Spanish descent.[170]

Journalists and Reporters

  • Anderson Cooper – TV news reporter. Of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Spanish and Dutch descent.
  • Krystal Fernandez – American sports journalist.
  • Bill Gallo (1922–2011) – cartoonist and newspaper columnist for the New York Daily News.[171]
  • Steve Lopez – American journalist who has been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times since 2001. He is the son of Spanish and Italian immigrants.
  • Suzanne Malveaux – TV news reporter. She comes from a Creole family in Louisiana of French, Spanish and African origin.[172]
  • Craig Rivera – American television journalist, producer, and correspondent for Fox News Channel. His father was a Puerto Rican of Sephardic Jew descent.
  • Sebastian Junger – American journalist, most famous for the best-selling book The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea (1997)
  • Geraldo Rivera – American lawyer, journalist, writer, reporter and talk show host. His father was of Puerto Rican Sephardic Jew ancestry. He is brother of Craig Rivera.[173][174]
  • Rosana Ubanell – Spanish-born American naturalized news journalist and the first Spanish language novelist to ever be published by Penguin Books

Novelist, poets and cartoonists of comic books

Cartoonist Sergio Aragonés
  • Alberto Acereda – writer, professor of Spanish language and literature in USA and Spanish author of numerous articles on politics and op-eds in several European and American newspapers.
  • Mercedes de Acosta (1893–1968) – poet and playwright, also known for her lesbian affairs with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.[175]
  • Felipe Alfau (1902–1999) – Catalan novelist and poet.
  • Jaime de Angulo (1887–1950) – linguist, novelist, and ethnomusicologist in the western United States. He was born in Paris of Spanish parents.
  • Estelle Anna Lewis (1824–1880) – United States poet and dramatist. She was of English and Spanish descent.
  • Sergio Aragonés – cartoonist and Spanish writer known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and creator of the comic book Groo the Wanderer."[176]
  • José Argüelles (1939–2011) – American New Age author and artist. His father was Spanish.
  • Ivan Argüelles – American poet and brother of Jose Argüelles.
  • Alexander Argüelles – American linguist and son of Ivan Argüelles.
  • Hilario Barrero – Spanish poet and teacher.[177]
  • Stephen Vincent Benét (July 22, 1898 – March 13, 1943) – American author, poet, short story writer, and novelist.
  • Jessica Hagedorn – Filipino-American playwright, writer, poet, storyteller, musician, and multimedia performance artist, to a Scots-Irish-French-Filipino mother and a Filipino-Spanish father.
  • Amber L. Hollibaugh – American writer, film-maker and political activist. She is the daughter of a Romany father of Spanish descent and an Irish mother.[178]
  • Andrew Jolivétte – American author and lecturer of Spanish partially descent.
  • Lorraine C. Ladish – American author of American and Spanish descent.
  • Odón Betanzos Palacios (1925–2007) – poet, novelist and Spanish literary critic.[179]
  • Carmen M. Pursifull – English-language free verse poet and former New York City Latin dance and Latin American music figure in the 1950s. She is of Puerto Rican and Spanish descent.[180]
  • Anaïs Nin – born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised.
  • George Rabasa – American writer and author
  • Matthew Randazzo V – American true crime writer and historian. He is of Sicilian-American, Isleño, and Cajun descent.[181]
  • George Santayana (1863–1952) – Spanish born, philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist.
  • Jose Yglesias (November 29, 1919 – November 7, 1995) – American novelist and journalist. Yglesias was born in the Ybor City section of Tampa, Florida, and was of Cuban and Spanish descent. His father was from Galicia.
  • Rafael Yglesias (born May 12, 1954, New York) – American novelist and screenwriter. His parents were the novelists Jose Yglesias and Helen Yglesias.

Ranchers and Landowners


Scholars, Professors and academics

  • Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004) scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. She descendant of many of the prominent Basque and Spanish explorers and settlers to come to the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Ángel Cabrera (academic) – Spanish academic and sixth President of George Mason University.
  • Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908) – American professor of philosophy and political economy at Tokyo Imperial University.
  • Jorge Ferrer – chair of the department of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
  • Karl Hess (1923–1994) – American speechwriter and author. He was of German and Spanish descent.
  • Juan José Linz (December 24, 1926 – October 1, 2013) – Spanish sociologist and political scientist.
  • Andrew Jolivétte – American author and lecturer who is employed at San Francisco State University as an associate professor in American Indian Studies and an instructor in Ethnic Studies, Educational Leadership, and Race and Resistance Studies.
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin (born June 17, 1962, Cabrera de Mar, Barcelona, Catalonia Spain) – Catalan-American professor of economics at Columbia University.
  • Carlos Fernández-Pello – Spanish-born faculty member of the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Juan Bautista Rael (1900–1993) – Nuevomexicano ethnographer, linguist, and folklorist who was a pioneer in the study of the Nuevomexicanos, his stories and his language, both from Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

Scientists, inventors and engineers

  • Michael Lopez-Alegria – Spanish-American astronaut. Holds American record for most EVA hours (spacewalks or moonwalks). Born in Madrid.[187]
  • Luis F. Alvarez (1853–1937) – developed diagnosis for macular leprosy
  • Luis W. Alvarez (1911–1988) – Nobel Prize-winning physicist and key participant in the Manhattan Project
  • Walter Alvarez – geologist who first proposed the asteroid-impact theory to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs
  • Walter C. Alvarez (1884–1978) – American doctor of Spanish descent. He authored several dozen books on medicine, and wrote introductions and forewords for many others. Referred to as "America's Family Doctor" for his syndicated medical column in hundreds of newspapers.
  • Francisco J. Ayala – biologist and philosopher, recipient of the 2010 Templeton Prize; born in Madrid
  • Isador Coriat (1875–1943) – American psychiatrist and neurologist. He was one of the first American psychoanalysts. He was of Moroccan-Spanish descent on father's side and German on mother's side.[188]
  • Pedro Cuatrecasas American biochemist and an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology & Medicine at the University of California, San Diego
  • Frank J. Duarte – laser physicist and author
  • Valentin Fuster – Catalan American cardiologist
  • Rodolfo Llinás – Professor of Neuroscience and Chairman of the department of Physiology & Neuroscience at the NYU School of Medicine. Born in Bogotá (Colombia), with Spanish grandfather
  • Miguel A. Sanchez – Spanish-born American board-certified pathologist who specializes in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology and cytopathology.
  • Severo Ochoa (1905–1993) – Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who worked on the synthesis of RNA
  • Ramón Verea (1833–1899) – Spanish journalist, engineer and writer. Inventor of a calculator with an internal multiplication table
Particle physicist Luis Alvarez
Laser physicist Frank Duarte

Philanthropists, activists, revolutionaries, community leaders

  • Helene Hagan – Moroccan born American anthropologist and Amazigh activist. She is of Berber and Catalan descent.
  • Yasmin Aga Khan – philanthropist with Spanish blood from her mother, Rita Hayworth.
  • Juan Bautista Mariano Picornell y Gomila (1759–1825) – Spanish-born revolutionary.
  • Concepción Picciotto – also known as Conchita or Connie, Spanish-born American that has lived in Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. on the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, in a peace camp across from the White House, since August 1, 1981, in protest of nuclear arms
  • Alberto Rivera (1935–1997) – Canarian-born American anti-Catholic religious activist who was the source of many of fundamentalist Christian author Jack Chick's conspiracy theories about The Vatican.
  • Tony Serra – American civil rights lawyer, activist and tax resister from San Francisco.
  • Andrea Heinemann Simon (1909–1994) – community leader and the mother of award-winning singer, Carly Simon. She is of Spanish-Swiss descent.


See also


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