Raymond Telles, 1915-2013

Raymond Telles, the first Hispanic Mayor of El Paso, who served from 1957 to 1961, died on Friday at the age of 97. Telles, a Democrat, would go on to become the Ambassador to Costa Rica under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations from 1961 to 1967. In 1967, he became the Chairman of the United States-Mexican Border Commission, and in 1971 he became a commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (which is distinct from the Chairman of EEOC, that the LA Times, in their continuing disgrace of journalism, seems to think), serving until 1976.

Telles was the first Hispanic elected Mayor of a major US City (population of El Paso at that time was about 150,000). His election came a full 24 years before that of Henry Cisneros, and 8 years before Alfonso Cervantes of St. Louis, who is erroneously sometimes called the first Hispanic person to the elected Mayor of a major US City. If and when Texas ever turns blue, it will be because of the hispanic community, and one of the first milestones will be Mayor Telles. An inspiration to all.

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