Roberto Clemente made baseball history. 1
The Puerto Rican athlete become the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.
Selena Quintanilla was taken away too soon. 2
The Tejano singer was only 23 when she was murdered, but in her short time on earth she built an incredible legacy for other Latinos and women like her to follow. Not only was she one of the greatest and most successful artists in the 1990s but she also left behind a message of self love, never giving up on your dreams, loving where you come from and that anything is possible.
Juan Gabriel was a true pop icon. 3
The Mexican singer's death in 2016 shocked the whole world. He was beloved in all of Latin America and was one of the most successful artists Mexico has ever seen, and he has influenced many young artists.
Celia Cruz is the undisputed Queen of Salsa. 5
The Cuban singer is recognized worldwide as one of the most successful and groundbreaking Latin artists in history. Her achievements influenced former President Bill Clinton to award her with the National Medal of Arts in 1994.
After her death in 1954, Frida Kahlo became one of the most celebrated artists in history. 6
Since then, she has become an icon for Mexicans, Latinos and for feminists around the world.
Hector Lavoe helped make salsa popular. 7
The Puerto Rican singer's incredible talent expanded the popularity of the genre and he's been known as one of the most important interpreters of salsa.
Lupe Ontiveros had a successful acting career, but she spoke up for all Latinos. 8
The Selena actress was vocal about the limited roles available to Latinos in Hollywood, who were often typecast as maids and the help. Even though she wanted to show her talent playing other roles, she said she felt no regrets about her roles as a maid. "I’m proud to represent those hands that labor in this country," she told The New York Times. "I’ve given every maid I’ve portrayed soul and heart."
Tito Puente brought the Latin sound to the world. 9
The Puerto Rican artist's influence helped bring Latin sounds like mambo and son to mainstream audiences.
Joan Sebastian made a name for himself through his prolific songwriting. 11
The singer received plenty of Grammy awards for his music and for his songwriting.
Gabriel García Márquez is a Latino literary hero. 12
The Colombian novelist is known as one of the greatest writers to come out of Latin America. His contributions to the literary world are endless and include popular titles such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, and he also received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.
Big Pun had a major impact in the urban world. 13
The rapper was a leader in the Latino hip-hop community in New York City. His album Capital Punishment became the first album ever by a solo Latino rapper to go platinum. Even after his death he continues to be remembered as one of the best in the genre and has inspired many like him who choose to pursue a career as a rapper.
Roberto Gomez Bolaños had one of the most brilliant minds in entertainment. 14
He created El Chavo and a dozen of other characters and forever made an impact on television all of over Latin America.
Mario Moreno 'Cantinflas' is one of the greatest comedians in Mexico's history. 15
Cantinflas was one of the greatest comedians and actors the Latin world has ever seen. The Mexican actor became a major influence in the world of television and film because of his countless projects.
Cesar Chavez fought for our people. 16
He co-founded the National Farm Workers Association along with Dolores Huerta to help with his mission of improving the lives and working conditions of farm workers in the United States.
Maria Felix was born to be a star. 18
Maria Felix was one of the most successful and prominent actresses in Latin American cinema in the years 1940s and 1950s. She acted in dozens of films but bodly refused roles in Hollywood that she did not approve of.
Pedro Infante is idolized in Latin America. 19
Even decades after his passing, the singer and actor is known as one of the most influential and greatest talents the Latin world has ever seen.
Sylvia Rivera fought for gay rights. 20
The Puerto Rican activist dedicated her life to fight for civil rights for gay and transgender people. She was the founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance.