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Jorge Ramos: 1958—: Journalist, Author

Citizen And Champion

In his private time Ramos dedicates one hour each morning and evening to writing, spends Saturday mornings playing soccer, and devotes himself to parenting his two children. He admits that his first marriage failed because he put work first. Ramos is rearing two bilingual, bicultural children: Paola, born to his first wife in 1987, and Nicolás, born to his current wife, Lisa, in 1998. Ramos disdained seeking naturalization as a U.S. citizen and suffers the emotional displacement of immigrants who are no longer citizens of their homeland, yet not fully recognized in their adopted country.

After Barry Diller, chairman of USA Network, sold his 13 television stations to Univisión in December of 2000, Ramos enjoyed even broader exposure and became even more popular. In June of 2001, he felt secure enough to predict that Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, would become Latin America's next dictator. The next month, Ramos won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for Excellence in Reporting on Latin America, awarded by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. After these and numerous other honoraria rewarding two decades before the cameras, Ramos rejected a transfer to English-language network news, but still nurtures thoughts of running for public office, either in the United States or Mexico. The main deterrent to his plans for a political career is a lack of common ground among Latino supporters, who think of themselves as Cubans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans first and Hispanics second. In his opinion, family, language, and the pursuit of success far outweigh Latino desire to vote as a block.

In October of 2000, Lydia Martin of the Miami Herald reported Ramos's challenge to smug white Americans: "In July, 2059, whites will become a minority in the United States…. If the country is unwilling to take a look at itself in the mirror and get over its bigotry and racism, it will eventually decline." However, Ramos even-handedly reminds Latinos that cultural and economic power do not assure them of clout at the polls. "We have economic power and we have cultural power, but we have to transform that into political power."



Agencia EFE, June 18, 2001.

Columbia News, July 5, 2001.

Hispanic America, October 3, 2000.

Hispanic Trend Magazine, 2000.

Latin Trade, January 1, 2002.

Más, January-February 1992.

Media Week, December 11, 2000.

Miami Herald, January 30, 2001; October 8, 2000.

Orange County Register, October 2000.

Sun Sentinel, June 20, 2001.

U. S. News, December 18, 2000.

USA Today, August 24, 2001.

Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2000.

Washington Post, February 18, 2002.

—Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Jan Peck Biography - Personal to David Randall (1972–) Biography - PersonalJorge Ramos: 1958—: Journalist, Author Biography - Homeland Versus Aspirations, Immediate Stardom, Challenged The Comfortable, Professional Pitfalls And Opportunities, Citizen And Champion