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Cristina Saralegui: 1948—: Journalist, Talk Show Host, Publisher, Author Biography

Started A Career In Magazines, Made Career Move To Television, Sought To Educate Hispanic Community

Cristina Saralegui: 1948—: Journalist, talk show host, publisher, author.

Cuba native Cristina Saralegui has achieved the American dream with a little bit of clout and a whole lot of perseverance. She was the first and in 2002 only Latin woman to create a media empire that included a number-one talk show, a widely circulated magazine, a successful radio show, and her own production company. One of the Hispanic-American community's most powerful women, she has been hailed as the Latin Helen Gurley Brown and Oprah with salsa, but to millions of Hispanics she has simply become known as Cristina.

Cristina Maria Saralegui was born in Havana, Cuba, on January 29, 1948, to Francisco and Cristina Saralegui. Far from a typical Cuban family, hers was one of wealth and prosperity. Her grandfather, Francisco Saralegui y Arrizubieta, was known as the Paper Czar, having founded three leading Spanish-language magazines—Bohemia, Carteles, and Vanidades—and monopolizing Cuba's newspaper imports. Fidel Castro's revolution ended the family's prosperity in 1959 when their spectacular seaside mansion in the exclusive Miramar district was seized. They fled to Miami's Cuban exile community in 1960 when Cristina was 12 years old, leaving behind their power, prestige, and a substantial fortune. "It's been very hard not being able to go back," Saralegui told the Los Angeles Times. "I want to visit my country. But if Fidel can get somebody like the pope to do PR for himself, imagine what he can do with somebody like me."

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