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Marc Cisneros: 1939—: Army General, College President, Chief Executive Officer Biography

Helped Orchestrate Numerous Army Offensive Strikes, Took Command Of Texas A&m-kingsville

Over the course of his lifetime, Marc Cisneros has navigated a lot of terrain. Cisneros began life among the cowhands in the dusty ranchlands of South Texas, knuckled his way through the jungles of Vietnam, became an Army general, and ended up establishing policy among the halls of academia. His accomplishments have made Cisneros a favorite South Texas son. On the outskirts of his hometown of Premont, Texas, a sign proudly announces that it is the home of retired three-star Lieutenant General Marc Cisneros. His success reminds South Texans—Hispanics in particular—of their unlimited potential. "He has made a positive impact," Premont middle school principal Luis A. Canales told the San Antonio Express-News. "He is Mexicano, and that affects all of South Texas."


A tenth generation South Texan, Marc Anthony Cisneros was born April 5, 1939, in Brownsville, Texas, to Antonio and Herlinda (Canales) Cisneros. He was raised in the cattle country of Premont, Texas, not far from the Mexican border. Cisneros comes from a family with a history of public service. His great uncle, J.T. Canales, was a leading Texas Mexican-American political leader, who helped found the League of United Latin American Citizens. Growing up, Cisneros learned to speak both English and Spanish. Like many Texan boys, Cisneros was involved with ranching and was active with the Future Farmers of America. He graduated from San Antonio's Central Catholic High School and entered St. Mary's University, also in San Antonio, as a member of the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). In 1961, Cisneros received a bachelor's degree in business administration and planned to attend law school. Instead, the Army commissioned him a second lieutenant and he spent the next 30 years in uniform.

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