Henry Gabriel Cisneros (born June 11, 1947) is an American politician and businessman. He was the first person of Hispanic background elected as mayor of a large American city, and later served as the 10th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1993 to 1997. He left public office as a result of a controversy involving payments to his former mistress, in which he pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal officials. He is currently Executive Chairman to CityView, an investment company that finances homebuilders with more than 7,000 homes across 13 states homes in its investment portfolio.
The son of Elvira and George Cisneros, Henry Cisneros was born in San Antonio, Texas. He was one of three brothers and two sisters. He received his primary education at Central Catholic Marianist High School in San Antonio, and later received a Bachelor of Arts and an Master of Arts in urban and regional planning from Texas A&M University. He earned an additional Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Doctor of Public Administration from George Washington University. He married Mary Alice Perez in 1969. They have two daughters, Teresa and Mercedes, and a son, John Paul.
In 1975, Cisneros was elected to the San Antonio City Council, at the time becoming the youngest councilman in the city's history (until current San Antonio City Councilor Chip Haas's election in 2003 at age 26). Cisneros noted that the Democratic party he joined was leftist but has become more central by the mid 1990s. He served for six years on the City Council and was elected Mayor of San Antonio in 1981. San Antonio at the time was the ninth-largest city in the nation. Cisneros became the first Mexican American to head a major American city. He was well liked by his constituency and was reelected to three additional two-year terms, which meant he served four terms as mayor overall. His popularity did not rest with San Antonio's Hispanic community alone, but with all ethnic groups in the area. In 1982, he was selected as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Men of America" by the U.S. Jaycees.