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Google Doodle celebrates Mexican American broadcaster Raoul A. Cortez

Google is celebrating what would be Raoul A. Cortez's 118th birthday with a Doodle. Screenshot courtesy of Google Doodle
Google is celebrating what would be Raoul A. Cortez's 118th birthday with a Doodle. Screenshot courtesy of Google Doodle

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Google is celebrating what would be Raoul A. Cortez's 118th birthday with a Doodle.

Cortez, a Mexican American media pioneer, broadcaster and activist was born on this day in 1905 in Veracruz, Mexico. His family moved to San Antonio, Texas, when he was a kid and as Cortez got older, he became a reporter for local paper La Prensa.

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In the 1930s and 1940s, he ran a theatrical agency where he introduced American audiences to with performers from Mexico and other Latin American countries. In 1940, bought airtime at KMAC Radio so more people could experience the performers' song and sketches.

The success compelled him to buy his own radio station, KCOR-AM, and this became the first Spanish-language radio station in the United States in 1946. Cortez continued building his media empire by starting the first Latino-run U.S. TV station in Spanish-- KCOR-TV Channel 41-- in 1955.

In addition to his media trailblazing, Cortez was an activist -- he was involved in a case that ended the segregation of Mexican Americans in Texas public schools, he was president of the League of United Latin American Citizens and he met with the U.S. and Mexican presidents to discuss immigration reform.

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He died in 1971.

Cortez's work and activism has been celebrated through the years. He was awarded the media excellence award from The National Association of Broadcasters, Radio Ink created an award in his honor and San Antonio celebrated him by naming a Raoul A. Cortez Branch Library in 1981. In 2015, his media programs were included in the American Enterprise exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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