Ernesto Galarza was born in Jalcocotan, Nayarit, Mexico on August 15, 1905. His early years were spent in the small village of Jalcocotan. As a young boy Ernesto learned to never take things for granted. He and his family migrated to the United States during the Mexican Revolution. As a youngster he worked with his family harvesting crops in California. Galarza was known as an activist, scholar, and an organizer. His writings reflected his search and dream for a better world. In 1965 Galarza's first book, Strangers in Our Fields was published. Galarza was a graduate student from Stanford University. He was the first Mexican American admitted to Stanford. He later attended Columbus University where he became the first Mexican American to earn a Ph.D. in History and Political Science. In 1947, Galarza was awarded his Ph.D. in Economies. Ernesto Galarza was a creative writer. He published more than 100 items over the course of his life including more than a dozen books, reports, and literary works. His writings focused on the areas of Latin America, farm labor, urban sociology, education, and Chicano Studies. He had come a long way from his humble beginnings in Jalcocotan. Ernesto Galarza was well known in the Chicano community. He gained worldwide recognition when he was nominated in 1979 for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ernesto Galarza was a man of stature, strong confidence and action. He understood and accepted his mission in life. His determination and perseverance allowed him to pursue his destiny to the best of his ability. On June 22, 1984 at the age of 79, Ernesto Galarza died in his San Jose home. Ernesto Galarza was a native of Mexico and a citizen of the United States. He embraced American culture but never abandoned his Mexican heritage. In doing so, he contributed much to Chicano culture. His legacy still lives on today, as he touches the lives of so many. He will be severely missed.
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