Who’s Who in Latino America carries the success of the signature "Who’s Who in Black" publications into the Hispanic market
Hispanics are not new to Ohio. They have been explorers, pioneers and innovators here long before statehood. This fact goes against the conventional idea that Hispanics are newcomers, a long way from home, or people who perhaps, don't belong.
The 1800s saw the continuing presence of Hispanics in Ohio. In 1854, Jose de Rivera San Jurgo arrived from Barcelona, Spain, after founding successful businesses in New York. He then bought six Ohio islands on Lake Erie, including modem-day Put-in Bay, and encouraged development of the islands by other immigrants. He is credited with the founding of Ohio's wine industry.
The Hispanic presence increased in the 1900s. Recent scholarship shows that Mexican and Tejano migrants arrived in Ohio in substantial numbers right after World War I. Many put down permanent roots and contributed to the area's success. Later, immigrants and refugees from other parts of Latin America found a home in Columbus and other
great Ohio cities.
The legacy continues now with us today. We are the grateful inheritors of the long-time Hispanic presence in Ohio. We also carry on their tradition by contributing our own energies, labor, love and time to the vigor and strength of this great city and state. We are proud to honor the men and women acknowledged in this edition as following in the footsteps of earlier Hispanic Ohioans. Some are their descendants and some are pioneers themselves. A great many have met with success in such fields as commerce, government and community service, education, medicine and military service. Through this, Hispanic Ohioans continue to enhance and enrich the American experience.
Distance from our southern border - or from other continents - does not preclude the historical presence of Hispanics in Ohio. The stories you are about to read bear witness to that reality. But they also serve another purpose. For we need to write Hispanics back into the history of Ohio. These stories will help document, for future generations, the many contributions of Hispanic Americans to our city, our state and our nation.