Issue Date: April 22, 2008
City: Washington, DC
American journalist Ruben Salazar (1928-1970 was a pioneer for Mexican-Americans in the field of journalism. After working as a reporter for the El Paso Herald Post, Salazar moved to California and accepted a position with the Los Angeles Times. During his six years at the Times, Salazar reported from Vietnam.
Later, he was captured by terrorists in Panama. He covered the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic, and served as the Times’ first Mexican-American news bureau chief in Mexico City.
In 1969, he was hired by Spanish-language television (KMEX-TV) as their news director, but continued to write for the Times. In his weekly column, Salazar voiced concerns about racism and abuse of Latinos by the police. On August 29, 1970, he covered a Vietnam War protest march for both the Times and KMEX-TV. After violence erupted at Laguna Park, where the march ended, Salazar and several others fled to the Silver Dollar Cafe. There he was killed during a police raid.
The year after his tragic death, Salazar was posthumously given a special Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Laguna Park was renamed Salazar Park.
In 2008, the U.S. issued a 41¢ stamp to honor Ruben Salazar, part of a five-stamp se-tenant honoring American Journalists.