Franklin R. Chang-Díaz
Costa Rican American
Born 1950

Raised in a poor family in Costa Rica, Franklin Chang-Díaz studied hard to become a scientist. He also became a U.S. citizen. Chang-Díaz was the first Hispanic person to enter the space program, becoming an astronaut in 1981. He is a veteran of six space missions and has spent nearly 1,300 hours in space.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Cuban American
Born 1952

In 1982, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Hispanic woman and first Cuban American to be elected to the U.S. Congress. When she was 7 years old, her family fled Communist forces in Cuba. Today, the Republican congresswoman strongly opposes Communism in Cuba. She advocates for human rights around the world.

Fernando Bujones
Ballet Dancer
Cuban American
Born 1955

Fernando Bujones is a ballet dancer who is known all over the world. In 1973, he became the first American male to win the Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria. This competition is sometimes called the Olympics of the ballet world. Known for his grace and power, Bujones has danced with many ballet companies around the world.

Nancy Lopez
Professional Golfer
Mexican American
Born 1957

Nancy Lopez is one of the greatest women golfers of all time. She had an early start at greatness — she began to play golf at age 8. She was only 12 when she won the New Mexico Women's Amateur tournament. One of the top pro golf money winners of all time, Lopez has won 48 titles. In 1989, she was inducted into the PGA World Golf Hall of Fame.

Gloria Estefan
Singer and Musician
Cuban American
Born 1957

Gloria Estefan has been loved and admired by people throughout the world not only for her music, but for her bravery in the face of difficulties. Born in Cuba, Estefan came to Miami, Florida, as a young child when her parents fled the Communist government of Fidel Castro. In the late 1970s, she became a singer with the group Miami Sound Machine. The group became very famous. Estefan won awards for her music and for her work on causes such as campaigning against drugs. In 1990, a terrible accident occurred. Estefan and her family were traveling in their bus when it was hit by a truck. The singer suffered serious injuries. Through patience, hard work, and good fortune, however, she was able to recover fully and return to the stage. Her music remains appreciated by millions of listeners.

Ellen Ochoa
Mexican American
Born 1958

Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman to become an astronaut. A veteran of two space flights, she first flew in space on the shuttle Discovery in 1993. Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut in the U.S., was one of her role models. Ochoa is not only an astronaut but also an inventor, holding three patents. When she is in space, she says that she loves "looking out the window at the Earth."