Albert Armendariz Sr. Known For Being a Passionate Advocate of Civil Rights Dies

Albert Armendariz who as National President of LULAC helped change the landscape for Latinos in Texas and nationwide died Thursday in a Brownsville, Texas, hospital following surgery two weeks earlier.

Mr. Armendariz is best remembered in 1954, while serving as president of LULAC, Armendariz helped argue Hernandez vs. the State of Texas, a landmark case that established Latinos as a distinct class entitled to protection under the 14th Amendment.

He also served in the Army during World War II and that helped instill in him a new sense of value and public service. He came back to become a prominent civil rights attorney.

In El Paso in the late 1950s and early ’60s, Armendariz served on the El Paso Civil Service Commission and is credited with helping to open the city’s police and fire departments to Mexican Americans.

Representing MALDEF in the 1970s, Armendariz argued Alvarado vs. El Paso Independent School District, a landmark case that resulted in a federal court order requiring desegregation in El Paso schools.

Armendariz was born Aug. 11, 1919, in El Paso, one of seven children. Before World War II, he worked as a shoe salesman and an auto mechanic.

 In addition to his eldest son, Armendariz is survived by his second wife, Mari; sons Edward of Greer, S.C., John David of El Paso and Larry of Nashville; and daughters Maria Leticia Robert of McAllen, Texas, and Mary Lou Contreras of El Paso.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

Source: LULAC

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