Latino Community Mourns the Loss of the Hon. Albert Armendariz Sr.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s leading Latino legal organization, joins the nation and Latinos everywhere in mourning the loss of The Hon. Albert Armendariz, SR a beloved leader of the Latino civil rights movement.

“The best way to honor Judge Armendariz’s life is to carry on his work for justice and equality.  Today’s generation of Latino leaders will make Judge Armendariz’s vision a reality,” stated  MALDEF President and General Counsel, John Trasviña.

Nina Perales, MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel added, “This is a profound loss for our community. MALDEF will continue working to further Armendariz’s legacy.”

Hon. Albert Armendariz, Sr.

Albert Armendariz, Sr. was born in El Paso, Texas in 1919. After graduating from El Paso High School in 1934, Judge Armendariz worked as a shoe salesman and then as an auto mechanic. He was drafted at the onset of World War II and spent four years in the motor pool at Fort Bliss. After undergraduate study at Texas College of Mines (now University of Texas at El Paso), Judge Armendariz attended law school at the University of Southern California graduating in 1950. Traveling back to El Paso with his young wife, two sons and his dusty 1935 Plymouth, Judge Armendariz commenced his outstanding legal career in a law office less than four blocks from his childhood home.

From 1976 to 1985, he was an immigration judge (special inquiry officer) with the U.S. Department of Justice; later he held an appointment on the Texas Court of Appeals. Judge Armendariz has been actively involved in the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) since 1951 and served as its national president in 1954. In the late sixties, with the help of many other attorneys, Judge Armendariz helped found the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national organization addressing education and civil rights issues. From 1968 to 1971, he served as chairman of the MALDEF board of trustees. Judge Armendariz continued to zealously defend the rights of immigrants, the population he has served so remarkably for over a half a century, up until his passing.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF, the nation’s leading Latino legal organization, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:


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