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Adversity is my Angel

The Life and Career of Raúl H. Castro

Raul H. Castro and Jack August Jr.

Publication Year: 2009

Raúl H. Castro was the first Hispanic governor of Arizona, ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Argentina, lawyer, judge, and teacher. His life and career serve as role models, not only to Mexican Americans but to all Americans. Born in Mexico in 1916, in 1926 he moved with his family to Arizona, where his earliest memories include collecting cactus fruit in the desert for food. Thanks to an athletic scholarship, he attended Arizona State Teachers College and later was accepted by the University of Arizona College of Law. He received his Juris Doctor degree and was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1949. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Castro U. S. ambassador to Salvador in 1964 and to Bolivia in 1969. Active in Arizona Democratic Party politics, he was elected governor in 1974 but his term was interrupted by an appointment as ambassador to Argentina. Raul Castro’s story suggests much about the human spirit, the ability to overcome institutional and personal prejudice, and the hope inherent in the American dream.

Published by: TCU Press

Contents

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pp. vi-

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Introduction

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pp. 1-2

Raúl H. Castro’s unlikely but distinguished professional career suggests the adversity inherent in his humble beginnings only hardened his resolve and strengthened his determination. He was born into grinding poverty and minority status on the US-Mexico border, but eventually overcame those obstacles ...

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Chapter I Ancestors and Immigrants

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pp. 3-11

My father was born and grew up in a small fishing village near the tip of the Mexican state of Baja California, called San Jos

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Chapter II High School and the World Beyond

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pp. 12-17

In 1931 I entered Douglas High School and spent four transformative years there. Naturally the Great Depression provided the economic and cultural context between my freshman year and my graduation in 1935. The dour economic climate shaped and influenced all of our lives on the border. ...

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Chapter III Crucible of Optimism: Higher Education at Arizona State Teachers College in Flagstaff

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pp. 18-24

On September 1, 1935, a blast of cold wind greeted me as I disembarked from the bus in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, and gazed upon the inspiring geologic gift of the San Francisco Peaks, which towered above the small city of eighteen thousand people. Flagstaff, located on a much traveled and historic crossroads, ...

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Chapter IV Return to the Borderlands

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pp. 25-32

Gerald D. Nash, the preeminent economic historian of the modern West, argued that the region “changed masters” during the Depression, substituting the federal government for its colonial dependence on eastern capital. Yet Arizona relied on large federal spending since the territorial period (1863-1912), ...

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Chapter V The Law

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pp. 33-37

Applying and gaining acceptance to law school in the immediate post-war years differed entirely from today’s process, which requires high academic achievement, competitive LSAT scores, and three or more letters of recommendation to a selection committee. Nevertheless, my path, unique compared to most, ...

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Chapter VI Pima County Attorney

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pp. 38-44

In the early 1950s Tucson was a small city, yet increasingly urban and busy. Its population of one hundred and twenty thousand made it the most important city in Pima County and the second-most populous metropolitan area in Arizona. I enjoyed Tucson, southern Arizona, and the rich cultural amenities available ...

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Chapter VII Superior Court Judge

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pp. 45-52

In 1958 I decided to run for judge of the newly created Fifth Judicial Division of the Pima County Superior Court. The most difficult aspect of this campaign took place early in the race, shortly after I decided to seek the judgeship. Mo Udall, my old boss in the county attorney’s office, came to me in May 1958 ...

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Chapter VIII Ambassador to El Salvador and LBJ

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pp. 53-68

“Sure,” I replied. Elson was a former Spanish student at the University of Arizona, and I knew that he was now US Senator Carl Hayden’s chief of staff. As chairman of the appropriations committee, Senator Hayden was one of the most powerful members of Congress. Hayden, eighty-seven years old, relied heavily on Elson, ...

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Chapter IX Ambassador to Bolivia

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pp. 69-80

President Johnson announced my nomination as ambassador to Bolivia on July 15, 1968, only one week after his trip to El Salvador and the Central American Summit. I succeeded Douglas Sheridan, who had been envoy to Bolivia since November 1963.1 The move took me from the smallest and most densely populated ...

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Chapter X Governor of Arizona

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pp. 81-95

When Pat and I arrived in Tucson from our service in Central and South America in the winter of 1969-1970, John Molloy, chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party, and Ed Loper, director of the Tucson YMCA, met us at the airport. Before we had the chance to gather our land legs, ...

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Chapter XI Ambassador to Argentina

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pp. 96-105

During the presidential race of 1976, I campaigned throughout the country for Jimmy Carter, and he suggested that I serve as his Latin American advisor if he won the election. When Carter won and ascended to the presidency on January 20, 1977, he sent word that he wanted me to consider serving as ambassador to Mexico, ...

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Chapter XII Conclusion and Notes

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pp. 106-124

When Pat and I returned to Arizona in 1980, we bought a home in Paradise Valley in northeast Phoenix, and I practiced law, in an uneventful yet lucrative fashion, in downtown Phoenix. For the next twenty years I enjoyed my practice with good friends and partners Henry Zipf, Al Rogers, and Sidney Marabel. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 125-129

Index

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pp. 130-138


E-ISBN-13: 9780875654775
E-ISBN-10: 0875654770
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875653785
Print-ISBN-10: 0875653782

Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Castro, Raul H., 1916-.
  • Governors -- Arizona -- Biography.
  • Hispanic Americans -- Arizona -- Biography.
  • Ambassadors -- United States -- Biography.
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