Postage Stamp Will Honor ‘L.A. Times’ Columnist Reuben Salazar

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By: E&P Staff

The U.S. Postal Service next year will issue a commemorative stamp in honor of slain Los Angeles Times reporter and columnist Reuben Salazar, the Times reported.

“He was a groundbreaker for Latinos in this country, but his work spoke to all Americans,” Postmaster Gen. John E. Potter told the Times in a story by staff writer Louis Sahagun. “By giving voice to those who didn’t have one, Ruben Salazar worked to improve life for everybody. His reporting of the Latino experience in this country set a standard that’s rarely met even today.”

Salazar was killed in 1970 at age 42 while covering a riot in East Los Angeles. He was hit in the head by a tear gas projectile fired by a sheriff’s deputy.

The first-class stamp will be officially unveiled Oct. 5, the Times reported.

“Ruben Salazar was a courageous and pioneering journalist, and we were honored to have him as a colleague at The Times,” said Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller. “This commemorative stamp is a fine tribute to his legacy that lives on in the communities he served so resolutely.”

The stamp was largely the result of lobbying by Olga Briseno, director of the University of Arizona’s Media, Democracy & Policy Initiative, who collected1,300 signatures on petitions, which were submitted to the Postal Service’s Selection Committee.

“This stamp and the tribute it brings to an important journalist and to an important aspect of Latino history is at the heart of MDPI’s mission,” Briseno said in a statement issued by the University of Arizona. “To see change that is necessary, to work very hard to make it happen because you know it is right, and then to see your dreams become a reality — for everyone — is amazing,” Briseno said.

Salazar, a naturalized American citizen born in Mexico, began his journalism career in 1955 at the old El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post. He joined the Times in 1959, serving as a foreign correspondent covering the Dominican Republic, the Vietnam War and Mexico.

In January 1970, he left the Times to become news director for the Spanish-language television station KMEX.

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