Raoul A. Cortez
Pioneer of Spanish Language Radio and Television in the United States.
- Raoul A. Cortez, born to Mr. and Mrs. Juan Manuel Cortez
in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico on October 17, 1905. He was one of nine
- He came to the United States at an early age to seek
- He worked as a reporter for La Prensa and also as a sales
representative for the Pearl Brewing Company.
- In the 1930s and 1940s he owned and operated
a Theatrical Agency that introduced some of the top entertainers from
Mexico and Latin America to the United States.
- In 1940 he began buying airtime on KMAC Radio and producing
Spanish variety hours.
- In 1944 he applied for his own license to build what
would be the first full time Spanish language radio station in the country.
- In 1946 KCOR-AM went on the air. It was a huge success
and is still on the air today with the same call letters that bear a
portion of his last name.
- Cortez also formed the "Sombrero" radio network.
This was a chain of radio stations across the country that banded together
in order to improve and promote radio broadcasts.
- In 1955 he opened the first UHF channel in the country
as well as the first full time Spanish language television station in
the United States.
- 1960 Cortez approached Don Emilio Azcarraga Vidaureta,
President and General Manager of Telesistema Mexicano, S.A. to purchase
- Cortez served two consecutive terms as National President
of the League of United Latin American Citizens or LULAC. He used his
position to go speak with President Miguel Aleman of Mexico and later
with Harry S. Truman to discuss the plight of the Mexican illegal alien
in the U.S. He was credited with gaining improvements between the two
governments and their agreements regulating the "Bracero"
- He was also President of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce,
now known as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in San Antonio.
- He was President of the Charro Association.
- Cortez passed away December 17, 1971 at the age of 66.
He was surrounded by his wife, Genoveva Cortez, his son, Raoul Jr.,
daughters Rosamaria Toscano and Irma Nicolas.
On April 8, 1981, San Antonio recognized Mr. Cortezs
achievements and contributions to the community by dedicating a Library
in his name. The Raoul A. Cortez Library at 2803 Hunter Boulevard. Mayor
Lila Cockrell, City Council members, Mrs. Genoveva Cortez, Mrs. Irma
Nicolas along with other family members and dignitaries attended.