Statement by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía on the Passing of Hispanic Media Titan and Civic Leader Ignacio Lozano Jr.

Washington, DC – “We are saddened to hear of the passing of a media giant in the Latino community, Ignacio Lozano Jr. (1927–2023), longtime publisher of La Opinión—the award-winning daily Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles—and a highly respected business and civic leader who devoted decades of his life to serving the people and communities of southern California and the nation.

“He became publisher of La Opinión in 1953 after the passing of his father, Ignacio Lozano Sr., who founded the newspaper in 1926. Seeing how invisible Mexican Americans and other Latinos were in the media in California at that time, he oversaw the transformation of La Opinión from a publication covering mostly foreign news to the leading Spanish-language daily newspaper focused on the growing Hispanic community in the state. It is not an exaggeration to say that, for years, La Opinión was providing perhaps the only—and certainly the most accurate and positive—coverage of the Hispanic community in a daily news outlet, becoming one of the largest and most acclaimed newspapers serving Latinos.

“Gracious, thoughtful, and politically astute, his counsel was sought by U.S. presidents on both sides of the aisle and had national reach and influence. In 1976, he was appointed by President Gerald Ford as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, which underscored his commitment to free speech, human rights, and democracy. He was also one of the first Latinos to serve on the boards of Fortune 500 companies such as Bank of America and the Walt Disney Co.

“While he was nationally renowned, he was intensely proud of his Mexican roots. He was a fierce supporter of Hispanic journalists, a staunch defender of the U.S. Constitution, and was always devoted to the betterment of the Latino community. For his years of service, dedication, and trailblazing work in Hispanic media, UnidosUS was honored to present him with the Ruben Salazar Award for Communications at our Annual Conference in 2011. At the ceremony, Lozano Jr. noted that the award was especially meaningful to him since he had been a close friend of Salazar and had been deeply affected by his untimely and tragic death in 1970.

“Our stories and contributions matter and must be told. The Lozano family story has been nothing short of remarkable and its patriarch in the U.S., Ignacio Lozano Jr., should take his rightful place in Latino and American history as a media and civic leader who blazed a trail and created one of the first platforms to tell the Hispanic story.

“Our deepest condolences on behalf of the UnidosUS familia go out to his beloved family, including his daughter Monica Lozano, a national leader in her own right who served with distinction as Chair of the then National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Board of Directors, and who has been a longtime and cherished friend and supporter of our organization.”