Samora, Julian (1920–1996)

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Samora, Julian (1920–1996)

A pioneering scholar in Mexican American Studies, U.S.-Mexican border studies, and immigration studies, Samora was born on March 1, 1920, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He graduated from Adams State College in 1942 and in 1953 became the first Mexican American known to earn a doctorate in sociology (Washington University in St. Louis). In 1959 Samora joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and within a few years became a nationally recognized researcher in Mexican American studies as editor of La Raza: Forgotten Americans (1966), a collection of scholarly papers. His seminal 1971 study of undocumented Mexican immigration, Los Mojados: The Wetback Story, was the first book-length study of the phenomenon. Around the same time, Samora established the Mexican American Graduate Studies Program, the largest program of its kind in the 1970s. Samora also developed a major publication series in Mexican American Studies at Notre Dame Press. He served as board member and consultant for a number of organizations and was one of the founders of the National Council of La Raza. After his retirement in 1985 he continued to do research on Mexican American history and mestizaje in the American Southwest until his death on February 2, 1996.

See alsoHispanics in the United States; Migration and Migrations; United States-Mexico Border.


Primary Works

National Study of the Spanish-Speaking People. Washington, DC: United States Commission for Civil Rights, 1961.

As editor. La Raza: Forgotten Americans. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966.

With Ernesto Galarza and Herman Gallegos. Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. Santa Barbara, CA: McNally & Loftin, 1969.

With assistance of Jorge Bustamante Fernández and Gilbert Cárdenas. Los Mojados: The Wetback Story. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971.

With Patricia Vandel Simon. A History of the Mexican-American People. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977.

                             Barbara Driscoll de Alvarado