On September 20, 1988, Lauro Cavazos became the first Hispanic in the history of the United States to be appointed to the Cabinet, when then - vice president George H. W. Bush swore him in as secretary of education. Cavazos, born on the legendary King Ranch in South Texas and educated in a two-room ranch schoolhouse, served until December 1990, after which he returned to his career in medical education and academic administration.In this engaging memoir, he recounts not only his years in Washington but also the childhood influences and life experiences that informed his policies in office. Offering glimpses into life on the famous ranch, Cavazos tells of Christmas parties, cattle work, and schooling.Cavazos describes the high educational expectations his parents held. After service in World War II, Cavazos went to college and earned a doctorate from Iowa State University, launching his career in medical education.Cavazos' career is as interesting as it is inspiring. His memoir joins the ranks of emerging success stories by Mexican Americans that will provide models for aspiring young people today.
LAURO F. CAVAZOS is currently a professor in the department of public health and family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and previously served as its dean. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.