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The Legacy of Congressman Ed Pastor

Legacy of Congressman Ed Pastor

This Hispanic Heritage Month, AARP is proud to honor the life and legacy of Congressman Ed Pastor through our Vivan Las Voces oral history program, capturing the stories of Latinos for future generations to come. Earlier this year, Congressman Pastor’s beloved wife, Verma, and daughter, Laura, sat down with StoryCorps to pay tribute to their husband and father, and his lasting impact on his community. Their memorable conversation has been transformed into a three-minute animation video produced by our program partner, StoryCorps. I am honored to share the Vivan Las Voces animation video celebrating Arizona’s first Latino congressman, Ed Pastor. We hope you enjoy watching!

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Ed Pastor


Arizona’s first Hispanic Congressman

Ed Pastor was born in Claypool, Arizona, the oldest of three children. After high school, Pastor accepted a scholarship to Arizona State University to become the first in his family to attend college, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1966. After graduation, he taught at North High School in Phoenix, but left in 1969 to join a community non-profit as deputy director. Pastor served as vice president of a legal aid society in 1971 and returned to school earning his law degree from the Arizona State College of Law in 1974. After three terms with Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Pastor was sworn into Congress in 1991 where he spent 23 years advocating for the needs of Arizonans.  Immigration and education reform were two of Pastor’s most crucial issues. He spent decades fighting to make the American Dream accessible to everyone, especially our nation’s most vulnerable.  

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