Tomás Rivera

Born Dec 22, 1935

Tomás Rivera was a Chicano author, poet, and educator. He was born in Texas to migrant farm workers, and worked in the fields as a young boy. However, he achieved social mobility through education—earning a degree at Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State University), and later a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) at the University of Oklahoma—and came to believe strongly in the virtues of education for Mexican-Americans.… Read More

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1935 Birth Rivera was born on December 22, 1935, in Crystal City, Texas, to Spanish-speaking, migrant farmworkers, Florencio and Josefa Rivera. … Read More


1956 20 Years Old …  Rivera worked as a field labourer until 1956; at this point he was enrolled in Southwest Texas Junior College and the school would not permit him to miss class. … Read More
Rivera graduated with a degree in English from the Southwest Texas State University in 1958 and taught English and Spanish at secondary schools from 1957 to 1965. … Read More
1964 28 Years Old At the same school, Rivera earned a M.Ed. in Educational Administration in 1964. … Read More


1969 33 Years Old By 1969, Rivera had received a Ph.D. in Romance languages and Literature, as well as a M.A. in Spanish literature, both from the University of Oklahoma.
1971 35 Years Old Upon completing his Ph.D., Rivera taught as an associate professor at Sam Houston State University until 1971. … Read More
1973 37 Years Old In 1973, he was appointed an associate dean and in 1975 became a vice-president.


1978 42 Years Old He became the executive vice president of the University of Texas at El Paso in 1978.
1979 43 Years Old Rivera worked as corporate officer of the Times Mirror Company before leaving to become chancellor of the University of California, Riverside in 1979, a position he held until his death in 1984. … Read More
1984 48 Years Old Rivera died May 16, 1984 in his Fontana home. … Read More
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