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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Maria Elena Salinas - Journalist and Advocate

Maria Elena Salinas is the longest running female news anchor on U.S. television, and is the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. She has been referred to as the "Voice of Hispanic America" by the New York Times, and she has interviewed more world leaders, dictators, and political figures than any other female journalist.

Salinas was born in 1954 to Mexican immigrant parents in Los Angeles, California. As a child, she lived in Mexico for 7 years. Salinas began her journalistic career in television as a reporter for KMEX-34 in Los Angeles in 1981. Her insightful reporting quickly earned her the credibility that would lead her to assume the anchor chair of the national Spanish language program, "Noticiero Univision" in 1987, a position she held until the end of 2017. In 2017–2018, she hosted two seasons of the English-language crime program, "The Real story with Maria Elena Salinas" on Investigation Discovery. In March 2022, she became a contributor for ABC News.

Salinas is committed to empowering Latinos to transform their lives and communities. She uses advocacy journalism to empower countless individuals on subjects such as health issues, education, and civic engagement, to name a few. In addition to her journalism career, Salinas has served as the spokeswoman for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) for nearly two decades to encourage engagement in the political and civic process.

Salinas has received numerous awards throughout her career including a Peabody Award for her work with NALEO; a Walter Cronkite Award and Gracies Award for her documentary special "Entre el abandono y el rechazo" (Between Abandonment and Rejection), a news special on the plight of Central American children fleeing their countries for a better life in the United States; the Intrepid Award from the National Organization of Women; and an award from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund. She is another example of "Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America." 

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