Hispanic Heritage Month:
October 9, 2013
Name: Cristina Saralegui
Occupation: Talk Show Host, Actress, Journalist
Birth: Jan. 29, 1948
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
To many, Cristina Saralegui is the Latina Oprah. Her talk show, El Show de Cristina, debuted in 1989 with Ms. Saralegui as host and executive producer. The show went off the air in 2009, but not before receiving 11 Emmy Awards. The show covered controversial topics, but it also provided information on personal and health subjects often avoided in Hispanic communities, such as domestic violence and AIDS.
On the show, Ms. Saralegui demonstrated how to use condoms, talked about her menopause symptoms, and married gay couples. The latter drew bomb threats and 1,500 protesters to her Miami studio, according to Time magazine. In September 2005, she received the Valor Award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in recognition of her support of LBTG issues as well as AIDS awareness and education, according to her website.
Ms. Saralegui has served as the Hispanic spokeswoman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and later, with her husband, established the Arriba La Vida/Up With Life foundation to raise awareness about AIDS in the Hispanic community.
Ms. Saralegui, a supporter of President Obama, declared she was going to do everything she could to get him reelected, according to Biography.com. She made a video supporting the president, and said that Mr. Obama has worked hard for the Hispanic community and praised his work on health care and education. She was later invited to speak at the National Democratic Convention in North Carolina.