Dennis Raphael Garcia and Ernie Garcia to Speak at Dole Center of Politics

Marine, Public Servant, Kansan: The Life of Ernest Garcia author Dennis Raphael Garcia and book subject Ernie Garcia will speak at the Robert J. Dole Center of Politics this Thursday, October 17, at 3:00 pm.

For Ernest “Ernie” Garcia, the American dream began in Mexico more than a hundred years ago. Ernie, raised in Kansas, became the US Senate sergeant at arms and escorted President Ronald Reagan to the podium to deliver the State of the Union address. After the president’s speech, Ernie reflected on his family’s long and arduous journey from Zacatecas to El Paso to Kansas as well as on his presence in the Capitol alongside the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court. He was certain his ancestors never imagined that their dreams would lead him to the White House.

Dennis Raphael Garcia, cousin of Ernest, is a retired attorney and teacher. Formerly a Kansan, he now lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Marine, Public Servant, Kansan: The Life of Ernest Garcia recently took first place in the biography category at the 2019 International Latino Book Awards.

The International Latino Book Awards is a major reflection that the fastest growing group in the USA has truly arrived. The Awards are now by far the largest Latino cultural Awards in the USA and with the 261 finalists this year in 95 categories, it has now honored the greatness of 2,897 authors and publishers over the past two decades. The size of the Awards is proof that books by and about Latinos are in high demand. In 2019 Latinos will purchase over $725 million in books in English and Spanish.

The 2019 Finalists for the 21st Annual International Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos. About a third of the winners were from major U.S. and int’l publishers, a third from medium sized publishing houses, and a third were from small publishing houses or even self published. In order to handle this large number of books, the Awards had 227 judges in 2019. The judges shared how hard it was because there are now so many great books being published. Judges included librarians, educators, media professionals, leaders of national organizations, Pulitzer Prize Winners, and even elected officials. The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Finalists are from across the USA and Puerto Rico, as well as from 18 other countries.

The Awards are produced by Latino Literacy Now, a nonprofit organization co-founded in 1997 by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler. The Awards Ceremony was held September 21, 2019 in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles City College.