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Lauro Cavazos, Kingsville native and first Hispanic to serve on Cabinet, dies at 95 years old

Turcotte Piper Mortuary in Kingsville, Texas, is in the process of making arrangements to bring Cavazos' body back to South Texas for funeral services.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Lauro Cavazos, the first Hispanic to hold a Cabinet post in the U.S., died Tuesday in Concord, Mass. He was 95 years old.

Cavazos, was born in Kingsville, Texas, in 1927 and went on to become president of Texas Tech University from 1980-88.

On Aug. 9, 1988, President Ronald Reagan announced that he would nominate Cavazos to be Secretary of Education, a position Cavazos would hold until his resignation in 1990.

Maggie Salinas in the go to person in Kleberg County for all things historical. She remembers Cavazos As a young man growing up in Kingsville. 

"Look what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it," Cavazos said. "So, we should celebrate his life because that's what gave us a lot to be proud of not just because he was a Hispanic person but for our entire community."

Cavazos even wrote a book several years back chronicling his life from the King Ranch to the secretary of education. Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate first met him at his book signing in town. 

"He wrote a book. It's been several years back for five years ago and he was here in Kingsville for a book signing and I had the opportunity to Medium," Fugate said. "He's a great gentleman, a great Texan, and just really, really a great American." 

State senator Juan Chuy Hinojosa also knew Dr. Cavazos and had this to say about his passing.

"We saw him very much take the lead and making sure that not only our teachers but our students had the best education opportunities as possible," Hinojosa said.

3News confirmed Wednesday that Turcotte Piper Mortuary in Kingsville, Texas, is in the process of making arrangements to bring Cavazos' body back to South Texas for funeral services. We'll keep you updated as details of funeral arrangements become available.

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