Esteban Torres

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Esteban Torres
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1999
Preceded byDan Lungren
Succeeded byGrace Napolitano
Personal details
Born(1930-01-27)January 27, 1930
Miami, Arizona, U.S.
DiedJanuary 25, 2022(2022-01-25) (aged 91)
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseArcy Sanchez
EducationEast Los Angeles College
California State University, Los Angeles (BA)
University of Maryland, College Park
American University
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1949–1953
RankSergeant First Class
Battles/warsKorean War

Esteban Edward Torres (January 27, 1930 – January 25, 2022) was an American politician who served as member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 34th congressional district from 1983 to 1999.[1]

Early life[edit]

Torres was born in Miami, Arizona, to parents from Mexico. He was raised in East Los Angeles, California mostly by his mother, Rena Gómez. His father was a miner, but was deported to Mexico during the Mexican Repatriation of the 1930s.[2][3] He graduated from East Los Angeles College and California State University, Los Angeles, and later took graduate courses at the University of Maryland, College Park and American University.[2][4]


He served in the United States Army from 1949 to 1953. Active in the labor movement, he was appointed United States Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France, from 1977 to 1979 and served as a special assistant to President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981.[1]

Torres was unsuccessful in his attempt to win a seat in the House of Representatives in 1974, but was elected in 1982 as a Democrat. He served from 1983 until 1999. During his time in office, he prioritized issue related to Hispanics, and in 1986 he played a key role in the development and passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act.[4]

He did not run for reelection in 1998 and was succeeded by Democrat Grace Napolitano. He served as a member of the California Transportation Commission[5] from 1997 to 2007.

Personal life and death[edit]

Torres and his wife, Arcy Sanchez, had four children. He died on January 25, 2022, two days shy of his 92nd birthday.[2]

Legacy and Awards[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Esteban Torres". Hispanic Americans in Congress. Library of Congress. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Seelye, Katharine Q. (January 29, 2022). "Esteban Torres, Congressional Advocate for Latinos, Dies at 91". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  3. ^ Sierra, José Luis (November 12, 2004). "Chopped Lives". La Opinion. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Vives, Ruben (January 27, 2022). "Esteban Torres, longtime L.A. congressman who championed Latino rights, dies at 91". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  5. ^ "Commissioners". California Transportation Commission (CTC). Archived from the original on September 7, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2006.
  6. ^ "National Directory of Scholarships, Internships, and Fellowships for Latino Youth" (PDF). CHCI: 82. 2002. Retrieved April 22, 2015. The Esteban E. Torres Fellowship, a fellowship for Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government
  7. ^ "Honorary Degrees". Whittier College. 2001.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 34th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Succeeded by