List of Spanish Americans

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This is a list of notable Americans of Spanish descent, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

There are also many people in the United States of Hispanic "national" origin, (e.g.: Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans and Puerto Rican Americans) or other Latin Americans, who ultimately trace all of their heritage back to Spain and form part of the ethnic "Spanish American"- population (In the census of 2010 more than 26 million Hispanic and Latino Americans reported having Spanish ancestors).

The list also includes many settlers and descendants of Spanish settlers who lived in the Spanish colonies south of the current U.S. when those territories were incorporated into U.S. and to his inhabitants were given the U.S. citizenship (Louisiana is incorporated in 1803, Florida in 1819, and the Southwest was incorporated in 1848).

This list is ordered by surname within section.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Spanish American or must have references showing they are Spanish American and are notable.


Artists and designers[edit]


  • Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba - (1795 - 1874) was a wealthy New Orleans-born aristocrat, businesswoman and real estate developer, and one of the most dynamic personalities of that city's history.
  • John Arrillaga - real estate businessman.
  • Bisila Bokoko is a Spanish-born American businesswoman, entrepreneur, speaker and philanthropist.
  • John Casablancas - (December 12, 1942 — July 20, 2013) American modeling agent and scout. He is credited for developing the concept of supermodel. His parents were Spanish, having escaped of Spain during the Spanish Civil War.[9]
  • Joe A. Guerra - (1934 – 2010) was a businessman and a Republican political activist in Laredo, Texas.
  • Manuel Lisa - (1772, New Orleans - 1820), was a Spanish fur trader, explorer, and United States Indian agent. He was among the founders in St. Louis of the Missouri Fur Company, an early fur trading company, and he was also the first settlers of Nebraska.[10]
  • Frank Lorenzo - Airline executive who founded Continental Airlines. He is of Spanish parents.[11]
  • Edward L. Romero - Entrepreneur and American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra in 1998. His family was descended in part of the Spanish settlers who arrived to New Mexico in 1598.[12]
  • Frank Stephenson - American automobile designer. He is son of a Norwegian father and a Spanish mother.[13]
  • Andy Unanue - former vice president of Goya Foods
  • Joseph A. Unanue - Served 27-year tenure as president of Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States
  • Rodolfo Valentin - New York City hairdresser and entrepreneur, to Italian and Spanish parents.
  • Vicente Martinez Ybor (September 7, 1818 - December 14, 1896) was a Spanish-American industrialist and Cuban cigar manufacturer.[14]


Screenwriter, Directors and Producers of film and television[edit]

Actors and actresses[edit]

Emilio Estevez with father Martin Sheen at the premiere of The Way.[77]



  • Jhené Aiko - American singer-songwriter and recording artist. Her father is African-American, maternal grandfather is Japanese-American, maternal grandmother is Spanish and Afro-Dominican.
  • Esperanza Spalding - jazz singer and composer.[96]
  • David Archuleta - father of Spanish (Basque) descent.
  • Leonardo Balada - Spanish composer.
  • Cedric Bixler-Zavala - Rock singer of predominantly European descent has Spanish ancestry from father.
  • Fortunio Bonanova - (1895 – 1969), who was a baritone singer and a film, theater, and television actor. He occasionally worked as a producer and director.
  • Eduardo Cansino, Sr. - (1895–1968) Flamenco dancer and Spanish actor. Father of Rita Hayworth.
  • Julian Casablancas - The vocalist and songwriter of the New York band The Strokes.[97]
  • Al Cisneros - American musician from San Jose, California. He is the singer and bassist for the legendary stoner metal band Sleep
  • Nichole Cordova - is a singer and dancer. Cordova is a member of the musical group Girlicious.
  • Darren Criss - American actor, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. His Philippine mother is of Spanish partial descent.[30]
  • Xavier Cugat (1900–1990) - Conductor, American Catalan artist and entrepreneur. He was a key figure in the spread of Latin music in the United States popular music.[98]
  • Charo - Spanish-American actress, comedian and Flamenco guitarist. She is best known for her exuberant stage presence and provocative outfits.
  • Chick Corea - American jazz and fusion pianist, keyboardist, and composer. He is of southern Italian and Spanish descent.[99][100]
  • Jonny Diaz - American contemporary Christian pop artist and brother of Matt Diaz. His grandfather who had emigrated from Barcelona.[101]
  • Vernon Duke - (1903 - 1969) American composer/songwriter, born into a noble family of mixed Georgian-Austrian-Spanish-Russian descent, en Belarus.
  • Gloria Estefan - Mothers parents were born in Pola de Siero, Asturias and Logroño, La Rioja, Spain .[102][103]
  • Joe Falcón - (1900 - 1965) American accordionist descendant of Cajuns and Spanish settlers (Isleños) of Louisiana. He was the first person recording a song and a Cajun music album.
  • Lilian García is an American singer and ring announcer born in Spain. Spanish descent via Puerto Rico.
  • Jerry Garcia - Guitarist and singer for the Grateful Dead. Father was born in La Coruña, Spain.[104]
  • Synyster Gates - American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist of the band Avenged Sevenfold. He is of Spanish and German descent.
  • Claudio S. Grafulla - (1812–1880) Spanish-born composer in the United States during the 19th Century, most noted for martial music for regimental bands during the early days of the American Civil War
  • Emilio de Gogorza - (1874 – 1949) American baritone.
  • Safeway Goya - Singer of The Nobodys, who released an album on Capitol Records and EMI International August 8, 1984.
  • Scott Herren - music producer. His father is Catalan and his mother is Irish and Cuban.[105]
  • Eric Himy - American-born classical pianist of French-Spanish-Moroccan descent
  • Julio Iglesias - Spanish singer with American citizenship.
  • Enrique Iglesias - Grammy Winning Spanish pop singer songwriter. Spanish father (Julio Iglesias) and Spanish Filipina mother (Isabel Preysler)
  • José Iturbi - (1895–1980) was a Spanish conductor, harpsichordist and pianist.
  • Jeanette (singer) - London-born, American-raised singer. She is of Canarian and Maltese descent.[106]
  • Mila J - American singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer from Los Angeles, California. Her father is African-American, maternal grandfather is Japanese-American, maternal grandmother is Spanish and Afro-Dominican. She is the sister of Jhené Aiko.
  • Chris Kirkpatrick - American singer, dancer, and voice actor who is best known as a founding member of the pop group 'N Sync. He is of Irish, Scottish, Spanish and Indian descent.
  • Joseph Lacalle - (1860 - 1937) Spanish born American clarinetist, composer, conductor and music critic.
  • Kirstin Maldonado – American singer. Her mother is Spanish-Italian
  • Jim Martin (b. 1961), former guitarist of Faith No More
  • Bruno Mars - American singer-songwriter and record producer. Mars' mother immigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines as a child, and is of Filipino and some Spanish descent. Mars' father is of Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi Jewish descent.[107][108]
  • Mikaila - American singer of French, Mexican (Aztec) and Spanish descent.
  • Chino Moreno - American musician. He is children to a Spanish-Mexican father and a Spanish/Chinese mother;[109]
  • Alcide Nunez - (1884–1934) Isleño American jazz clarinetist.
  • Robert Nunez - Isleño American jazz clarinetist and grandson of Alcide Nunez.
  • Kenny Ortega - Emmy-award winning producer, director and choreographer. Most known for directing the High School Musical series and Michael Jackson's This Is It. Spanish grandparents.[110]
  • Franky Perez - American musician best known as a solo artist, singer of Finnish Cello based rock band Apocalyptica. Son of Spanish and Cuban immigrants.
  • Irvan Perez - (1923–2008) Isleño singer.[111]
  • Manuel Perez (musician) (1871–1946), American cornetist and bandleader born into a Creole of Color family of Spanish, French and African descent.
  • Achille Rivarde - (1865 – 1940) was an American-born British violinist and teacher.
  • Andy Russell (September 16, 1919 – April 16, 1992) American popular vocalist to Mexican parentes of Spanish descent.
  • Jessica Sanchez - American singer-songwriter
  • Paul Sanchez - American guitarist and a singer-songwriter. He was a founding member of the New Orleans band Cowboy Mouth, guitarist and one of the primary singers and songwriters for the band from 1990 to 2006. His father was an Isleño of Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana.
  • Matthew Santos - rock and folk singer-songwriter, musician and painter, father of part-Spanish descent.[112]
  • Carly Simon - American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. Her mother is of Spanish and half Swiss descent.
  • Lucy Simon - American composer for the theatre and popular songs. Sister of Carly Simon.
  • Joanna Simon (mezzo-soprano) - Sister of Carly and Lucy Simon.
  • Mariee Sioux - American folk singer-songwriter. Her father Gary Sobonya is a mandolin player of Polish and Hungarian descent, and her mother Felicia is of Spanish, Paiute, and Indigenous Mexican descent.
  • John Philip Sousa (1854 –1932) American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches. His father was of Portuguese and Spanish ancestry. [113][114][115]
  • Anton Torello - Catalan born American double bass player.
  • Camile Velasco - Filipino American singer and came in ninth place on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series, American Idol. She is of Irish, Spanish, and Filipino descent.[116]
  • Jaci Velasquez - she descends of Spanish and Mexican settlers in Texas and French, Scottish, and Arabs immigrants.[117]
  • Camille Zamora - American soprano, Spanish ancestry on her father's side


  • Corky Ballas - American retired competitive ballroom dancer who holds several Latin dance championship titles. He was the son of George Ballas.
  • Mark Ballas - American dancer, son of Corky Ballas.
  • María Benítez - American dancer, choreographer and director in Spanish dance and flamenco
  • Carmencita - Spanish-born American-style dancer in American pre-vaudeville variety and music-hall ballet
  • Joaquín De Luz - Spanish ballet dancer. He was formerly with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and currently, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet (NYCB).


  • Barry Alvarez - American football coach. His grandparents immigrated to the United States from Northern Spain.[118]
  • Lyle Alzado - (1949 – 1992) was a professional American football defensive end of the National Football League. His father is of Italian-Spanish descent.[119]
  • Jonathan Borrajo - American soccer player of Spanish parents.[120]
  • Gene Brito - (1925 – 1965) was an American football Defensive end in the National Football League. He was of Spanish and Mexicans parents.
  • Pete Carril - American former basketball coach.
  • Carlos Condit - American mixed martial artist
  • Matt Diaz - American professional baseball outfielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. His brother is Jonny Diaz. His grandfather who had emigrated from Barcelona.[101]
  • Mary Joe Fernández - Professional tennis player and two-time Olympic gold medal winner. Father from Spain.[121]
  • Santiago Formoso - Spanish-American soccer defender who spent five seasons in the North American Soccer League.
  • Lefty Gomez - Born Vernon Louis Gomez, New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher.[122]
  • Keith Hernandez - MVP-winning baseball player, grandfather from Málaga, Spain.
  • Manuel Hernandez - Spanish-American soccer player. Born in Spain.
  • Chris Gimenez - American professional baseball catcher for the Oakland Athletics
  • Al Lopez - Hall-of-Fame baseball player and manager. Spanish parents.[123]
  • Mike Lowell - Puerto Rican former professional baseball third baseman in Major League Baseball. His parents were born in Cuba, and are of Irish and Spanish ancestry.
  • Malia Jones - American model and surfer. She is of Spanish-Filipino partially descent.[124]
  • David López-Zubero - Former college and international swimmer who competed in three Summer Olympics and won an Olympic bronze medal.
  • Martin López-Zubero - American born, Spanish Olympian swimmer with dual-citizenship. His father is Spanish[125]
  • Saoul Mamby - former professional boxer of Spanish and Jamaica descent.[126]
  • Alec Martinez - American professional ice hockey player. His paternal grandfather is Spanish. [127]
  • Rachel McLish - American female bodybuilding champion, actress and author. Her father was of Spanish ancestry.[128]
  • Kimmie Meissner - Former competitive figure skater. Her maternal great-grandparents were Spanish immigrants (great-grandfather was from Galicia).[129]
  • Midajah - American personal trainer, fitness model and former professional wrestling manager. He is the eldest of four children and is of Norwegian, Irish, Spanish, and French descent.
  • Lou Molinet - (1904–1976) was the first Hispanic-American professional football player to play in the National Football League.
  • Lou Piniella - Baseball player and manager, Asturian grandparents [130]
  • Hernando Planells - Assistant coach of the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League and former head coach of the Basketball Japan League (BJ) team Ryukyu Golden Kings.
  • Glenn Jacobs - Wrestler WWE. He was born in Madrid, Spain.[131]
  • Augusto Perez - former wheelchair curler.
  • Tony La Russa - Baseball player and manager, born to Spanish and Italian parents in Ybor City in Tampa Florida.[132]
  • Ralph Onis - (1908 in Tampa, Florida – 1995), was a professional baseball.
  • Jack Del Rio - American head coach of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL), to a father of Spanish and Italian descent.[133]
  • Rich Rodriguez - Arizona head football coach.[134]
  • Fabri Salcedo - (1914 in Santander, Cantabria, Spain – 1985 in Rochelle Park, New Jersey) soccer forward.
  • Wendy Lucero-Schayes - American former Olympic diver.
  • Craig Torres (bodybuilder)
  • Benny Urquidez - kickboxer, martial arts choreographer and actor. His father is descended from Basque Spaniards and Blackfoot Amerindians[135]
  • Alejandro Villanueva - offensive tackle, Pittsburgh Steeleers. Parents were born in Spain.
  • Minh Vu - American soccer player of Spanish and Vietnamese descent.
  • Ted Williams - (1918 – 2002) American professional baseball player, manager, and World War II and Korean War veteran. His mother was of Spanish (Basque), Russian, and American Indian descent.[136]

Military (excluding those who also were governors and politicians)[edit]

Confederate General G. T. Beauregard
Union Admiral David Farragut

Governors and politicians[edit]

Sheriff, police, Texas Ranger and lawyers[edit]

  • Eugene W. Biscailuz (1883-1969) - Sheriff of Los Angeles County. His mother was descended from old Spanish settlers of California.
  • Tony Bouza - 40-year veteran of municipal police, serving as Minneapolis police chief from 1980 to 1989. He was born in Spain[165]
  • Alex Ferrer - American television personality, lawyer, and retired judge who presides as the arbiter on Judge Alex.
  • Manuel T. Gonzaullas (July 4, 1891 – February 13, 1977) Spanish born American Texas Rangers captain and a staff member of the Texas government.
  • Rafael Piñeiro – Spanish-born American who served as First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
  • Manuel Real - judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.[166]
  • Tomas Avila Sanchez (1826-1882), American soldier, sheriff and public official, was on the Los Angeles County, California, Board of Supervisors and was a member of the Los Angeles Common Council, the legislative branch of the city. He was descendant of Spanish settlers.
  • Michael G. Santos - American prison consultant, author of several books about prison, a professor of criminal justice, and an advocate for criminal justice reform. Santos is the son of a Cuban immigrant father and a mother of Spanish descent. [167]

Journalists and Reporters[edit]

  • Anderson Cooper - TV News Reporter. Of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Spanish and Dutch descent.
  • Krystal Fernandez - American sports journalist.
  • Bill Gallo - (1922 - 2011) Cartoonist and newspaper columnist for the New York Daily News.[168]
  • Steve Lopez - American journalist who has been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times since 2001. He is the son of Spanish and Italian immigrants.
  • Suzanne Malveaux - TV News Reporter. She comes from a Creole family in Louisiana of French, Spanish and African origin.[169]
  • Craig Rivera - American television journalist, producer, and correspondent for Fox News Channel. His father was a Puerto Rican of Sephardic Jew descent.
  • Sebastian Junger - American journalist, most famous for the best-selling book The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea (1997)
  • Geraldo Rivera - American lawyer, journalist, writer, reporter and talk show host. His father was of Puerto Rican Sephardic Jew ancestry. He is brother of Craig Rivera.[170][171]
  • Rosana Ubanell - Spanish-born American naturalized news journalist and the first Spanish language novelist to ever be published by Penguin Books

Novelist, poets and cartoonists of comic books[edit]

Cartoonist Sergio Aragonés
  • Alberto Acereda - Writer, professor of Spanish language and literature in USA and Spanish author of numerous articles on politics and op-eds in several European and American newspapers.
  • Mercedes de Acosta - (1893–1968) Poet and playwright, also known for her lesbian affairs with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.[172]
  • Felipe Alfau (1902–1999) - Catalan novelist and poet.
  • Jaime de Angulo - (1887–1950) was a linguist, novelist, and ethnomusicologist in the western United States. He was born in Paris of Spanish parents.
  • Estelle Anna Lewis - (1824 – 1880) was a United States poet and dramatist. She was of English and Spanish descent.
  • Sergio Aragonés - cartoonist and Spanish writer known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and creator of the comic book Groo the Wanderer."[173]
  • José Argüelles (1939 – 2011)- American New Age author and artist. His father was Spanish.
  • Ivan Argüelles - American poet and brother of Jose Argüelles.
  • Alexander Argüelles - American linguist and son of Ivan Argüelles.
  • Hilario Barrero - Spanish poet and teacher.[174]
  • Stephen Vincent Benét (July 22, 1898 – March 13, 1943) American author, poet, short story writer, and novelist.
  • Jessica Hagedorn - Filipino-American playwright, writer, poet, storyteller, musician, and multimedia performance artist, to a Scots-Irish-French-Filipino mother and a Filipino-Spanish father.
  • Amber L. Hollibaugh - American writer, film-maker and political activist. She is the daughter of a Romany father of Spanish descent and an Irish mother.[175]
  • Andrew Jolivétte - American author and lecturer of Spanish partially descent.
  • Lorraine C. Ladish - American author of American and Spanish descent.
  • Odón Betanzos Palacios (1925–2007) - poet, novelist and Spanish literary critic.[176]
  • Carmen M. Pursifull - English-language free verse poet and former New York City Latin dance and Latin American music figure in the 1950s. She is of Puerto Rican and Spanish descent.[177]
  • Anaïs Nin - Born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, was an American author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in France, where she was also raised.
  • George Rabasa - American writer and author
  • Matthew Randazzo V - American true crime writer and historian. He is of Sicilian-American, Isleño, and Cajun descent.[178]
  • George Santayana- (1863–1952) Spanish born, philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist.
  • Jose Yglesias - (November 29, 1919 – November 7, 1995) was an American novelist and journalist. Yglesias was born in the Ybor City section of Tampa, Florida, and was of Cuban and Spanish descent. His father was from Galicia.
  • Rafael Yglesias - Rafael Yglesias (born May 12, 1954, New York) is an American novelist and screenwriter. His parents were the novelists Jose Yglesias and Helen Yglesias.

Ranchers and Landowners[edit]


Scholars, Professors and academics[edit]

  • Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004) scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. She descendant of many of the prominent Basque and Spanish explorers and settlers to come to the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Ángel Cabrera (academic) - Spanish academic and sixth President of George Mason University.
  • Ernest Fenollosa - (1853–1908) American professor of philosophy and political economy at Tokyo Imperial University.
  • Jorge Ferrer - Chair of the department of East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
  • Karl Hess (1923 – 1994) was an American speechwriter and author. He was of German and Spanish descent.
  • Juan José Linz - (24 December 1926 – 1 October 2013) was a Spanish sociologist and political scientist.
  • Andrew Jolivétte - American author and lecturer who is employed at San Francisco State University as an associate professor in American Indian Studies and an instructor in Ethnic Studies, Educational Leadership, and Race and Resistance Studies.
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin - (born June 17, 1962, Cabrera de Mar, Barcelona, Catalonia Spain) Catalan-American professor of economics at Columbia University.
  • Carlos Fernández-Pello - Spanish-born faculty member of the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Juan Bautista Rael - (1900–1993) Nuevomexicano ethnographer, linguist, and folklorist who was a pioneer in the study of the Nuevomexicanos, his stories and his language, both from Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

Scientists, inventors and engineers[edit]

  • Michael Lopez-Alegria - Spanish-American astronaut. Holds American record for most EVA hours (spacewalks or moonwalks). Born in Madrid.[185]
  • Luis F. Alvarez - (1853 – 1937) Developed diagnosis for macular leprosy
  • Luis W. Alvarez - (1911 – 1988) Nobel Prize-winning physicist and key participant in the Manhattan Project
  • Walter Alvarez - Geologist who first proposed the asteroid-impact theory to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs
  • Walter C. Alvarez - (1884 – 1978) American doctor of Spanish descent. He authored several dozen books on medicine, and wrote introductions and forewords for many others. Referred to as "America's Family Doctor" for his syndicated medical column in hundreds of newspapers.
  • Francisco J. Ayala - Biologist and philosopher, recipient of the 2010 Templeton Prize; born in Madrid
  • Isador Coriat - (1875 – 1943) was an American psychiatrist and neurologist. He was one of the first American psychoanalysts. He was of Moroccan-Spanish descent on father's side and German on mother's side.[186]
  • Pedro Cuatrecasas American biochemist and an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology & Medicine at the University of California, San Diego
  • Frank J. Duarte - Laser physicist and author
  • Valentin Fuster - Catalan American cardiologist
  • Rodolfo Llinás - Professor of Neuroscience and Chairman of the department of Physiology & Neuroscience at the NYU School of Medicine. Born in Bogotá (Colombia), with Spanish grandfather
  • Miguel A. Sanchez – Spanish-born American board-certified pathologist who specializes in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology and cytopathology.
  • Severo Ochoa - (1905 – 1993) Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who worked on the synthesis of RNA
  • Ramón Verea - (1833 - 1899) Spanish journalist, engineer and writer. Inventor of a calculator with an internal multiplication table
Particle physicist Luis Alvarez
Laser physicist Frank Duarte

Philanthropists, activists, revolutionaries, community leaders[edit]

  • Helene Hagan - Moroccan born American anthropologist and Amazigh activist. She is of Berber and Catalan descent.
  • Yasmin Aga Khan - philanthropist with Spanish blood from her mother, Rita Hayworth.
  • Juan Bautista Mariano Picornell y Gomila - (1759–1825) Spanish-born Revolutionary.
  • Concepción Picciotto - also known as Conchita or Connie, Spanish-born American that has lived in Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. on the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, in a peace camp across from the White House, since August 1, 1981, in protest of nuclear arms
  • Alberto Rivera - (1935 – 1997) Canarian-born American anti-Catholic religious activist who was the source of many of fundamentalist Christian author Jack Chick's conspiracy theories about The Vatican.
  • Tony Serra - American civil rights lawyer, activist and tax resister from San Francisco.
  • Andrea Heinemann Simon - (1909 - 1994) was a community leader and the mother of award-winning singer, Carly Simon. She is of Spanish-Swiss descent.


See also[edit]


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