Richard T. Castro

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Richard Thomas Castro
The bust of Richard Castro on display in the Colorado State Capitol Building. The work is by artist Emanuel Martínez.
The bust of Richard Castro on display in the Colorado State Capitol Building. The work is by artist Emanuel Martínez.
Born 1946
Died April 13, 1991 (age 44 or 45)
Occupation Director of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations; Chairman of the West Side Coalition

Richard Thomas Castro (1946 – April 13, 1991), an educational and civil rights activist, was director of Denver's Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations[1] at the time of his death from an aneurysm. In the 1970s, Castro had been the chairperson of the West Side Coalition, a Denver neighborhood organization.[2] During that time, he was the subject of an attempted dynamite attack on his house, allegedly by Chicano radicals associated with Crusade for Justice members.

He was a Colorado state representative, first elected in 1974 at age 25. Castro was an early instructor in what would become the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where he is honored by the Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professorship [3] Castro was an opponent of the proposed "English Only" amendment, "Say it In English."[4]

Castro once said, “Education’s role in our society cannot be minimized...It is quite probably the most critical investment a people can make.”[5]

The Rich Castro Elementary School [6] in Denver is named after him, as is the Richard T. Castro office Building at 1200 Federal Boulevard, Denver. A bust commemorating Castro, sculpted by noted Denver artist Emanuel Martinez, sits in the rotunda of the Colorado state capitol.

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