On Friday, October 1st, Google’s homepage paid tribute to the late Chicano educator.

Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales was a Chicano boxer, poet, political organizer, and activist, as well as one of the many leaders for the Crusade for Justice in Denver, Colorado.

Join us as we explore Rodolfo Corky Gonzales’ life and death.

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Who was Rodolfo Corky Gonzales?

Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales was a Chicano boxer, poet, political organizer, and activist.

According to Britannica, Chicano refers to those of Mexican descent born in the United States.

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Gonzales was one of many leaders for the Crusade for Justice in Denver, Colorado.

The Crusade for Justice was an urban rights and Chicano cultural urban movement during the 1960s focusing on social, political, and economic justice for Chicanos.

Gonzales convened the first-ever Chicano Youth Liberation Conference in 1968 and established what is commonly known as the First Chicano Youth Liberation Conference.

Denver Post via Getty Images

Rodolfo Gonzales was born in Denver, Colorado on June 18th,1928.

Since his youth Gonzales demonstrated a fiery tendency, which caused his uncle to say that “he was always popping off like a cork. So, we called him Corky.” The nickname stuck.

Gonzales had a successful professional boxing career and at one time was ranked as a top-three Featherweight by Ring Magazine. However, he always lost when competing at the highest level and never received a shot at the title. 

He retired from the ring in 1955 after compiling a record of 63 wins, 11 losses, and 1 draw.

Denver Post via Getty Images

In February 1949, at the age of 21, Gonzales married Geraldine Romero.

Gonzales and Romero had eight children, who eventually took on their father’s legacy of the Crusade for Justice.

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Rodolfo Corky Gonzales’ death

Rodolfo Corky Gonzales died of heart failure on April 12th, 2005, at the age of 76.

Gonzales’ work has since been echoed through time.

His famous poem, “Yo Soy Joaquin” (I am Joaquin), has been quoted in protest literature, published in plays, and reprinted in several editions.

Google Doodle pays tribute to late boxer and activist

On Friday, October 1st, Google’s homepage paid tribute to the late Chicano educator.

The Google Doodle is by Brooklyn-based artist Roxie Vizcarra, according to Denver Post.

A Servicios de La Raza press release read: “In addition to being a champion in the boxing ring, he was also a champion for racial and socio-economic justice as one of the most influential leaders of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement.

“On this day (Oct. 1) in 1970, the Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios, founded by Corky and his family, opened its doors as the first private school in United States history with a focus on Chicano/Mexican-American cultural studies.”

You can find more about Google’s tribute here.