24 Facts About Anthony Romero


Anthony Romero assumed the position in 2001 as the first Latino and openly gay man to do so.

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Anthony Romero spent the initial years of his childhood growing up in a public housing project in the Bronx.

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Anthony Romero's father worked as a houseman at a large Manhattan hotel and was repeatedly turned down for a more financially lucrative job as a banquet waiter, being told that it was because he did not speak English well enough.

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Demetrio Anthony Romero later decided to seek assistance from the attorney of the labor union he belonged to, hoping to file a grievance against his employer.

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Anthony Romero won the case, which allowed for him to seek out better paying work and later allowed for the family to improve their standard of living.

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Anthony Romero was the first member of his family to graduate from high school.

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Anthony Romero received his B A degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1987, having written a senior thesis titled "Colombian Migration and Political Participation in the United States".

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Anthony Romero later received a JD from Stanford University Law School in 1990.

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Anthony Romero was a Dinkelspiel Scholar at Stanford University, a Cane Scholar at Princeton, and a National Hispanic Scholar at both institutions.

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Anthony Romero started his career at the Rockefeller Foundation, notably leading a foundation review that helped determine future directions in civil rights advocacy.

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In 1992, Anthony Romero began working for the Ford Foundation, initially serving as a program officer in the Civil Rights and Social Justice Program.

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Anthony Romero became executive director in September 2001, just before the September 11,2001 attacks.

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Anthony Romero is the first openly gay man and the first Hispanic director of the civil liberties institution.

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Shortly thereafter, Anthony Romero helped to establish the John Adams Project, in collaboration with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to assist the under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantanamo military commissions.

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ACLU's massive growth under Anthony Romero's leadership allowed for the organization to expand its activities with regard to racial justice, religious freedom, privacy rights, reproductive freedom, and LGBT rights.

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In 2008, Anthony Romero spoke at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC, advocating for the legality of abortion.

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In 2016, Anthony Romero co-signed a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calling for a more humane drug policy, along with people like Eve Ensler, Norman Lear, and Ernesto Zedillo.

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In 2002, Anthony Romero signed a consent decree the New York Attorney General at the time, Eliot Spitzer, to settle a privacy breach that had been discovered on the ACLU website.

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However, as designated in the decree, Anthony Romero was required to distribute the decree itself to the national ACLU board within 30 days.

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In 2004, Anthony Romero received criticism for signing two agreements without the consent or approval of the larger ACLU leadership council.

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On June 26,2011, Anthony Romero was charged with a DWI after being seen "careening into oncoming traffic" by police.

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In 2011, Anthony Romero received the "Maggie" Award, highest honor of the Planned Parenthood Federation, in tribute to their founder, Margaret Sanger.

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Anthony Romero was featured in the HBO documentary The Latino List.

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Anthony Romero is the recipient of the 2020 Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University.

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