86 Facts About Henry Cisneros


Henry Gabriel Cisneros was born on June 11,1947 and is an American politician and businessman.


Henry Cisneros served as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, from 1981 to 1989, the second Latino mayor of a major American city and the city's first since 1842.


Henry Cisneros has and continues to serve on corporate boards, as well as chairing and serving on several non-profit boards to promote Latinos and the immigrant population.


Henry Cisneros has authored, edited, or collaborated on several books and is an in-demand public speaker.


The eldest child of George and Elvira Cisneros, Henry Gabriel Cisneros was born in San Antonio, Texas, in a neighborhood that bordered the city's predominantly Mexican west side barrio.


Henry Cisneros was named after his mother's youngest brother who developed Hodgkin's disease at the age of 14 and asked from his deathbed that his sister give his name to her son.


Henry Cisneros is descended on his father's side from early Spanish settlers in New Mexico.


Henry Cisneros's mother was the daughter of Romulo Munguia, a relatively wealthy and well connected Mexican printer and intellectual, and Carolina Malpica Munguia, an educator, radio host, and community activist, who chose to leave Mexico in 1926 after the leftist Mexican Revolution and Cristero War.


Henry Cisneros's father, who came from a family of small farmers who had settled in Colorado after losing their Spanish land grant during the Great Depression was a federal civil servant and later an Army colonel who met Elvira Munguia while he was stationed in San Antonio.


Henry Cisneros received a Catholic school education, first at the Church of the Little Flower, followed by attendance at Central Catholic Marianist High School in San Antonio.


In 1967, through MSC SCONA, Henry Cisneros was selected to attend the annual Student Conference on United States Affairs at West Point where he first learned that US cities were in serious trouble.


Henry Cisneros earned an additional Master's in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1973, studied urban economics and did doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, and received a Doctor of Public Administration from George Washington University in 1976.


Henry Cisneros served as an infantry officer in the Massachusetts Army National Guard while at MIT.


In 1969 Henry Cisneros married his high school sweet heart, Mary Alice Perez.


In 1971, the year his eldest daughter Teresa Angelica was born, Henry Cisneros was honored as a White House Fellow and served as an assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Elliot Richardson.


In 1974, after turning down a professorship at MIT, Henry Cisneros chose to return to San Antonio.


When Henry Cisneros arrived back home, he discovered the old order, stagnant political arena in San Antonio was falling apart and now experiencing a growing socio-ethnic discontent.


Henry Cisneros set himself on a plan to know all he could about life in the city firsthand by emptying garbage cans to learn the problems of the sanitation department, walking a beat with a police officer and administering first aid with ambulance attendants.


Henry Cisneros visited families in public housing units, and promised that their problems would no longer be ignored.


Significantly, in a split vote on the city council on whether to accept a Justice Department order to establish an election plan that would provide more access to the Latino community with direct representation, or challenge the order in court, Henry Cisneros voted to accept the order.


Henry Cisneros was re-elected twice more to the city council in 1977 and 1979 as a representative of San Antonio Council District 1.


Yet at the same time, Henry Cisneros looked forward to building a greater San Antonio and the socially redeeming power that comes with economic growth.


Henry Cisneros served for six years on the City Council before being elected Mayor of San Antonio in 1981.


Henry Cisneros announced himself as an independent candidate for mayor in 1981.


Henry Cisneros's campaigning of hopeful visions for the future of the city was able to unite the wealthy conservatives of San Antonio and the increasingly vocal Mexican American community.


Henry Cisneros was elected with 62 percent of the vote.


Henry Cisneros was reelected to three more terms as mayor by overwhelming margins, including winning an unprecedented 94.2 percent of the vote in 1983, a 73 percent margin of victory in 1985, and 67 percent in 1987.


Henry Cisneros's popularity did not rest with San Antonio's Hispanic community alone, but with all ethnic groups in the area.


Henry Cisneros exercised a developmental expansion strategy that led the city to unprecedented levels of economic and cultural growths.


Henry Cisneros brought federal monies to San Antonio that further developed the downtown business district.


Henry Cisneros courted Fortune 500 companies and technology firms to set up shop locally to create jobs, enlarge the city's reserves with local business taxes, and to cement San Antonio's reputation as a leading city for technology, skilled work and economic output.


Henry Cisneros's efforts brought additional investments to San Antonio, such as luring SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas, two major theme park tourist attractions.


Henry Cisneros paved the way for Pope John Paul II to visit San Antonio during the pontiff's 10-day tour to the United States in September 1987.


Henry Cisneros funneled more than $200 million to the city's long neglected Hispanic west side for streets, gutters, libraries, and parks.


Henry Cisneros's improvements alleviated that area's long standing flooding and drainage problems.


Henry Cisneros was selected to give the highly visible "Platform Presentation" at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco on July 17,1984.


In 1987, Henry Cisneros announced he would not seek a fifth two-year term as mayor and would leave public life after completing his current term as mayor.


Henry Cisneros desired to devote more time with his ailing son, whose doctors had given roughly six years to live and whose life would be filled with major surgeries.


In 1989, Henry Cisneros left public office and became chairman of the Henry Cisneros Asset Management Company, a national asset-management investment firm that managed $550 million in fixed-income accounts.


Henry Cisneros served as deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and until he was named Secretary of HUD, he served as a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation, chairman of the National Civic League and chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Construction of San Antonio's Alamodome.


In 1990, citizens urged Henry Cisneros to run for Governor of Texas, but chose to stay close to home to spend as much time as possible with his family.


The survey saw Henry Cisneros ranked the second-best big-city mayor to serve in office post-1960.


Henry Cisneros turned down an appointment as a US senator from Texas for the seat formerly held by Lloyd Bentsen, who had been nominated as Secretary of the Treasury.


Henry Cisneros was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate and sworn into office by Chief Justice William Rehnquist on January 22,1993.


Henry Cisneros pledged to do everything possible to reform the troubled $28 billion department.


Judith Evans reported in The Washington Post that both critics and supporters of Henry Cisneros said he never lacked passion for his job and that he was able to make changes at the margin that made HUD a more effective housing provider.


Henry Cisneros tapped Andrew Cuomo to serve as an assistant housing secretary, in charge of homelessness.


Henry Cisneros spent an evening touring a shelter and the streets in Washington DC One night in late December 1994, he walked the streets of Minneapolis and St Paul, talking to the homeless and later flopped for the night in a shelter in an effort to understand homelessness firsthand.


HOPE VI was not without controversy, and Henry Cisneros even appeared on Montel Williams' talk show to discuss HUD's plan to raze America's most crime-ridden, dilapidated housing projects and replace them with attractive new homes with modern amenities in mixed-use developments.


Henry Cisneros long contended the decline of public housing projects resulted from massive concentrations of the nation's poorest of poor.


When Henry Cisneros arrived at HUD, the home ownership rate was 63.7 percent.


At the close of his term, Henry Cisneros acknowledged that lower interest rates and a strong economy were primary factors for the increase.


Henry Cisneros successfully resisted efforts to substantially reduce or wholly eliminate the Department.


Henry Cisneros spent countless hours during his four-year tenure pleading the agency's case while Congressional appropriators cut its budget.


Henry Cisneros presented a plan in 1995 to trim the department's budget by $13 billion over five years.


Henry Cisneros greatly eased the bureaucracy to deal with fair housing issues much swifter.


Henry Cisneros took on the unenviable position to completely restructure the HUD bureaucracy.


Henry Cisneros consolidated offices, moved staff from headquarters to field offices and increased management training.


Henry Cisneros reduced the number of agency programs from 240 to 20.


Henry Cisneros took a high-profile role in the cleanup operation after the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake.


In March 1995, US Attorney General Janet Reno bowed to demands of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives and secured the appointment of an Independent Counsel, David Barrett to investigate allegations that Henry Cisneros had lied to FBI investigators during background checks prior to being named Secretary of HUD.


Henry Cisneros had been asked about payments that he had made to former mistress Linda Medlar, known as Linda Jones.


The investigation was based on Henry Cisneros's understating to the FBI the amount of money paid to his former mistress and was continued for 10 years, until in January 2006, when Congress finally refused to continue funding it.


Henry Cisneros said the decision was largely brought on by the mounting legal costs to defend an investigation by special prosecutor David Barrett into allegations he had lied to the FBI about the size of payments he gave his former mistress, Linda Medlar.


Henry Cisneros, who made $148,000 annually in his cabinet position, had tuition bills for a daughter in her third year at New York University law school and another who was a fourth-year student at Stanford, in addition to continued medical care bills for his ailing son.


Medlar had surfaced in 1994 with a breach of contract lawsuit against Henry Cisneros, claiming he had agreed to support her until her daughter's college graduation, but that he had discontinued monthly payments.


Henry Cisneros had made payments to her following the end of their affair, discontinuing them only after taking a pay cut upon returning to public life.


In December 1997, Henry Cisneros was indicted on 18 counts of conspiracy, giving false statements and obstruction of justice.


In September 1999, Henry Cisneros negotiated a plea agreement, under which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI and was fined $10,000.


Henry Cisneros's commitment was to develop homes affordable to the core of America's workers such as police, nurses, teachers and city workers.


Henry Cisneros' continued active involvement in the real estate industry has led to him receiving multiple national honors.


Henry Cisneros was an advisor for the American Democracy Institute; a trustee for the American Film Institute; and Co-Chair of The National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, to name a few.


Henry Cisneros is currently a board member for the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and after-School All-Stars, founded by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in addition to being a member of the Advisory Boards of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation, among others.


Henry Cisneros's most recent collaboration with the late former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, Our Communities, Our Homes: Pathways to Housing and Homeownership in America's Cities and States, is a guide for local leaders in designing comprehensive housing policies.


Henry Cisneros served as a member of the Debt Reduction Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center.


Henry Cisneros is the only former HUD secretary to remain working in housing and urban affairs.


Henry Cisneros received the 2002 National Inner City Leadership Award from the United States Conference of mayors, honoring him for his work in promoting the revitalization of city economies.


Henry Cisneros presently serves as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the recovery effort in New Orleans and as Co-Chair of the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.


Henry Cisneros grew up in a middle class family in San Antonio.


Henry Cisneros is the co-creator of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a group that comes together on a quadrennial basis to present a platform on the major issues facing the Latino community, and the nation as a whole.


Additionally, Henry Cisneros is a co-founder of the New American Alliance, a national organization united to promote the economic advancement of the American Latino community.


Henry Cisneros has spoken to every major Latino group across the US and has served on the boards of numerous Latino organizations.


Henry Cisneros has been honored with many awards and recognitions for his involvement and commitment to Latino issues.


In 2007, Henry Cisneros received the prestigious Maestro Award for Leadership, at the Latino Leaders Summit, hosted by Latino Leaders magazine.


Henry Cisneros said Hispanic immigrants must invest in American society by mastering English, putting their children through school, buying homes, providing their families with health care, and participating enthusiastically in civic, community and religious activities.


Henry Cisneros has a significant history of authoring, co-authoring, editing and contributing to several books and publications, along with speaking, narration and television appearances.