Google honors Denver native Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales who founded the Crusade for Justice

Friday’s Google slide show doodle honors Chicano educator, boxer, poet and activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales.

The slide show is by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist Roxie Vizcarra, according to a Servicios de La Raza news release.

“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,” the release said of Gonzales. “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.”

The slides in the doodle journey through the life of Gonzales, a Denver native, and include lines from his 1967 poem “Yo Soy Joaquin” (“I Am Joaquin”), which became a rallying cry for the Chicano cultural movement.

As a boxer, Gonzales was a former Golden Gloves champ who turned pro at 19 and ended his career in the ring with a 65-9-1 record. He was also active in politics, forming the Crusade for Justice in 1965 and later helping to found La Raza Unida.

A Denver library, the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, 1498 Irving St., is named in his honor. Gonzales died at age 76 in 2005.

Rudolph “Rudy” Gonzales, son of Corky Gonzales, is the executive director of Servicios de La Raza, Colorado’s largest Latino-serving organization, founded in 1972.

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