Richard Rodriguez, a native of San Francisco, California, is the son of Mexican immigrants. Until he entered school at the age of six, he primarily spoke Spanish. His 1982 memoir Hunger of Memory describes how English language instruction distanced him from his parents’ native culture.

Rodriguez went on to attend Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned a doctorate in English Renaissance literature. He is also the author of Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father (1992) and Brown: The Last Discovery of America;

Rodriguez has served as a contributing editor for Harper’s magazine and a commentator on public television’s MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. He has published numerous articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the American Scholar, Time, Mother Jones, and the New Republic, as well as other publications.

Rodriguez received a 1997 George Foster Peabody Award for his NewsHour Essays on American life. The Peabody Award is designed to recognize “outstanding achievement in broadcast and cable,” and is one of television’s highest honors.

Rodriguez’s awards include the Frankel Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the International Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council of California. He lives in San Francisco.