Guest post from Jerry Brown. Mario Obledo, a prominent Latino political leader in California, passed away last night at the age of 78. Among his many accomplishments, Obledo served as Jerry's Secretary of Health and Welfare from 1975-1982.
I was very sad to hear the news that Mario Obledo passed away last night. He was an extraordinary person - compassionate, thoughtful and wise.
Mario's career took him from Texas to Harvard to California and beyond. He lived an impressive and deeply meaningful life, and I was fortunate to know him.
When I appointed him Secretary of Health and Welfare in 1975, Mario was already established as a leader in the Latino community and a voice for justice. Mario dedicated his life to helping people and empowering the powerless.
After serving the people of California, he continued to champion the cause of civil rights at the Rainbow Coalition, the National Hispanic Bar Association and the National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations.
Mario earned every award he was given, and then some. I will miss him.