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Photo: Dale Robbins

María Elena Salinas

Journalist, News Anchor

María Elena Salinas is the best-known Latina journalist in the United States. Teamed with Jorge Ramos since 1988, she co-anchors Univision’s highly-rated evening newscast Noticiero Univision (broadcast in the U.S. and in 13 Latin American Countries), and co-hosts Aqui y Ahora, a broadcast news magazine.

Salinas was born in Los Angeles to parents who immigrated from Mexico. She began her journalism career in 1981 as a reporter for KMEX-34 television, a Spanish-language TV station in L.A. Despite being told Latino assimilation would end any use for Spanish-language television in the U.S., Salinas still saw a need for covering the Hispanic community in America. Since then, she has watched  that community grow from 14 million to more than 50 million, and  has helped Univision become a major media player.

Salinas has interviewed every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter, and has scored interviews with dozens of Latin American heads of state, rebel leaders, and dictators. In 2007 she co-hosted, on Univision, the first ever Spanish-language Democratic and Republican presidential candidate forums. Salinas’ work has earned her many journalistic awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings, and five Emmy Awards. In 2012, she and Ramos received the prestigious Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to her work on television, Salinas is a radio analyst, a syndicated columnist, and author of a 2006 memoir titled I Am My Father’s Daughter: Living A Life Without Secrets. Salinas helped found the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and launched a scholarship for Hispanic students interested in pursuing careers in Spanish-language media. Salinas lives in Miami and is the mother of two daughters.