1990 Inductee - Richard P. Lopez

1990 Inductee - Richard P. Lopez

Richard P. Lopez represents one of Stockton’s most prominent citizens who has dedicated his life to the Mexican American Community. Loez, a fighter for Human Rights and great Humanitarian has met with presidents of the United States for the cause of the Mexican American population. Lopez is a man known in this nation, and this state for his humanitarian efforts. Lopez was born in Texas, where he attended Rosebush Elementary School and later attended Schneider Vocational School in Stockton. Lopez served in the United States Merchant Marine admirably, as the first pilot on the Merchang ship William J. Gray. Lopez sacrificed time in his life to serve his patriotic duty to the United States of America.

Richard P. Lopez began his historical national contributions when he was 14 years of age, as he founded the Crystal City Social Club for men and women. Lopez was co-founder of the Sacred Heart Society in Crystal City, Texas. At the age of 20, Lopez founded the movement for human rights in Crystal City, and was named Labor Commissioner of the Great Western Sugar Beet Company of America, after he had founded the Sugar Beet Farm Workers.

The dedication and love Lopez had for the Mexican American continued in Stockton as he founded the Guadalupe Society at St. Mary’s Church; as well as the St. Vincent de Paul Society in 1950. Lopez continued to expand the Guadalupe Society and the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Linus Church in 1954.

If anyone can say “Viva Mexico” and “Viva los Estados Unidos” it would be Richard P. Lopez, for he lived it everyday of his life. His dedication to the city of Stockton was over 4 decades from the 1950's to the 1990's. Lopez started the St. Mary’s Dining room along with Father Doyle in 1954. He was always the one who recognized the struggles and needs of the Mexican American and the less fortunate. Lopez was also co-founder of the Agricultural Workers Association in 1958.

Richard P. Lopez was the co-founder of the local Mexican American Chamber of Commerce; he was one of the founders of the Stockton Community Action Council; the Community Service Organization; also the Credit Union of the CSO. Lopez was the Grand Parade marshall for the Fiestas Patrias Mexicana sponsored by the Comision Honorifica Mexicana. He is currently the commissioner of the Mexican American Human Rights in San Joaquin County.

Richard P. Lopez is indeed one of the outstanding citizens of the United States of America; when he was 16 years of age he had the rare opportunity to meet President Herbert Hoover in 1932.

Lopez received his first commendation for human rights from President Hoover. In 1944, Lopez had a meeting with Vice President Harry S. Truman. He also met with President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia at the presidents’ church.

We are very proud and honored to induct Richard P. Lopez into the Mexican American Hall of Fame.

“The human rights of the Mexican American is my first priority.”
-Richard P. Lopez