Biography of Dr. Hector P. Garcia
Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Physician and Founder of the American GI Forum of the United States of America.
Born in Mexico, January 17, 1914; Son of Mr. Jose Garcia and Mrs. Faustina Perez Garcia.
Graduate, University of Texas, Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1936. Graduate of the University of Texas School of Medicine-Galveston, Doctor of Medicine, 1940.
Married Wanda Fusillo, June 23, 1945; Children, Daisy, Hector Jr., Adriana Cecilia and Susanna Patricia.
1940-1941, General internship St. Joseph’s Hospital, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska; 1941-1942, Surgical Internship St. Joseph’s Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska..
1942-1946, Served in World War II as an officer in the Infantry; Engineer Corps, and the Medical Corps. Completed military service at the rank of Major in the Medical Corps in the European Theater of Operations, Awarded a Bronze Star Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Medal with 6 Bronze Stars and the World War II Victory Medal.
March 26, 1948, founded the American GI Forum in Corpus Christi, TX; First National Chairman and Founder.
1960, National Coordinator and National Organizer of the “VIVA KENNEDY” Clubs.
1961, Representative of President John F. Kennedy and member of the American Delegation signing treaty concerning Mutual Defense Area Agreement between the United States of America and the Federation of the West Indies.
March 9, 1964, Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as presidential representative with rank of Special Ambassador to the inauguration of Dr. Raul Leoni, President of Venezuela.
March 4, 1967, Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as member of the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity of the United States.
September 1967, Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as Alternate Representative to the United Nations from the United States with the rank of Ambassador.
February 14, 1968, Accompanied Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey and the U.S. Delegation for the signing of the Treaty of Tlalteloco in Mexico City.
November 1968, sworn in as a “COMMISSIONER” of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
May 1969, Humanitarian Award presented by the Corpus Christi Chapter of the NAACP.
February, 1972, named member of the Texas Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
May, 1977, Appointed by President Jimmy Carter as member of the U.S. Circuit Court Judge Nominating Commission for the Western Fifth Circuit Panel.
January 9, 1980, Attended President Jimmy Carter’s High Level Briefing at the White House in reference to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan Crisis.
March 26, 1984, Awarded the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ by President Ronald Reagan at the White House.
February 19, 1985, Honored with naming of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Endowed Chair, Yale University’s Chicano Research Center, New Haven, Connecticut.
September 14, 1988, Honored by the U.S. Postal Service with the Renaming of the Main Post Office in Corpus Christi, Texas.
September 12, 1989, Received the “Hispanic Heritage Award” by the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, Washington, D.C.
October 6, 1989, Received the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” from the University of Texas Ex-Students Association.
May 17, 1990, Received the “Equestrian Order of Pope Gregory the Great” from Pope John Paul II.
April, 1990, Dr. Garcia designated Corpus Christi State University as the institution to house his papers in the Special Collections and Archives Department of the Library.
May 10, 1991, Received Corpus Christi State University’s first “Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree” given by CCSU President Dr. Robert Furgason.
June 1996, The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Plaza and Statue were dedicated at Corpus Christi State University.
1997, Hector P. Garcia Elementary School, Grand Prairie, TX opened.
August 7, 1998 Post humously awarded the “Aquila Azteca” award from the government of Mexico.
1998, Hector P. Garcia Elementary School, Temple, TX opened.
In 1999, Dr. Garcia’s image was placed on the U.S. Treasury’s $75 I Bond series honoring great Americans.
In 2002, public television station KEDT in Corpus Christi, Texas produced a documentary on Dr. Garcia entitled “Justice for My People: The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story”. The program was broadcast nationally on PBS.
December 18, 2007, Congressional Record 110th Congress, Senate, Honoring The Life And Accomplishments of Dr. Hector P. Garcia by John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
2007, the Hector P. Garcia Middle School, Dallas, TX. Opened.
2008, the Major Hector P. Garcia, MD High School opened in Chicago, Illinois.
April, 2008 Texas Highway 286 was named the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Highway.
May 30, 2009 Texas Governor Rick Perry signed SB495 establishing a State Recognition Day to be observed on the third Wednesday of each September.
October, 2009, The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Middle School was dedicated and opened in San Antonio, Texas.
April, 2010, The United States House of Representatives passed H.CON.RES.222, recognizing the leadership and historical contributions of Dr. Hector P. Garcia.
January 2012, Bronze bust of Dr. Garcia was dedicated at the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Public Library, Mercedes, Texas.
2013 Texas Historical Marker unveiled at Dr. Hector P. Garcia Public Library, Mercedes, TX.
January 17, 2014 Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s Official 100th Birthday Celebration observed in Corpus Christi, TX., by the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation.
February 28, 2014 Texas Historical Marker unveiled at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, Corpus Christi, TX.
September 2014, the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center approved by Nueces County Commissioners and Hospital District, to be opened in 2016.
January 13, 2015 Braselton Homes unveils street named Dr. Hector P. Garcia Drive in Rancho Vista subdivision, Corpus Christi, TX.
November 30, 2015 Groundbreaking for the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center.
January 15, 2016 announcement of Dr. Hector P. Garcia being the next recipient of the Points of Light Monument in Washington, D.C.
April 4, 2016 The Inspiring Life of Texan Hector P. Garcia authored by his daughter Cecilia Garcia Akers to be published.
May 20, 2016 Book Talk and Book Signing of The Inspiring Life of Texan Hector P. Garcia and A Donation of 15 Original WWII Photos of Capt. Hector P. Garcia, M.D. to The Veterans History Project at The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
July 26, 2016 Digitization Process Begins of the Garcia Collection Between Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and The History Associates of Maryland
January 16, 2017 Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center opens its doors in Corpus Christi, TX.