Friday, April 12, 2024

Legendary Latino Educator Jaime Escalante Dies

Jaime Escalante, 79, passed away on Tuesday afternoon from cancer. A native of La Paz, Bolivia he was the son of two teachers and came to America in 1963 at age 33.

In 1974 he obtained a job at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles where he encountered low expectations, gang activity and administrative apathy for Latino youth.

He is a legendary figure for his success in overcoming the odds and teaching students to master advanced mathematics including the AP Calculus exam. This catapulted him into fame and even launched the 1988 film, Stand and Deliver, which remains one of the most popular films ever made about the teaching profession.

Edward James Olmos, who played Escalante in Stand and Deliver, said, “Jaime exposed one of the most dangerous myths of our time – that inner city students can’t be expected to perform at the highest levels. Because of him, that destructive idea has been shattered forever. This is a legacy that changed American education, and I will work to ensure that it continues long into the future.

As previously reported in La Plaza , Olmos announced a request for donations to help pay for the cancer treatment for Escalante.

La Plaza

New America Media


  1. An inspiration for us all. I remember watching this movie in math class growing up.

  2. Sad news, he accomplished great things and will be remembered.