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Jerry Apodaca

Born: 10-3-1934

Jerry Apodaca was born in Las Cruces, NM in 1934.

He attended the University of New Mexico earning a Bachelor of Science degree. A veteran of the Marine Corps., Apodaca returned to Las Cruces and opened his own insurance business with his bride, Clara. They would remain married for more than forty years and have five children.

In 1965, Jerry Apodaca was elected to the New Mexico state legislature, where he served terms, 1966--1974. He was elected governor in 1974, the first Hispanic governor in the United States since 1918.

One of the priorities of Governor Apodaca's administration was reorganizing state government. In 1975, Apodaca created a cabinet system with twelve major departments. During his tenure he also consolidated agencies and abolished several boards and commissions.

Governor Apodaca was appointed to a national level position by President Jimmy Carter, who named him Chair of the Presiden'ts Council on Physical Fitness in 1978.

After his term as governor, Apodaca became involved in publishing periodicals targeting Hispanic audiences.He was a founder of Vista Magazine and the first publisher of Hispanic Magazine.

He served on the University of New Mexico Board of Regents.

 

Sources:

Governor Jerry Apodaca Papers, 1975-1978 (official papers)

Governors of the American States, Commonwealths, and Territories, National Governors Association, 1978.

Library of the University of New Mexico

For more information, please contact the New Mexico State Archives at 505.476.7948 or archives@state.nm.us.

(c) National Governors Association.