Ignacio E. Lozano

Ignacio E. Lozano

(1886-1953)

When Ignacio Lozano brought his family to the United States, he could not have envi¬ sioned the impact he would have on the cul¬ ture of his adopted country.The only son of six children, Lozano learned responsibility at an early age.

When he was still a youth, his father died, leaving him the only man in the family. In 1910, seeking to escape the escalating turmoil of the Mexican Revolution, Lozano took his mother and five sisters across the border to San Antonio, Texas, which became his permanent home.

Lozano was always interested in journalism, and to help support his family, he began taking odd jobs at Spanish language newspapers. In 1913, he left his job and started his own week¬ ly Spanish language newspaper, called La Prensa. The paper was so successful that he converted it to a daily after just one year.

Eventually, readers in the Hispanic communities of other U.S. cities began to take notice.In particular, La Prensa developed a popular following among the growing Hispanic com¬ munity of Los Angeles. Lozano saw an opportunity there, so on September 16, 1926 (Mexican Independence Day), he started a second paper in Los Angeles—La Opinion.

Lozano remained in San Antonio, where he worked full-time on La Prensa, but he visited Los Angeles frequently to tend to the business of La Opinion. Eventually, he sent his young son, Ignacio Jr., to Los Angeles to run La Opinion as its assistant publisher.

For a long time, La Prensa was still the big¬ ger, more successful paper. With the ever larg¬ er number of Hispanics living in the Los Angeles area, however, La Opinion gradually gained in popularity. During the 1940s, it had a circulation of around 12,000. By 1953, La Opinion had eclipsed La Prensa in circulation and profits.

Although Lozano remained in the United States, he never lost his interest in the affairs of Mexico. Both of his newspapers reflected this interest. Their stories focused primarily on Mexican issues, as opposed to U.S. issues.In the 1950s, the Lozano family sold La Prensa and concentrated its efforts on La Opinion. Eventually, La Prensa went out of business.

Ignacio Lozano died in 1953, at which time Ignacio Jr. took over as publisher. Unlike his father, the younger Lozano was an American citizen and a resident of Los Angeles, and he shifted the emphasis of La Opinion from a Mexican paper in Los Angeles to an American paper in the Spanish language.

Ignacio Jr. retired in 1986, but the Lozano family retained ownership of La Opinion. At the start of the twenty-first century, it was the most widelv read Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, with more than five hundred thousand readers. It celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary in September 2001.