East LA Community Leader Richard S. Amador Sr. Dies At 75

Richard S. Amador Sr., founder of the CHARO organization, a non-profit organization that aided the Latino community in East Los Angeles passed away on September 19 in the L.A. suburb of Monterey Park.

According to Amador’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times, he was the son of migrant farm workers, raised in the fields of San Joaquin Valley in California, who later worked with Lyndon B. Johnson’s Office of Economic Opportunity, which we would later leave to start his own organization, CHARO Community Development Corp.

Before being forced to shut down due to the recession and lack of government funding, CHARO had a great impact on the Latino Community in East L.A. as the Los Angeles Times notes:

By the time he retired as president and chief executive in early 2003, CHARO had been listed by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the top 12 Latino nonprofits in the nation and reportedly was the leading job-placement agency in L.A.

At the time, CHARO had facilitated the funding of more than $26 million in small business and commercial loans to hundreds of small businesses, and its career center had placed more than 16,000 primarily East L.A. residents in jobs…

CHARO also offered affordable housing and in the ’90s operated two 24-unit apartment complexes in East Los Angeles. Other services over the years included a sheltered workshop for developmentally disabled adults and a child-care center that served 180 children.

Amador’s death was a result of a battle with esophageal cancer.  Read more about his life and achievements at the Los Angeles Times.

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