Gloria Campos: Her influence in the Hispanic community

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 11:57 PM

This week, Gloria Campos will sign off as the co-anchor of News 8 at 10. This time, we're taking a look back at how things have changed for Latinos since she started reporting in North Texas more than 30 years ago.

"When she became anchor, we were blown away by that," said former Dallas ISD school board president Rene Castilla. "We just couldn't get over the fact she would be the first Latina to anchor a major network."

Gloria quickly became one of the most influential women — not only in Dallas or Texas, but across the country.

"It was a rarity back then to see Hispanic men or women on the air — especially as anchors," said former news anchor Ron Olivera.

Gloria inspired many Latinos to dream big, including Dallas County Commissioner and former City Council member Elba Garcia.

"I remember when I decided to run for office, and I thought, 'If Gloria Campos can do it, I can do it, too," Garcia said.

Rene Castilla remembers Gloria when she first got to Dallas as a reporter. He was one of her first political interviews while he was running for school board.

"She says now, 'I want you to know that every candidate I interview wins.' And I said, 'Okay!' She interviewed me, and I won," Castilla said with a smile.

Gloria broke down barriers for Latinos in broadcasting. Her start was in 1976 at KGBT-TV in the Rio Grande Valley. Ron Olivera was one of her first co-anchors, and — even in the Valley — it was unheard of for two Latinos to anchor together.

"We were so young at the time, too, that the community in our area in the Rio Grande Valley started calling us 'Donny and Marie,'" Olivera said.

Through the years, Gloria didn't shy away from her Latino roots, contributing thousands of dollars for scholarships and being an influence for countless people.

She is a pioneer and a trailblazer.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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