Raoul Cortez's Underwood Typewriter

Raoul Cortez's Underwood Typewriter

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Raoul A. Cortez, journalist and broadcasting pioneer, got his start in Spanish-language media behind this typewriter. Cortez worked as a reporter for the Spanish-language newspaper, La Prensa, in San Antonio, Texas in the 1930s and 1940s. Writing news stories and opinion pieces, he advocated for the civil rights of Mexican Americans and in particular for the rights of Braceros and the desegregation of Texas schools. Cortez served twice as the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in the late 1940s.
Cortez moved from print journalism to broadcasting after World War II by opening the first Latino-owned, Spanish-language radio station in the continental United States in 1946. The radio station, and later television station, carried his name in the call letters, KCOR.
The Underwood Typewriter Company produced the Champion model from 1932-1949. The keyboard on this model included an inverted question mark and exclamation point ensuring that users, such as Cortez, could create stories in Spanish.
Object Name
date made
about 1937
Associated Date
Underwood Elliot Fisher Company
place made
United States
Physical Description
metal; rubber (overall material)
overall: 6 1/4 in x 12 1/4 in x 11 1/4 in; 15.875 cm x 31.115 cm x 28.575 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Emilio and Irma Nicolas
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Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
KCOR Radio and Television
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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