Accomplished Alumnus and State Senator Carlos Truan passes

Accomplished Alumnus and State Senator Carlos Truan passes

by -

Longtime Texas State Senator and alumnus Carlos Truan passed away at the age of 76 in Corpus Christi last Tuesday, April 10.
Referred to as “The Father of Bilingual Education,”the former Kingsville native and Texas A&I University graduate left an impressive legacy as a state legislator, civil rights leader and proponent for bi-lingual education and benefits for the poor of Texas.
Truan was also known as the “Dean of the Texas Senate”  and was renown of his blistering and long filibuster on the Senate floor.
Truan was born here in Kingsville in 1935, and from an early age, knew he wanted to make a difference.
Dr. Steven Tallant, Texas A&M University-Kingsvile president, recalls the contributions Carlos Truan has made to higher education in this region and called him a tireless worker for the people of South Texas.
“Carlos Truan was a strong proponent for higher education in South Texas, and our campus was a direct beneficiary of his efforts to increase opportunities for the region. Our doctoral program in bi-lingual education was the first of its kind in the nation, and Senator Truan helped make it possible through his legislative initiatives in support of higher education and bilingual education. He was a Distinguished Alumnus of the university and remained involved on campus, visiting with students and talking about the region’s issues and accomplishments.”
Family members recall he held three jobs in his childhood, which included shining shoes and working at a gas station, to helping out his single mother and support his siblings.
Growing up, Truan was reprimanded for speaking Spanish at school.  That moment later resulted in his advocacy for bi-linguala education.
He graduated form Texas A&I with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Soon afterward, Truan became an insurance agent.
As an insurance agent he saw first handethe hardships and conditions the poor and Hispanics went through in the South Texas and Coastal Bend area.
His son, Rene, said  his father cared more about helping families meet expenses than creating a more lucrative business for himself.
Not more than a decade after graduating, Truan was elected to the Texas House of Representatives.
It was during this time in Texas history that ethinic tensions were running especially high, making it an extremely difficult but imperative time to set out for rights of Hispanic Texans.
It was with his now legendary harsh-but-determined attitude that helped bring about the Texas Bilingual Education Act in 1969.
Before the law was passed, teachers were not allowed to speak or teach in Spanish, even if the student did not know how to speak in English.
This act earned Truan the title of, “The Father of Bilingual Education.”
That was just the beginning of his long-standing run of cementing rights for the minorities in his home state.
After Truan was elected to the Texas (See Truan on Pg.3)