When Martin Ortiz was a boy struggling to understand English, his teacher at a Wichita elementary school penned a sign and hung it around his neck:
"I am retarded," it said, according to family members.
The other students laughed, danced and jeered.
"All because he didn't speak any English," John Ortiz, Mr. Ortiz's younger brother told The Eagle in 2009.
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The experience shaped and defined his life during the Depression, family members say. By the time he was in eighth grade, he quit school to ride the rails as a hobo.
But eventually he returned to attend North High School, determined to go as far and as fast as he could. Years later, he would inspire other Hispanic students to attend college.
Mr. Ortiz became a national advocate for minority student programs and founder of Whittier College's Center for Mexican American Affairs.
During the years Mr. Ortiz rode the rails, he learned to speak English. He also discovered the power in education.
He returned to Wichita at age 16 and went back to school. He was senior class president and graduated from North High School in 1940. He was inducted into the North High Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mr. Ortiz served with the Marines in the South Pacific in World War II. Later, he received his bachelor's degree from Whittier College as part of the GI Bill. He went on to earn his master's degree in sociology from George Williams College, now Aurora University in Chicago.
Question: What other distinctive positions did Mr. Ortiz hold in life?
Answer to Sunday’s question: Wichitan Earl Browder, secretary of the U.S. Communist Party, ran for president. Browder received only 47,000 votes in 1940.Willkie, who became a Republican in 1939 and was described as a maverick businessman, had more support. He received more than 22 million votes compared to FDR's 27.3 million.
Check Kansas.com on Tuesday for the answer to today’s question.