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Mexican American women
Alternative Title
Shades of L.A. Photo Collection;
Shades of L.A. is an archive of photographs representing the contemporary and historic diversity of families in Los Angeles. Images were chosen from family albums and include daily life, social organizations, work, personal and holiday celebrations, and migration and immigration activities. Made possible and accessible through the generous support of the Security Pacific National Bank, Sunlaw Cogeneration Partners, Photo Friends, California Council for the Humanities, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Circa 1940
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and educational use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
The contents of this collection are restricted to personal, research, and non-commercial use. The Library cannot share the personal and/or contact information of the donors, their descendants, or associates who contributed photographs and oral histories to the collection.
Mary Alatorre, nee Martinez, was born in 1918 in the small mining town of Parker, Arizona. Her family arrived in the Los Angeles area around 1922. Growing up, Mary lived with her grandmother, Antonia Rico. In 1930, they lived on the 2200 block of Elmgrove Street in the Elysian Valley neighborhood, then by 1940 they lived on the 2200 block of Terrace Heights Avenue in Boyle Heights. Mary dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and worked as an operator (aka beautician) in a beauty shop on 4517 Brooklyn Ave for Frances Alatorre. Frances was active in the community and helped organize the Mexican Independence Day parade held on September 16 1940. During Mary's time working at the beauty shop, she met Frances' sister, Joseph (Jose) Alatorre. Mary and Joseph married in August 1940, and had two children: Cecelia Marie and Richard. Both children graduated from James A. Garfield High School. Richard went on to become a California state assemblyperson from 1973-1985, then was elected to the Los Angeles City Council from 1985-1999. Cecelia worked as a campaign aide for Richard, and her name appeared over the years in the Los Angeles Times in conjunction with public activities, such as a reception for the Hispanic Bankers Association, and participating on a discussion panel for women in business and science as part of Hispanic Women's Week.
Three Mexican American women standing in front yard. Dolores Eras is at right, Antonia Rico is at center.
1 photographic print
Photographic prints
Shades of L.A. Collection; Shades of L.A.: Mexican American Community
S-003-671 120
Brawley (Calif.)
Shades of L.A. Collection photographs
Shades of L.A. Mexican American photographs
Alatorre, Mary

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