EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- Raymond L. Telles, El Paso’s first Hispanic elected mayor and a former U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, has died at the age of 97.
Cynthia Ann Telles told KTSM-TV of El Paso that her father died Friday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., where he’d been living.
Raymond Telles served as El Paso’s mayor from 1957 to 1961 and was later appointed ambassador to Costa Rica by President John F. Kennedy, for whom he became a close adviser.
Telles is credited with opening the highest political offices in the Texas border city to other Hispanics by running the city government effectively during his two terms in office. He also served four terms as El Paso County clerk.
The El Paso Times reports Telles had been in failing health in the recent year.