Leonel "Lone" Castillo













Leonel J. Castillo (June 9, 1939 – November 4, 2013), long-time activist and community leader was the first Mexican American elected to citywide office in Houston. He served as Houston’s first Hispanic City Controller, 1971-1977, then as Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) under President Jimmy Carter. Known to his close friends as “Lone,” Castillo opened many doors for Hispanics in Houston and is known as a Civil Rights pioneer.


The Leonel J. Castillo Collection is housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center.
See the Finding Aid for this collection at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/houpub/00013/hpub-00013.html




“… it appeared to me that if you wanted to change government
that you had to go to where it could be changed and a
good leverage point is the Controller’s Office.”

— Leonel "Lone" Castillo
March 7, 1975


Leonel Castillo in his Washington office.


Leonel Castillo at his home on S. MacGregor, Tuesday Dec. 4, 1979.


In the offices of the Immigration & Naturalization Service, Friday March 28, 1981.

Leonel Castillo declares his candidacy for city controller, Tuesday August 11, 1981.



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