"This is not about you.  This is not about us.  This is about students, students who we are not given a fair share.  When we cheat students, we cheat the state of Texas.  We cheat the economy and we cheat ourselves, too."

Irma Lerma Rangel

 

  • Irma Lerma Rangel was born in 1931 in Kingsville, Texas. 
  • In 1951, she earned a business degree from Texas A&M University.
  • In 1951, she initiated her career in education ( school teacher/ principal in south Texas, in California, and in Venezuela).
  • She started law school in 1965 at the age of 35. 
  • In 1969, she graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio.
  • After clerkship, she became one of the first female Hispanic district attorneys in Texas, but only after insisting on a salary that was equivalent to that of men in the same position. 
  • She returned to her hometown in 1973, where she became a partner in a Kingsville law firm, Garcia and Rangel. She was the only Mexican-American female attorney in town, and continued to practice until 1993.
  • She was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1976.
  • She was the first Mexican-American woman to be elected to the Texas House. 
  • She introduced House Bill 1755 in 1976, which provided employment and educational programs for mothers with dependent children.
  • In 1997, she introduced House Bill 58.
  • Landmark legislation that created an opportunity for all students who want to go to college, requiring the state's colleges and universities to admit automatically those students who graduate in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class.
  • In 1999, she was instrumental in promoting the TEXAS Grant Program.
  • Jointly authored and passed a bill that created the TEXAS Grant Program. The $100 million program provided financial support for 11,000 low-income students from across the state to go to college.
  • She established the first professional school in South Texas in 2001.
  • She authored a bill that created and provided funding for a new school of pharmacy at the Texas A&M University campus in her old hometown, Kingsville.
  • In 1993,she received Garcia Public Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund for her strong commitment and activism in public service.
  • In 1998, she earned the Latina Lawyer of the Year Award by the Hispanic National Bar Association.
  • In 1998, she got the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.