Civil rights activist, Adelfa Callejo dies at age 90 - Dallas News |

Civil rights activist, Adelfa Callejo dies at age 90

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Well-known Hispanic leader, civil rights activist and Dallas lawyer, Adelfa Callejo passed away at the age of 90.

According to her bio on Adelfa Botello Callejo Elementary School's website, Callejo was born on June 10, 1923, in Millett, Texas, to a father who emigrated from Mexico and a Mexican-American mother. She graduated from Cotulla High School in 1939 and moved to California, where she lived for several years. Upon her return to the Dallas area, she worked as a secretary during the day and attended night school at Southern Methodist University, studying simultaneously for her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees.

The bio indicates Callejo is the first Hispanic woman to have graduated from the SMU Dedman School of Law and the first to practice law in Dallas. She was a partner at Callejo and Callejo, where her career focused on personal injury, family, and criminal law.

She was a member and former regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, former director of the State Bar of Texas, and founder and past president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas, among many other leadership positions, according to the site.

She has received the LULAC Hispanic Entrepreneurship Award, the Hispanic National Bar Association Juarez-Lincoln Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Justice Award, the Dallas Women Lawyers Louise B. Raggio Award, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas' Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Equal Justice Award from Legal Services of North Texas.

Her alma mater, the SMU Dedman School of Law, has named the Adelfa Botello Callejo Leadership and Latino Studies Institute in her honor.

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