Espinosa, Conrado (1897–1977)

By: Laura Patricia Garza

Type: Biography

Published: March 15, 2019

Conrado Espinosa, educator, journalist, and author, was born on January 28, 1897, in Zapotlán el Grande (currently Guzmán), Jalisco, Mexico. His parents were Soledad Rodríguez and Rafael Espinosa. His paternal grandfather was Rafael Espinosa de los Monteros.

About 1911, when he was about fourteen, Espinosa came to Guadalajara where he attended preparatory school. He received pedagogical training at the Escuela Normal de Profesores y en la Escuela Práctica Anexa. Thanks to the influence of his friend, Neda Jesusita Bonilla, Espinosa practiced spiritualism and became president of the youth wing of Club Amor Universal. Around 1915 he met Ramón F. Iturbe, renowned revolutionary general and later governor of Sinaloa, with whom he cultivated a lifelong friendship. In the same year, Espinosa met Venustiano Carranza in Guadalajara, to whom he dedicated a comedy titled Guadalajara. Once he finished his training as an educator, Espinosa worked in the Escuela de Experimentación Pedagógica. He received the Medal Altamirano by the Mexican Ministry of Education for his work in education. Espinosa founded in Colima the magazine Revista Cultural Colimense, but the publication lasted only four issues. Later he, along with other educators of the Colegio Civil Rosales, founded the fortnightly magazine Vesper; the first issue came out on April 1, 1922. Espinosa wrote a column titled "El demonio familiar" in Vesper.

After the death of Carranza, Adolfo de la Huerta took power provisionally, and José Vasconcelos was assigned as rector of the Universidad Nacional. Vasconcelos subsequently named Espinosa as director general of education in Mexico in 1923. Espinosa worked on several publications, including El radio, El heraldo de la revolución, La voz de la revolución, and El monitor tabasqueño, that supported De la Huerta and the revolution. Because of his relationship with Vasconcelos and support of De la Huerta, Espinosa was forced into exile to the United States and arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1924. After his arrival, he moved to San Antonio, Texas, and edited El Nacional newspaper. While in San Antonio, he wrote, in 1926, the novel El sol de Texas (Under the Texas Sun) which was printed by the publishing house Viola Novelty Company. Heralded by scholars as a seminal work portraying the struggle of immigrants, through his novel, Espinosa presented the problems that Mexican immigrants faced in the United States (in this case, Texas) while looking for low paying jobs to help their families in their home country. This novel was later translated in English by Ethriam Cash Brammer de Gonzales.

During Espinosa’s six-year exile, he worked in journalism for a number of Spanish-language periodicals in the United States. This included as editor of La Prensa in San Antonio, writer for La Opinión in Los Angeles, and writer for Don Quixote in Santa Barbara. He toured several states as a public speaker regarding the political situation in Mexico. He also wrote articles on religious themes, particularly the religious persecution taking place in Mexico during the Cristero War, and in 1929 he wrote a second novel, El Rosal de Tepeyac (The Rosebush at Mount Tepeyac), also published by Viola Novelty Company.

In 1930 Espinosa returned to the state of Sinaloa in Mexico. In 1948 he founded a school—Centro Escolar del Noroeste, located in Los Mochis in Sinaloa. Successively, Espinosa wrote the editorial column titled "Plazuela" in the newspaper El Debate and also served as a professor in the Escuela de Periodismo at Mexico City. Conrado Espinosa died in 1977 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

Adrián García Cortés, Memorias del cerro: Espinosa: el hombre, el maestro (Los Mochis, Sinaloa: Editorial El Debate, 1983). Nicolás Kanellos, ed., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latino Literature (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2008). Nicolás Kanellos, Hispanic Literature of the United States: A Comprehensive Reference (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2003). Nicolás Kanellos, “Recovering and Re-constructing Early Twentieth-Century Hispanic Immigrant Print Culture in the US,” American Literary History 19 (July 2007).

  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Dramatists and Novelists
  • Fiction
  • Authors and Writers
  • Military
  • Mexican Revolution
  • Politics and Government
Time Periods:
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • San Antonio
  • Central Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laura Patricia Garza, “Espinosa, Conrado,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 02, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 15, 2019

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