Jorge Ramos has been ranked by Hispanic Trends magazine as “one of the most influential Latinos” in the United States and by Latino Leaders magazine as “one of the 10 most admired” Hispanics. He has been the anchorman for Noticiero Univision since Nov. 3, 1986. In that capacity, he has covered five wars (El Salvador, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq) and numerous other major events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Latin American summits, guerrilla movements in Chiapas and Central America and elections in virtually every country of the Americas. In addition to his work with Noticiero Univision, which is broadcast in the United States and 13 countries of Latin America, Ramos provides daily radio commentary to stations in dozens of U.S. cities and writes a weekly column that is published in more than 40 newspapers throughout the hemisphere and is distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.
Q. Which book are you reading at the moment?
A. I’m reading two or three books. I like to read several at the same time so I never get bored. Besides some are for when I travel, others to read at night and some just to learn. I’m reading the latest novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, a really interesting (non-fiction) book about how the great empires were destroyed called “Collapse,” and an autobiography of a woman who traveled through Italy, India and Indonesia called “Eat, Pray, Love.”
Q. Which book has had the biggest impact on you in your lifetime?
A. There are many. “In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust has been a constant reference for me in my life. Each thing in the present takes me back to the past, just like for the protagonist of the book. Also, Demian and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse were very important during my adolescence. For me, the best novel by (Gabriel) Garcia Marquez is “El Otoño del Patriarca” (The Autumn of the Patriarch). “Paula” by Isabel Allende affected me deeply. And, of course, I especially remember all the children’s books I’ve read to my children.
Q. Who is your favorite author and why?
A. I’m from the old school. I’m more than satisfied with the old writers of the new Latin American “boom.” Carlos Fuentes, (Mario) Vargas Llosa and Garcia Marquez. I think those three are still writing better than anyone in Spanish, although their themes have been stretched by several wonderful generations of young authors who are at once daring and irreverent.
Q. What advice would you give parents and educators about encouraging young people to read in Spanish?
A. Books are like windows, opening space and time to new worlds. There’s no need to force books on children and young people. It’s enough to suggest books, put them nearby and then amaze them with the windows that are opened. But the best advice is, simply, to talk to them a lot in Spanish and get rid of that terrible idea that speaking just one language – English – is enough.