GARZA, GONZALO (1927 ~ ). Dr. Gonzalo Garza was born January 10, 1927 in New Braunfels, Texas the sixth of nine children of a migrant family from Mexico. He dropped out of school at the age of 17 to join the Marines in 1944. He served in World War II in the Pacific Theater as an infrantryman and as an interpreter before leaving in 1946. He later reenlisted in 1950 and saw action during the Korean War, receiving the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Valor.
After returning from the Pacific, Garza finished high school. He eventually got his Bachelor's degree in History, Government and Spanish from St. Mary's University after the Korean War interrupted his senior year. He went on to receive a Master's degree in Education from Our Lady of the Lake University and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas.
From there, Garza began his career as one of the most distinguished educators in Texas history. He has served as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Associate Superintendent and Superintendent in numerous school districts including Corpus Christi, Houston and Austin. He retired in 1992 after ten years as the Superintendent of the Austin Independent School District.
For his contribution, a Gonzalo Garza Independence High School in Austin has been named in his honor.
Garza is married to Dolores and has five children.
Information taken from Texas State Cemetery file materials.