Latinos Who Changed Media - Desi Arnaz
He may have played to Cuban sterotypes for the sake of laughs on television, but there's a lot more to Desi Arnaz than a funny accent and a love of arroz con pollo. Together with his wife Lucille Ball, Desi forced network executives to take a chance on I Love Lucy, proving that American audiences of the 1950s would accept interracial couplings and Latin flavor with their TV dinners. He even put a clause in his contract barring any ethnic jokes (save the ones about his accented English and Lucy's broken Spanish). The result: the birth of the most ground-breaking show on the small screen and a place for Latinos in television history.
Career High: October 15, 1951, when the first episode of I Love Lucy aired and the Ricardos redefined the All-American couple.