Earl Shorris, who began his journalism career alongside Ruben Salazar at the El Paso Herald-Post and knew him since childhood, was an author, social critic, lecturer and activist. He founded the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a program that teaches college-level humanity courses to low-income adults in about 20 cities across the U.S., and even more worldwide. Shorris was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton in 2000 for his work with the Clemente Course in the Humanities.
Shorris was a prolific writer with over a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction published during his career as well as a frequent contributor to Harper’s Magazine. He was the author of The Life and Times in Mexico (W. W. Norton & Company, 2004), a book that chronicled the past 3,000 years of Mexican history.
Shorris passed away in 2012 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 75.