LA Times: Jose Montoya dies at 81; leading figure in California Latino culture

Encouraged by teachers, he began to write essays, including one about the humiliating time his father spent in prison for making illegal liquor during Prohibition. After graduating from high school — the first member of his family to do so — he served on a U.S. Navy minesweeper during the Korean War. He went on to college under the G.I. Bill, earning a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts and a master's degree in fine arts from Cal State Sacramento, before finding his way into teaching high school.

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