JUNE 18. 1928 - APRIL 12, 2005
This website was created to share with our youth, families, compañeros y compañeras and communities the life of and contributions made by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales. As a boxer, lecturer, poet, father, organizer, traditional political figure, businessman, political activist and leader of the Chicano Movement in Denver, Colorado, the Southwest and the United States, Corky lived a multi-faceted life.
Gonzales was born in Denver to Federico and Indalesia Gonzales. He was the youngest of five brothers and three sisters. The children grew up in the tough eastside barrio of Denver during the Great Depression.
Corky's father, who emigrated from Mexico to Colorado during the Mexican Revolution of 1910, often spoke to his children about Mexico’s history and the pride of the Mexican people. These stories had a profound impact on Corky growing up.
Corky attended the University of Denver but after the first quarter realized that the financial cost was insurmountable. He then pursued a career in boxing gaining national fame both as an amateur and then as a professional. When he retired from professional boxing at the young age of 26.In the 1960's, Corky founded an urban civil rights and cultural movement called the Crusade for Justice that became the national model for Chicano self-determination.
Corky and his wife, Geraldine Gonzales, raised a family of six daughters and two sons, Nita, Charlotte, Gina, Gail, Rudy, Joaquin, Cindy, and Valerie.