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Latino Inventors and Innovators 

Trailblazer of the Day | Sunday, October 6, 2013

Earlier, we profiled two Latino Trailblazers who were brilliant innovators: Ellen Ochoa (the first Latina in space), and Ladislao Biró, who invented the ballpoint pen. Beginning Monday, October 7, and running through Friday, October 11, Governor Pat Quinn’s celebration of Latino Heritage Month will feature a unique display of 12 Latino “Inventors, Scientists and Innovators” in the Concourse of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago. Today, we give you a sneak preview.

José Rodríguez Labandera (1804 - ?) was an Ecuadorian sailor who designed, built and sailed in the first submarine (called the “Hippopotamus”).

Dr. Carlos Juan Finlay (1833-1915) was the Cuban epidemiologist who discovered that mosquitoes were the cause of yellow fever. His work enabled construction of the Panama Canal.

Dr. Albert Vinicio Baez (1912-2007) was a Mexican-American physicist who invented the X-ray microscope and X-ray telescope.

Dr. Jacinto Convit (1913- ) devoted his life to the eradication of leprosy in his native Venezuela and is still active in the battle against the disease and its stigma.

The 1924 Uruguayan Olympic soccer team is credited with inventing the “victory lap”.

Guillermo González Camarena (1917-1965) was a Mexican inventor who developed the first color television transmitter.

Dr. Raul Cuero (1948- ), a star on Columbia’s national basketball team, is among the world’s leading experts in biogenesis and has 27 patented inventions.

Puerto Rican-born Dr. Olga González-Sanabria invented the nickel-hydrogen battery which is powering the International Space Station and Hubble Telescope.

Dr. Luis Von Ahn (1979- ) is a Guatemalan mathematician who invented CAPTCHA, the series of obscured or twisted letters that appear on a computer screen to prove the user is human.

Ileana Sánchez is a Puerto Rican graphics designer who developed a special Braille book so the visually-impaired may appreciate art masterpieces.