Valor: The American Odyssey of Roy Dominguez

Valor: The American Odyssey of Roy Dominguez

Valor: The American Odyssey of Roy Dominguez

Valor: The American Odyssey of Roy Dominguez

Synopsis

The son of Hispanic immigrants, Rogelio "Roy" Dominguez grew up in gang-plagued Gary, Indiana. With strong family support, he managed to beat the odds, graduating with distinction from Indiana University, finishing law school after a rough start, and maturing into a successful attorney and officeholder. Yet there was more in store for Roy. Ready to start a family and embark on a career as a deputy prosecutor, he was stricken with Guillain-Barré syndrome. How he coped with and eventually overcame this debilitating affliction is a compelling part of his story. The experience steeled him to meet future crises with wisdom, perspective, and grit. An inspiring true story, Valor is also a significant and original contribution to the social, ethnic, and political history of Indiana.

Excerpt

Evan Bayh

I first met roy dominguez in the MID-1980S when I was deciding whether or not to run for the office of Indiana secretary of state. He seemed to be a bright, articulate young man with an interest in good government whose encouragement I much appreciated. I got to know him during that campaign and when I ran successfully for governor in 1988. Even though he had been stricken with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a potentially debilitating muscular disorder that limited his mobility, he did not allow that to prevent him from having an active, vigorous life. Admiring his tenacity and devotion to public service, I appointed him chairman of the Worker’s Compensation Board, the first Hispanic to head an Indiana state agency. His charge: to overhaul the rules and regulations of a board that had ceased to serve properly those in need of its services. With skill and patience he forged a consensus that modernized worker’s compensation and made the agency responsive to those to whom it ministered. After Roy returned to northwest Indiana, I followed his political career with interest.

Reading Valor, Roy Dominguez’s absorbing life story, reinforced my admiration for him and his parents, whom I was honored to meet when he was sworn into office in 1989. It is a fascinating story that not only will serve as an inspiration to Hispanics and others from workingclass backgrounds but is a truly American odyssey of one who seized upon the country’s unique opportunities and made the most of them. I recommend Valor to young people who aspire to a life of public service.

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