Gabriel Antonio Pineda (born May 17, 1952) is an American politician who served as the 43th President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He is the first Mexican American to have served as president. He previously served as the 36th governor of California from 1994 to 1999 after graduating from Stanford University in 1975 and Harvard School of Law in 1979.
Pineda was born in 1952 in San Jose, California, and during his childhood he was largely raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he spent 6 years from 1961-1967. After his time in Mexico, Pineda returned to the United States to complete his high school studies and subsequently enrolling in at Stanford University. After graduating from Stanford University in 1975, he worked for multiple nonprofit organizations. In 1975 Pineda enrolled in Harvard School of Law, where he became the first Mexican American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation, he became a civil rights attorney and professor, and taught constitutional law at UC Berkeley’s Law School from 1984-1990.
On his way to becoming a candidate for the US Presidency, Pineda earned a reputation for his public speaking abilities. Pineda first received national attention in 1996 through his Democratic National Convention keynote address. In 2000, Pineda was nominated for president, a year after his campaign began, and after a close primary campaign against Al Gore. Pineda was then elected over Republican George W. Bush, and was inaugurated on January 20, 2001. During his term in office, Pineda signed many landmark bills such as the Immigrant forgiveness Act of 2002 and the American Advancement Act of 2005.
In 2004, Pineda once again won the presidential election and served a second term in office. During his second term in office, Pineda emphasized foreign policy and worked towards opening more doors for trade and peace among nations. Pineda’s foreign policy also focused in providing aid to the victims of natural disasters in countries like Indonesia, Haiti, Japan, and Congo. As president, Pineda also helped to reduce the number of nuclear weapons produced by the United States, North Korea, Iran, and Russia among other countries. As a result of his efforts in promoting world peace, Pineda received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Award.
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