IPR is featuring some of the many Hispanic pioneers who impacted the field of public relations in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Sergio Bendixen was a pioneer in multilingual opinion polling among Latinos and the first Hispanic person to run a U.S. presidential campaign. Born in Peru, Bendixen immigrated to the United States at age 12. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and started working in politics.
Bendixen’s career in political consulting took off quickly. He served as a national campaign manager for Democratic presidential hopeful Alan Cranston in 1984. He then became involved in polling, where he chronicled perhaps the most significant demographic change in Miami politics: the emergence of Cuban-American Republicans. He pioneered multilingual surveys and became well-known on Spanish-language television, where he delivered his survey results and explained U.S. politics to Spanish speakers.
Through his remarkable efforts to include Latinos in U.S. politics, Bendixen was "largely responsible for giving Hispanic America a voice" according to his friend and business partner, Fernand Amandi.