If you were a reporter who was covering Latino anything in Orange County from the early 1990s through the middle of last decade, you knew who Miguel Suárez Orozco was even if you never talked to him. He was always the unassuming reporter with a Canon around his neck, a notepad and pen in his hands, and inevitably wearing a sports coat–the epitome of a class act. He was an entertainment reporter and editor for Excelsior, the Spanish-language weekly of the Orange County Register from 1993 until 2008, and before that, a longtime presence in Southern California Spanish-language media.
Last week, Suarez Orozco passed away at 73 years from cancer at his home in Palm Desert.
Suárez Orozco was born in Jalisco but was raised in Mexicali, where he spent decades as a reporter between stints in Los Angeles and León, Guanajuato. In 1986, he began working permanently in Southern California with various Spanish-language newspapers before getting his gig at Excelsior. He's survived by his wife Laura, three siblings, eight children, 20 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. His niece, noted photographer-graphic designer Carla Zarate, is among his many relatives who live in OC.
Suárez Orozco was always a class act who, while focused primarily on entertainment, was a reporter first and foremost who never shied away from asking tough questions. We were never friends but always cordial, and I lost contact with him once I started sitting behind a desk full-time and am saddened to hear of his passing. All Latino reporters in OC owe a debt to his pioneering ways–our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.