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Walter Ulloa, Collector and Media Executive Who Supported Latinx Communities and Artists, Has Died at 74

By Maximilíano Durón,


Walter Ulloa , a collector of Latinx art who had built a major media company focused on reaching Spanish-language countries, died on December 31, 2022, at his home in the L.A. neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. He was 74, and the cause of death was sudden heart failure.

His death was confirmed by his company, Entravision Communications, on January 3, and first reported by NBC News and Billboard . In a statement, Entravision, which Ulloa cofounded in 1996, said, “Since founding Entravision more than 25 years ago, Walter has been an exceptional leader who transformed the company from a traditional multi-linear Spanish-language company that currently owns and operates approximately 100 domestic television and radio stations, to a global digital media powerhouse with a footprint that today reaches across more than 40 countries.”

Born in 1948, Ulloa grew up in the 1950s and ’60s in Brawley, California, east of San Diego and north of Calexico in the Imperial Valley. An important agricultural region then and now, Brawley at the time was a segregated city. His father, also named Walter, was the first Mexican American to be a certified public accountant in California, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times .

Though Ulloa initially pursued a career in law, working briefly in the L.A. district attorney’s office after graduating from Loyola Law School in 1975, his passion since childhood was always radio, whether rock ‘n’ roll and the blues or the news. “[Radio] was the first feeling of his wanting to raise his voice,” Ulloa’s widow, Alexandra Seros, told the L.A. Times .

After getting his start at the Spanish-language KMEX-TV channel, a Univision affiliate, as a writer who ultimately rose to news director, Ulloa set out on his own, with a mission to correct the inequity and discriminations he had long-witnessed in society—and the media industry—against Spanish-speaking communities in this country. He founded Entravision with the purchase of one Spanish-language TV station in the Coachella Valley; he grew it into a network of over 100 stations—in both TV and radio, his favored medium—across the country. The company is the largest operator of Univision affiliates in the country, and it went public in 2000.

And, while he was supporting access for the Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities through his media company, Ulloa was also a fierce support of Latinx art and culture. He served on several boards, including the Los Angeles Music Center, La Plaza de la Cultura y Artes, the Latino Theater Company, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., which he was appointed to by President Barack Obama.

A prodigious collector of Chicanx and Mexican art, his holdings included works by Gronk, Patssi Valdez, John Valadez, Vincent Valdez, Camille Rose Garcia, and George Yepes, as well as Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Francisco Toledo, Graciela Iturbide, and Francisco Corzas. He was also a founding donor to the Cheech in Riverside, California .

“There’s still this bias towards Chicano art,” Seros told the L.A. Times . “Like, why aren’t more Chicano artists at the Whitney? And Walter felt it. He didn’t have a chip on his shoulder, but he wanted to break through it.”

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