Antonio B Ramirez
The HLG Founder
Anthony B. (Tony) Ramirez
(1937 - 2009)
Mr. Anthony B. Ramirez’s long-standing commitment and service to the Hispanic community in the St. Louis region and indeed in the whole state made him one of the finest individuals anywhere.
The worth of Mr. Ramirez to the Hispanic Community in particular and the general community as a whole has been duly and justly recognized. Mr. Ramirez’s countless accomplishments and his unwavering dedication to the causes that were dear to him, such as those affecting the Hispanic population, is evidence of his immense value to the region and state.
Mr. Ramirez’s commitment to the community expanded decades. They included service through multiple organizations and activities, such as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Hispanic Leaders Group of Greater St. Louis, and Hispanic Day at Jefferson City. His many contributions in the areas of community service, civic and human rights, business, and so many more were far-reaching.
The Man and Family
Mr. Ramirez’s parents, Jesús Ruiz Ramirez and Francisca López Ramirez, emigrated from Mexico. He grew up in Larned, Kansas, a city in and the county seat of Pawnee County in the central part of the state, where agriculture has always been the major industry sector. He was the youngest of eight children.
He attended St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas, a Roman Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, college located on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River in northeastern Kansas. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree in History with minors in Philosophy and Political Science. He then moved to St. Louis and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Saint Louis University School of Law.
Mr. Ramirez was married to Marilyn for 45 years and they had two sons, Christopher B. Ramirez and Andrew A. Ramirez. He had one grandson, which he enjoyed immensely until his passing.
He lived most of his adult live in Webster Groves, Missouri and passed away at the age of 72 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield after battling bone cancer for about fifteen months.
Mr. Ramirez served in the Army Intelligence Corps, the Special Forces and the Green Berets. He liked adventure and according to his wife, he loved to jump out or airplanes when he was young.
Mr. Ramirez, a lawyer since 1967, was the principal at Anthony B. Ramirez, P. C. from its founding in 1986 until he passed away. A lawyer of great repute, his practice included general civil and criminal trial and appellate practice, including Corporation Law, Criminal Law, Domestic Relations, Elder Law, Personal Injury, Will Contests, Wills, Trusts and Estate Law, and Workers Compensation. A bilingual Hispanic, Mr. Ramirez offered his professional services pro bono on many occasions.
Before forming his own law firm, Mr. Ramirez practiced law at Coleman Ross, Goetz, Robert & Ramirez from 1981 to 1986. He was in private practice with various firms from 1972 to 1981, and was legal staff in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis from 1968 to 1972. Previously he sold linoleum at a downtown store.
He was legal advisor to the Mexican Consulate in St. Louis from 1979 to 2002.
Mr. Ramirez held memberships in the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Missouri Bar, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Mr. Ramirez was, in 1983, co-initiator and co-founder of The Hispanic Leaders Group of
Greater St. Louis (HLG). He always served with distinction, as director at large of its Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005, as the Board’s Chairperson from 1995 to 2001, as its Secretary from 1993 to 1995, and as Facilitator from 1985 to 1993.
Mr. Ramirez was the lead voice a few years ago when the Missouri legislature considered making English the official language in the state. He successfully argued that English was indeed the common language and that was how the law was crafted. During 2007, however, a new effort came forth from the legislature to again try to make English the official language for all official proceedings in Missouri―again Mr. Ramirez fought the measure―which ultimately was passed by the legislature and approved by Missouri voters on November 2008, thus amending the state constitution
Mr. Ramirez was also involved in the effort that successfully opposed the anti immigrant ordinances passed by the Board of Alderman of the City of Valley Park, Mo. in 2006. The “Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance” sought to punish landlords who rent to and business owners and employers who hire undocumented workers. The law also looked for making English the official language of the city.
Mr. Ramirez was a co-initiator and co-founder, in 2002, of Hispanic Day at Jefferson City and was its co-chair for many years. He led the endeavor in the eastern part of Missouri and was the main organizer and coordinator of the increasingly influential event. Every year, about 100 delegates from all over Missouri travel to Jefferson City to meet with legislators, the Governor, cabinet members, and agency heads to present the issues of importance to the Hispanic community. This event has markedly increased awareness in the Capital of the rising number of Latinos in the state and their growing importance. As a result of all of that, in 2007, Mr. Ramirez founded Hispanic Capitol Day, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, whose main purpose is to perpetuate the annual pilgrimage to Jefferson City.
Hispanic and Small Business Endeavors
Mr. Ramirez was co-initiator and co-founder in 1982 of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, and served as its President from 1982 to 1985 and as Chairman of the Board from 1983 to 1988. He was always an active member of the organization.
Mr. Ramirez was a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) St. Louis District Advisory Council from 1985 to 1993. He also was a Missouri Delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business in 1986. As such, he represented Hispanic small business at the conference, an event of great importance to the U.S. small business sector, held in Washington, D.C. At this national conference, 1,813 delegates―a representative cross-section of the American small business community―developed a rank-ordered list of sixty policy recommendations for presentation to the President and Congress.
Mr. Ramirez, in addition to being a well-known and respected lawyer, was founder of FINE Laboratories, Inc. in 1993 and served as its president and CEO. His entrepreneurial spirit moved him to start this company, which has supported Boeing Phantom Works in aircraft modification programs; FINE holds a Silver supplier performance rating and a perfect 100 percent rating for on-time delivery. A supplier to Boeing since it was founded, FINE has grown from three employees to more than 20, and remains flexible enough to produce both large batch quantities and prototypes. It specializes in fast repairs, quick turnarounds and customer-oriented service that include pick-up and delivery of new products and repairs. Under Mr. Ramirez’s leadership, FINE won the Administrator's Award for Excellence from the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2000. The company recently received ISO 9002 and AS9100 certification. It has received many awards, including: SBA Small Business Subcontractor of the Year (Region VII), 2002; Boeing Supplier of the Year for Small Disadvantaged Businesses, 2002; and SBA Administrator’s Award for Excellence, 2001
Latin Culture, Art, Music
Mr. Ramirez was co-initiator, co-founder & President of the Mexican American Cultural Commission of Greater St. Louis. He was also co-host of the Latin Rhythms radio program on KDHX FM 88.1 from 1992 to 1993.
Human Rights and Political Involvement
Mr. Ramirez served as Commissioner of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights from 1983 to 1987. He was also a Charter Member of the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic Affairs created by Governor Christopher “Kit” Bond in 1981.
Mr. Ramirez was a member of the Fordyce Two Leadership Summit in 1990 on racial polarization sponsored by Confluence St. Louis.
A long-time conservative, Mr. Ramirez founded Hispanic Republicans of Missouri (HRM) in 2003 and was its long time president. In 2007, he also co-founded HisPAC, a nonpartisan political action committee.
Other Volunteer Service
Mr. Ramirez’s volunteer service was not limited to Hispanic causes, thus providing the Hispanic community with a strong voice in numerous organizations. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Springboard to Learning, of Confluence St. Louis, and of the American Red Cross, Bi-State Chapter. He was member of the Coro Fellows Program and of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission and served in its Minority Community Advisory Committee.
Pro Bono Speaking Engagements
Mr. Ramirez has been guest speaker on numerous occasions at Metropolitan area venues for Hispanic Heritage Observances and at Naturalization Ceremonies at the United States
District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, among many others. He also served as master of ceremonies at numerous events in the St. Louis region and in many parts of Missouri.
Mr. Ramirez distinguished himself in many fields and was recognized numerous times.
o Recipient, Hispanic Leaders Group of Greater St. Louis Esperanza Award in 2007.
o Recipient, Hispanic Excellence Achievement Award (Initial Award) Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, May 2003.
o Recipient, Micah Award, American Jewish Committee of St. Louis, February 2001.
o Recipient, Proclamation of Congratulations; Governor Holden, February 2001.
o Member, List of Hispanic Leaders; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 22, 1999.
o Marquis Who's Who in American Law, 1996-1997, Ninth Edition.
o Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 1995 Edition.
o Who's Who Among Hispanic Americans, 1994-95, Third Edition.
o Recipient, Award of Merit, KPLR-TV Channel 11, St. Louis, Mo., September 1989.
o Recipient, Member of the Month, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nov. 1986.
o Recipient, SBA; Missouri Minority Advocate of the Year, 1984.