Summary: Oral History of Nora Lopez, Metro Editor at the San Antonio Express News Page: 1 of 4
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Summary: Oral History of Nora Lopez, Metro Editor at the San Antonio Express News
Date: March 2019
Nora Lopez became a very curious and inquisitive little girl growing up in Edinburgh, Texas, be-
cause of her love for reading. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy's mysteries were her favorites. "I
think they instilled an early sense of what is right and wrong and helping make things right,"
says Lopez. She also liked writing and excelled in her English classes. When teachers would as-
sign a one-page essay for homework, Lopez would write a three-page essay.
By the time she was a freshman in high school, Lopez knew she wanted to become a journalist.
Eventually, she joined the student newspaper at her high school that was published once a week.
"See I have been meeting newspaper deadlines since I was a sophomore in high school," Lopez
In 1982, she enrolled at Pan American University in her hometown. That's all her parents could
afford. There she joined the student newspaper and found advisors who inspired her. "I really
loved my college experience because we had a great student advisor who pushed us to be inquisi-
tive, curious and to hold the university accountable," Lopez explained.
During her junior year in college she was hired at the Edinburg Daily Review. A few years ear-
lier, that same editor-in-chief had turned her down for a reporting job when she applied after
graduating from high school. Later he would become one of Lopez's career-long mentors.
Her work caught the attention of the San Antonio Express News when she was a junior in col-
lege. An editor told her he would have a job waiting for her after graduation, and that's where
she went a year later.
For the first time she would move away from her hometown and her parents, but she took part of
them with her. Her father taught her to have empathy and humor which has helped her in her ca-
reer. "That's what I would draw upon and I think that's what would get me get the interviews,
because I could show empathy to the people I was interviewing," Lopez said.
Her mother and her mother's sister were a big influence on Lopez too. Her aunt was very social
and gregarious, and her mother was strong and confident. "When I became a reporter I adopted
almost a persona of my tia and my mom, a combination of the two."
Lopez has come a long way since her life as the child of migrant workers who would pick up and
move to California and Washington State to work the fields and orchards for fruits and vegeta-
bles. They decided to give up that life when Lopez was five-years-old. Her mother didn't want
her pulled out of school for the migrant life. She wanted her daughter to get a good education.
Lopez also learned to have ambition and goals from her parents. After working for the Express
News for a few years, she took a job at the competition, the San Antonio Light. There she worked
as the police beat reporter until 1992 when the paper was shut down. It was bought by Hearst
which also owned the Express News. Hearst decided it was best to close The Light and
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Aguilar, Rebecca. Summary: Oral History of Nora Lopez, Metro Editor at the San Antonio Express News, article, March 2019; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1200195/m1/1/: accessed December 8, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism.