Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia with her brother, Dr. Hector P. Garcia, at their Corpus Christi medical office. Photo from the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Mary and Jeff Bell Library archive.

Dr. Clotilde Garcia was a physician and civil rights leader. She was born on January 11, 1917, in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico. She was later raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1934, Garcia graduated from Mercedes High School in Texas. She earned her B.A. in 1938 and her M.Ed. in 1959 from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1954, Garcia earned her M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She was among the firsts Mexican American women to earn a medican degree in Texas. Before becoming a surgeon, Garcia was a teacher and worked to better the Mexican/Mexican American community in her area.

Along with her brother Dr. Hector P. Garcia, she was instrumental in expanding the Mexican American civil rights movement. She was a leader in the American G.I. Forum Women’s Auxillary, participated in the Valley Farm Workers Minimum Wage March of 1965, and later worked on various committees such as the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee, and the U.S. Senate Special Subcommittee on Aging during the 1970s.

Dr. Cleo Garcia passed away in May 2003

The_Corpus_Christi_Caller_Times_Sun__May_15__1960_-768x793 PDF


Title “League Plans Membership Coffee”
Date May 15, 1960
Source Corpus Christi Caller-Times


Austin_American_Statesman_Sat__Mar_7__1987_-510x1024 PDF


Title “Clotilde Garcia of Corpus Christi, Texas: ‘Geneaology is my hobby.'”
Date March 7, 1987
Source Austin American-Statesman



Gonzalez, Tiffany Jasmin. (2020) Representations for a Change: Women and the Chicana/o Civil Rights Movement in Texas (Doctoral dissertation). Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.