Birth Name: Richard Steve Valenzuela
Date of Birth: May 13, 1941
Place of Birth: Pacoima, Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Death: February 3, 1959
Place of Death: Clear Lake, Iowa, United States
Ethnicity: Mexican (mixed African, Spanish, and Indigenous Mexican), 1/8th Chilean
Ritchie Valens was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was known for being a rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. He was the son of Joseph Steven Valenzuela and Beatrice (later Concepcion) Reyes.
In the film La Bamba (1987), he was played by Lou Diamond Phillips.
Ritchie’s paternal grandparents were Marciano Valenzuela and Maria Agripina Ponce (the daughter of Luis Ponce and Maria Antonia “Sara” Lugo). Marciano was a Mexican immigrant. Luis was a Chilean immigrant. Sara’s ancestors were early Californian settlers from Mexico who were mulattos and mestizos. Ritchie’s great-grandmother Maria Antonia was the daughter of José Trinidad de Jesús Lugo Fernández and María del Rosario Cipriana de las Llagas Domínguez Féliz.
Ritchie’s maternal grandfather was Francisco “Frank” Lopez Reyes (the son of Luis Reyes López and Josefa López Ocuna). Luis was the son of Dolores Reyes and Josefa López. Josefa was the daughter of Francisco López and Concepción Ocuna.
Ritchie’s maternal grandmother was Refugia Lopez (the daughter of Refugio López and Eduviges Yáñez). Ritchie’s great-grandfather Refugio was the son of Francisco López and Beatriz.
All of Ritchie’s maternal great-grandparents moved from Mexico to Arizona.
Sources: Genealogy of Ritchie Valens – http://www.geni.com
Genealogy of Ritchie Valens (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com