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, U.S.
Ethnicity: Mexican [African, Spanish, Indigenous Mexican], one eighth Chilean
Ritchie Valens was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is known for having been a rock and roll pioneer, and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. He was the son of Beatrice (later Concepcion) Reyes and Joseph Steven Valenzuela.
In the film La Bamba (1987), he was played by Lou Diamond Phillips.
Ritchie’s paternal grandfather was named Marciano Valenzuela. Marciano was a Mexican immigrant.
Ritchie’s paternal grandmother was Maria Agripina/Agrippina Ponce (the daughter of Luis Ponce and Maria Antonia “Sara” Lugo). Ritchie’s grandmother Maria was born in California. Luis was Chilean. Ritchie’s great-grandmother Maria Antonia’s ancestors were early Californian settlers from Mexico who were mulattos and mestizos. She 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). Francisco was born in Nogales, Santa Cruz, Arizona Territory, to Mexican parents. Luis was the son of Dolores Reyes and Josefa López. Ritchie’s great-grandmother Josefa was the daughter of Francisco López and Concepción Ocuna.
Ritchie’s maternal grandmother was Refugia Yanez Lopez (the daughter of Refugio López and Eduviges Yáñez). Refugia was born in Arizona, to Mexican parents. Refugio was the son of Francisco López and Beatriz.