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Latino Daily News

Saturday June 2, 2012

Salsa Icon Celia Cruz Wins “Iconic American” Contest At The Smithsonian

Salsa Icon Celia Cruz Wins “Iconic American” Contest At The Smithsonian

Photo: Celia Cruz

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Late Cuban-American salsa icon Celia Cruz was voted the winner of the Smithsonian’s Frame an Iconic American contest and will be the subject of a biographical portrait to be exhibited at that institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington.

The museum gave Internet users the chance to choose one of five historical figures to be memorialized in the portrait, which will be created by acclaimed photographic artist Robert Weingarten and unveiled in the fall.

Cruz beat out Audie Murphy (1925-1971), a highly decorated World War II soldier and movie star; Alice Paul (1885-1977), a key figure in the women’s suffrage movement; Samuel Morse (1791-1872), co-inventor of the Morse code; and Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), an escaped slave who became a social reformer and leader of the abolitionist movement.

Cruz (1925-2003), born in Havana and known internationally as the “Queen of Salsa,” was the winner with 11,000 votes, according to the museum, which highlighted her “multifaceted story of immigration, music, and entertainment.”

Weingarten constructs his works by creating a collage of images that represent the essence of his subject, according to the museum, which is asking the general public to assist in the project by indicate what words must be used in describing the life of the salsa legend.