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Julian Castro Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary and 2020 presidential candidate.


Birth date: September 16, 1974

Birth place: San Antonio, Texas

Birth name: Julián Castro

Father: Jesse Guzman, political activist and educator

Mother: Maria “Rosie” del Rosario Castro, political activist and college administrator

Marriage: Erica (Lira) Castro (2007-present)

Children: Cristian and Carina

Education: Stanford University, B.A. in political science and communications, 1996; Harvard Law School, J.D., 2000

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts

His first name is pronounced “hoo-lee-AHN.”

Castro’s parents never married and separated when he was 8 years old. He was raised primarily by his mother and his grandmother, Victoria Castro.

Has spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage and of affirmative action, even telling The New York Times that it helped him get into Stanford.

Castro does not speak fluent Spanish, writing in his 2018 memoir that his mother spoke English at home, like many immigrants at the time, and that he declined to take Spanish classes in school because he spoke it with his grandmother.

Castro is one minute older than his identical twin brother, Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro.


1994 – Works as a White House intern.

2000-2002 – Attorney at the San Antonio office of law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

2001-2005 – Councilman representing District 7 on the San Antonio City Council. At age 26, Castro is the youngest councilman ever elected in the city’s history.

2005 – Founds the Law Offices of Julián Castro, PLLC.

June 2005 – Narrowly loses to former Judge Phil Hardberger in the San Antonio mayor’s race.

May 9, 2009 – Elected mayor of San Antonio with 56.23% of the vote.

June 1, 2009-July 22, 2014 – Serves as San Antonio mayor, winning reelection in 2011 and 2013.

September 4, 2012 – In Charlotte, North Carolina, delivers the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first Latino to do so.

May 23, 2014 – President Barack Obama announces plans to nominate Castro as the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

July 9, 2014 – The US Senate confirms Castro as HUD secretary in a 71-26 vote.

July 28, 2014-January 20, 2017 – Serves as the 16th secretary of HUD.

July 18, 2016 – The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) says that Castro violated the Hatch Act, a federal law prohibiting federal workers acting in their official capacity from attempting to influence elections, when he praised Hillary Clinton in an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric. In his response, Castro acknowledges that he’d violated the act.

September 1, 2017 – Joins the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin as the Dean’s Distinguished Fellow and Fellow of the Dávila Chair in International Trade Policy.

October 2018 – Castro’s memoir, “An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream,” is published.

December 12, 2018 – Announces the launch of a presidential exploratory committee.

January 12, 2019 – Officially announces his bid for the Democratic nomination for president in San Antonio.

January 2, 2020 – Castro announces the end of his campaign via Twitter.

January 6, 2020 – Castro endorses Elizabeth Warren for president.

July 10, 2020 – Castro announces his stepmother, Alice Guzman, died of Covid-19 on July 9, 2020.

July 12, 2021 – MSNBC announces that Castro has been hired as a political analyst.

March 21, 2022 – It is announced that Castro will teach a course in the fall at Harvard Law School.

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