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Raúl Héctor Castro
Raul Hector Castro swearing in as Ambassador to Argentina.jpg
United States Ambassador to Argentina
In office
November 16, 1977 – July 30, 1980
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Robert C. Hill
Succeeded by Harry W. Shlaudeman
14th Governor of Arizona
In office
January 6, 1975 – October 20, 1977
Preceded by Jack Richard Williams
Succeeded by Wesley Bolin
United States Ambassador to Bolivia
In office
September 3, 1968 – November 3, 1969
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Preceded by Douglas Henderson
Succeeded by Ernest Siracusa
United States Ambassador to El Salvador
In office
December 11, 1964 – July 17, 1968
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Murat Williams
Succeeded by William Bowdler
Personal details
Born (1916-06-12)June 12, 1916
Cananea, Mexico
Died April 10, 2015(2015-04-10) (aged 98)
San Diego, California
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Northern Arizona University
James E. Rogers College of Law

Raul Hector Castro (June 12, 1916 – April 10, 2015) was a Mexican-born American politician. He has served in both elected and non-elected public offices, including Ambassadors from the United States and the 14th Governor of Arizona (1975–77).

He was the first hispanic to be elected governor of Arizona. At the age of 98, he became the oldest living United States governor, after the death of former Washington Governor Albert Rosellini at the age of 101.

Early life

Castro was born on June 12, 1916 on Cananea, Mexico. He studied at Northern Arizona University and at James E. Rogers College of Law.


In 1954, he was elected county attorney and served in that capacity until 1958, when he became a Pima County Superior Court Judge. His national stature grew over the years, and President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Castro as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador in 1964. After four years there, he served as Ambassador to Bolivia until the end of 1969.

Returning to Tucson, Arizona in 1969 to specialize in international law, Castro continued to rise to the top in Arizona Democratic politics. Seeking state office for the first time in 1970, he won the Democratic nomination for governor, but narrowly lost the general election to Republican incumbent Jack Williams. In 1974, Castro was elected governor. In 1977, after two years as governor, he was selected by President Jimmy Carter to be ambassador to Argentina. Castro held that post until 1980.


On June 12, 2012, despite searing temperatures, Castro was stopped by U.S. Border Patrol after they detected traces of radiation in his vehicle. After explaining that the radiation was due to a medical procedure from the previous day, the ex-governor was released after a short detention.


Castro died in his sleep while under hospice care in San Diego, California, aged 98.

  • Interview with R.H. Castro for the newspaper Clarín of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 20 December 1998 concerning the Beagle conflict: Clarín.
  • The Raul Castro Collection at the University of Arizona UAiR Collection
Preceded by
Albert Rosellini
Oldest living US governor
October 10, 2011April 10, 2015
Succeeded by
Edgar Whitcomb
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