Celia Cruz, known as the Queen of Salsa, will appear on the U.S. quarter, the United States Mint announced.
Cruz will be the first Afro Latina to appear on the quarter.
Who was Celia Cruz?
Celia Cruz, born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, was a Cuban American salsa singer and icon known for hits such as “La Vida Es Un Carnaval” and “La Negra Tiene Tumbao.”
In her lifetime she recorded over 80 albums, earning many awards, including five Grammys and the president’s National Medal of Art, according to NPR.
Cruz died at age 77 from brain cancer in 2003, per Variety.
What is the American Women Quarters Program?
Cruz is one of the five women being honored in 2024 by U.S. Mint’s 2024 American Women Quarters Program, a four-year program honoring five different women each year.
This is the third year of the program.
Which other women will appear on the quarter?
“All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives, and have made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way,” Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said. “The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”
Here are the 2024 selections for the American Women Quarters program, with descriptions provided by the U.S. Mint:
- Pauli Murray — poet, writer, activist, lawyer, and Episcopal priest.
- Patsy Takemoto Mink — first woman of color to serve in Congress.
- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker — Civil War era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and abolitionist.
- Celia Cruz — Cuban-American singer, cultural icon, and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century.
- Zitkala-Ša (“Red Bird”) — writer, composer, educator, and political activist.
Here are the 2023 selections for the American Women Quarters program, with descriptions provided by the U.S. Mint:
- Bessie Coleman — first African American and first Native American woman pilot.
- Edith Kanakaʻole — indigenous Hawaiian composer, custodian of native culture and traditions.
- Eleanor Roosevelt — first lady, author and civil liberties advocate.
- Jovita Idar — Mexican-American journalist, activist, teacher and suffragist.
- Maria Tallchief — America’s first prima ballerina.
Here are the 2022 selections for the American Women Quarters program, with descriptions provided by the U.S. Mint:
- Maya Angelou — celebrated writer, performer, and social activist.
- Dr. Sally Ride — physicist, astronaut, educator, and first American woman in space.
- Wilma Mankiller — first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
- Nina Otero-Warren — a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first woman superintendent of Santa Fe public schools.
- Anna May Wong — first Chinese American film star in Hollywood.