Cristina Saralegui has the distinction of being one of the most famous and influential Latina TV journalists of all time, but she seems more like a friend. For over 20 years she met us in our living rooms for frank discussions of controversial topics other Latino talk show hosts avoided, and also doled out heaping doses of lifestyle, entertainment, and wellness advice. It seems difficult to contain all the varied accomplishments of this Latina media trailblazer in a short Cristina Saralegui biography!
Cristina spent her pre-teen years in Cuba, but relocated to Miami after the Revolution in 1960. Cristina, then age 12, came to maturity in the midst of a thriving expat community.
As a child she studied ballet, Spanish folk dance and piano. The study of Spanish folk dance kept her close to her Hispanic culture. Here on the left in a ballerina outfit as a child. Picture courtesy of cristinaonline.com.
She studied at the University of Miami and got her first taste of the media world during an internship at Vanidades magazine. By 1973 she joined the staff of the Spanish version of Cosmopolitan magazine and her meteoric rise to fame had begun.
Cristina Saralegui Biography – Media Career
Cristina Saralegui hit the international spotlight with the debut of The Cristina Show on Univision in 1989. For over 20 years and 4,000 episodes, she served as both host and executive producer for the show, entertaining millions with celebrity interviews, inspirational stories, and no-holds-barred explorations of topics like AIDS and domestic violence.
A crossover to the English language market aired for 11 weeks on CBS stations in 1992, but ultimately failed. However, the Spanish language show remained highly popular.
Thanks to Cristina Saralegui, Univision had one of the highest-rated shows on Spanish language TV for many years.
The Cristina Show went off the air in 2010, but Cristina continues to enjoy a reputation as one of the most famous and influential role models of all time for Latina women.
For fans of Cristina Saralegui, Telemundo offered hope of a revival of regular TV appearances. Unfortunately, the new show, Pa’lante con Cristina lasted for only one season on Telemundo before being canceled.
Today Cristina continues to pursue media ventures with her own company and currently hosts a radio program.
Any Cristina Saralegui biography must mention some of the many notable accomplishments that make Cristina such a worthy role model:
- First Latina in the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame
- 12 Emmys for The Cristina Show
- First Spanish language TV personality to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Valor Award from GLAAD
- Named one of 25 Most Influential Hispanics by Time Magazine
Trading on her tremendous brand name recognition and reputation for being a highly trusted and respected source of lifestyle information for Hispanic women, Cristina launched her own line of furniture and home accessories in 2004. The collection, known as Casa Cristina, exudes her personal warmth and style. Cristina Saralegui furniture in particular is designed to support gracious living and entertaining.
Her other business ventures include Blue Dolphin Studios, which is co-owned with her husband Marcos Avila. In total Cristina Saralegui’s net worth stands at an estimated $30 million.
What will the future bring for Cristina Saralegui and her business empire? Only time will tell, but it is sure to be in line with her signature inspirational motto, “Pa’lante, pa’lante, pa’tras ni pa’ coger impulso.” (Onward, onward, never stepping back, not even to get momentum).