Dionicio Morales, a former labor organizer whose efforts to help his community resulted in the creation of one of the nation's largest Latino social service providers, has died. He was 89. Morales died of natural causes Wednesday at Beverly Hospital in Montebello. He was organizing garment workers in the early 1960s when he decided to create the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in 1963. Morales persuaded the vice president, Lyndon Johnson, to meet with members of the Mexican-American community during a visit to Los Angeles. Johnson later helped his foundation secure funding from the Department of Labor.
The Mexican American Opportunity Foundation has since grown to serve more than 100,000 people. It provides a variety of services, including English classes and immigration assistance, mainly to people with low and moderate incomes.
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