about the author Don Miles

Don Miles has been News Director for radio stations in New York City, (WPAT,) Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska and finally Texas. He has won “Best Newscast” award from the Nebraska A.P. Broadcasters and his news teams in Florida and Nebraska have won numerous statewide awards. He has served on the Board of Directors for Florida’s AP Broadcasters and has judged broadcast news contests for UPI Rhode Island. Don has taught at the Universities of Florida and Nebraska, at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and at elementary schools in New York, Connecticut and Texas.

He is the author of two books in the field of broadcast news, (Broadcast News Handbook and Broadcast Newswriting Stylebook.) He has a Bachelors in Education from State University of New York at New Paltz and a Masters in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida.

Don’s inspiration for the book came mainly from his late wife, Dr. Minerva González-Angulo Miles. Minerva grew up in the neighborhood at the base of Chapultepec Hill in Mexico City, where the Emperor Maximilian’s castle still stands. She would often visit the castle and view the portrait of the emperor and empress whose story is featured in this book. (Also see Q&A With Don Miles. )

Dr. González-Angulo taught elementary school in Mexico City, then came to the United States on a scholarship as a foreign student. Shortly after marrying and moving to the U.S., she became a United States citizen, then went on to earn a Bachelors and a Masters at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury and a Ph.D. at the University of Florida. She taught at the junior high and high school levels in Connecticut and Florida, and at the university level for the University of Nebraska, St. Edward’s University in Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She died in May of 2006.

The couple’s daughter and son are both fully-bilingual college graduates, and both earned officers’ commissions in the military. Daughter Juliette is now a retired Major after 25 years of service with both the Army and the Air Force. Son Richard is on special assignment with the State Department in Iraq, after serving for two years with the National Security Council at the White House..

Don and Minerva traveled extensively throughout Mexico, and over the past few years  visited many libraries and bookstores there in the research for this book. They also spent many hours in the stacks at the Benson Latin American Library at the University of Texas in Austin, which is widely recognized as the premier source for information on this topic. They also paid several visits to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to photocopy various U.S. government documents pertaining to the Mexican situation during the 1860’s.

Don wrote and produced plays and slide shows about Cinco de Mayo for elementary students, teachers and parents. Minerva conducted workshops on Mexican culture for teachers in Florida. She was Co-Director for an institute supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities at Texas State University that conducted tours in Mexico for Texas teachers.

Above: Don and Mini at home in Austin

Inset: Don Miles atop Cerro del Borrego (Sheep’s Hill) overlooking Orizaba.

    Green Mexican recruits lost a battle here. Several months later, a Mexican patrol bombarded a French play rehearsal from here, forcing the actors playing female parts to fight back dressed in drag!

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