Laredo, a city in south Texas located on the Mexican border, has a population of 235,000. It is the seat of Webb County. Laredo is heavily Hispanic in ethnicity and Democratic in political orientation. It has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee without exception apparently since the victory of Woodrow Wilson in 1912.
Laredo was founded in 1755 by Don Thomas Sanchez. One of Sanchez's descendants, the Latino sculptor Armando Hinojosa, designed the Tejano Monument, located on the capitol grounds in Austin. The monument, unveiled in March 2012, honors the contributions of Hispanics to the history and culture of Texas.
From 1954 to 1978, the municipal mayor was J. C. Martin, Jr., known as "el patron", a regional political boss who performed small favors for constituents in return for being maintained in office. Facing legal problems, Martin did not run in 1978 and was succeeded by the "reformer," Aldo Tatangelo, a native of Rhode Island. In 1982, Laredo replaced its mayor-council form of municipal government with that of the council-manager. Tatangelo was hence the last mayor under the commission form of municipal government and the first mayor under he mayor-council format.
- Odie Arambula, journalist and philanthropist.
- Peter Arguindegui, petroleum industrialist.
- Domingo Aréchiga, Jr., president of Laredo College, 1974-1985.
- Ernest Barton, Laredo native who launched the first Spanish language radio station in Lubbock in 1967.
- Randy Blair, Webb County Republican chairman from 2008 to 2018.
- Charles Borchers, Webb County district attorney, 1973-1980.
- Joaquin Cigarroa, physician and advocate for public education.
- Jessica Cisneros, leftist Democratic candidate for House District 28 in 2020 and 2022
- David R. Cortez, former Webb County commissioner and member of the Laredo City Council.
- Henry Roberto Cuellar (born 1955), U.S. Representative for Texas' 28th congressional district since 2005
- Agustin Dovalina, former police chief
- Ramón H. Dovalina, former Laredo College president
- Joe B. Finley, businessman and rancher who led the efforts to established the United Independent School District
- Betty Flores, mayor from 1998 to 2006, launhced Laredo Energy Arena
- Julio A. Garcia, district attorney, 1980-1988
- Juan Garza, Webb County sheriff, 1989-2004
- Billy Hall, state representative from 1973 to 1987 and county treasurer, 1995 to 2002
- José Roberto Juárez, historian and Roman Catholic scholar
- George P. Kazen, U.S. District Court judge for nearly forty years
- Ray Keck, president of Texas A&M International University, 2001-2016
- Stanley Keilson, community theatre arts figure and a professor of speech and drama at Laredo College, originally Laredo Junior College.
- Oliver Winfield Killam, early petroleum magnate
- Radcliffe Killam, oilman, rancher, businessman
- Ray A. Laird, president of Laredo College, 1960-1974
- Oscar M. Laurel, state representative, 1957-1961
- Hector Liendo, Webb County justice of the peace, 1993 until retirement in 2021
- Juan L. Maldonado, former Laredo College president
- Mercurio Martinez, former county judge, rancher, businessman, educator
- A. J. Mayers, novelist and film production manager
- Argentina Cronfel Meurer, one of the first women to practice law in Laredo
- George Neel, businessman, rancher, short story writer
- B. P. Newman, businessman
- Marcel Notzon, U.S. magistrate judge, 1982 to 2006
- Ricardo Rangel, Webb County justice of the peace, 2002-2014
- Joe Rubio, district attorney for 49th Judicial District, 1989-2008
- Ezequiel Salinas, judge of the 111th District Court, 1951-19.
- Crispin Sanchez, educator
- Elizabeth Sorrell, educator and journalist
- Tano Tijerina, Webb County judge since 2015
- Vidal M. Treviño, state representative and long-term superintendent of the Laredo Independent School District
- Gene S. Walker, Sr., businessman and rancher
- Roger L. Worsley, former president of Laredo Collge*H. B. Zachry, Jr., construction company magnate born in Laredo
- Oscar J. Zuñiga, engineer and real estate developer
Laredo is also the name of a 1965-1967 NBC television western series based on fictional Texas Rangers assigned to the border country in the late 19th century.