U.S. Judge Hilda Tagle
A Carroll High School Hispanic Heritage Tribute
Carroll High School Salutes Senior U.S. Judge Hilda Tagle
U.S. Senior Judge Hilda Gloria Tagle was born in Corpus Christi on December 18, 1946, and grew up in Robstown, Texas. Her parents, Manuel and Dora, were migrants who traveled across the state as farm workers and struggled to feed young Tagle and her five younger brothers on the small amount of money they earned.
Judge Tagle overcame hardships by earning her education and becoming one of the most successful and celebrated Latinas in Corpus Christi, Texas history.
Because of her unrelenting determination and courage as she faced adversity throughout her life to reach the high level of leadership she has achieved, Mary Carroll High School recognizes her in this second week of Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 as a role model for our students and all members of the community.
The Honorable Hilda G. Tagle: Our Texas Sonia Sotomayor
by Dr. Nancy S. Vera
U.S. Senior Judge Hilda Gloria Tagle was born in Corpus Christi on December 18, 1946, and grew up in Robstown, Texas, in what she says was a very “humble but very enriched” upbringing. Her parents, Manuel and Dora, were migrants who traveled across the state as farm workers and struggled to feed their family on the small amount of money they earned. Her father served in the army during World War II, and her mother worked as a beautician and worked in other odd jobs to help support the young Hilda and her five younger brothers.
Although her mother encouraged her love of reading, she insisted that Judge Tagle enroll in beauty school at 15 years old so that Judge Tagle could be financially independent. This is why Judge Tagle became a licensed beautician at the age of 16. However, Judge Tagle never lost her fierce desire to attend college.
In 1967, Judge Tagle received an Associate's degree from Del Mar College in Corpus Christi then she continued her studies at East Texas State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in library science, Spanish and English. She continued her schooling to obtain her master’s degree in library science from North Texas State University in 1971. Judge Tagle received her Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree from the University Of Texas School Of Law in August 1977.
Judge Tagle returned to South Texas where she worked as an assistant city attorney for the City of Corpus Christi for a year. She was then recruited as a Nueces County assistant county attorney where she was one of very few women trying criminal jury cases. In 1980, she was recruited by the Nueces County District Attorney to prosecute felonies. After leaving the DA’s office, Judge Tagle practiced law and taught at Del Mar College for four years.
Her work in the courtroom and her reputation as a lawyer opened the door to her appointment as judge of Nueces County Court at Law in 1985, becoming the first Hispanic female judge in Nueces County, the first Hispanic female county court-at-law judge in Texas, and only the second Hispanic woman judge of a court of record in Texas.
On January 1, 1995, she took her oath as judge of the 148th District Court in Corpus Christi. In August, 1995, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton as U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Texas. Her nomination lapsed in August, 1996. She was nominated a second time by President Clinton in February, 1997, and
was confirmed by the Senate in March, 1998. Judge Tagle became a Senior U.S. District Judge in 2012.
Gutiérrez, José Angel, Michelle Meléndez, and Sonia Adriana Noyola. Chicanas in Charge: Texas Women in the Public Arena. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2006. 137-143
Tagle, H. G. (2013, October 26). Interview by Nancy S. Vera. Judge Hilda G. Tagle: Our Texas Sonia Sotomayor. Retrieved from
“Hilda Tagle.” Judgepedia. 22 July 2009 <http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Hilda_Tagle>
Photograph Courtesy of The Honorable Hilda G. Tagle
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