Ralph Lazo


Name Ralph Lazo
Born 1924
Died 1992
Birth Location Los Angeles

High school student from Los Angeles who voluntarily went with his Nisei friends to Manzanar in 1942. Of Mexican and Irish descent, young Ralph Lazo (1924–92) grew up among Nisei, many of whom attended Belmont High School with him. Though not subject to forced removal and incarceration, Lazo opted to join his Nisei friends at Manzanar as a show of support and as a protest against injustice. He was among the very few inmates of non-Japanese descent in any of the War Relocation Authority administered camps and perhaps the only one who was not the spouse of a Japanese American. He left Manzanar to serve in the army and went on to a career as a teacher and counselor, retaining ties to the Japanese American community through his life. He is the subject of the 2004 film, Stand Up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

For More Information

Ralph Lazo ID Card, Manzanar National Historic Site.

Rasmussen, Cecilia. "Following His Beliefs Led Him to Manzanar." Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2007.

Stand Up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story. Produced by Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress and Visual Communications. Written and directed by John Esaki. 2004. 33 min.

Yen, Janice Harumi. "Who Was Ralph Lazo?" Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress website.