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Teacher, musicologist, poet, short-story writer, Hispanic scholar and novelist, Americo Paredes taught English and anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at Austin. He researched the ballad of Gregorio Cortez, published in 1958 as With His Pistol in His Hand. The book was the basis for a PBS film starring Edward James Olmos. Paredes co-founded the University of Texas Mexican-American Studies Program.