Founding publisher of El Popular passes away; remembered as one of the ‘pioneers of Hispanic media’

June 29, 2021 /

After months of struggling with declining health, founding publisher of El Popular, Raúl R. Camacho, Sr. passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sunday.

He was 84 years old. Camacho was known as “Don Rául” to those closest to him and “Papa” by his family. 

Camacho was one of the “pioneers of Hispanic media” in Kern County and the only print media published entirely in Spanish. 

El Popular was founded by Raúl Camacho, Sr. on August 26, 1983, in Bakersfield, California and soon thereafter he was joined by his late son, Rául Camacho Jr., who became co-publisher. His second eldest son Jorge “George” Camacho, Sr. is the publisher today.  

Even after retirement several years ago, Don Raúl continued to be present at the downtown newspaper office every morning to share his expertise and most of all, to inspire.

In 1985, El Popular was adjudicated by Kern County Superior Court as a Newspaper of General Circulation and has been providing the Latino community of Western Kern County with access to Spanish language news ever since. 

Camacho was born in México City, México to Isaura Reyes and Porfirio Camacho. In 1968, he immigrated to the United States with his wife Lorenza and three children, Raúl Jr., Jorge, and Olga. After settling in Long Beach, California, two more children, Daniel and Lilly, were born to Camacho and Lorenza. 

As a young journalist, starting his career, Camacho worked as a “copy boy” for the daily newspaper, Excellsior in México City.  He would soon be assigned to a city beat as a reporter and photographer. His passion for journalism continued to grow and the dream to someday publish his own newspaper was soon conceived. 

Camacho decided to move from the city of Cypress in Orange County, California to Bakersfield in 1982 after years of working in the fiberglass industry and as the owner and operator of a convenience store in Lynwood, California. Camacho made the difficult decision to sell the convenience store along with the family home to launch his dream of publishing a Spanish language newspaper in Bakersfield. He kept his dream alive through much personal sacrifice, hard work, and sheer persistence. 

Camacho is preceded in death by his eldest son Rául Steven Camacho, Jr., grandson Cameron Stanley, and son-in-law Brian Stanley.  

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Lorenza, and their four children and their spouses Jorge (Martha), Olga (Steven Hall),  Daniel (Melissa), and Lilly (Rick Rosenberger), and 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. 

Funeral services are scheduled for July 8, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at St. Phillip the Apostle Church in Bakersfield.