Garfield High School's Facebook made an announcement Tuesday, stating that the former math teacher there "will forever live in our hearts and memories. The entire Garfield community and East L.A. extends our gratitude to God for allowing Mr. Escalante to grace us with his love and kindness."
Escalante was credited with inspiring sometimes hopeless inner-city children to strive, learn and perform beyond expectation, turning the school's math and science departments into national academic contenders. Edward James Olmos played the Bolivian-born teacher in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver. His supporters held a fundraiser March 6 to help him continue treatments for his bladder cancer. Escalante lived in Sacramento in recent years.
Following recent fund-raising efforts to help continue his cancer treatment, retired teacher Jaime Escalante of Stand and Deliver fame died in Reno, Nev. at the age of 79. Jaime Escalante transformed a tough East Los Angeles high school by motivating struggling inner-city students to master advanced math, became one of America’s most famous teachers and inspired the movie “Stand and Deliver.” He died Tuesday at age 79 after battling cancer for several years, family friend Keith Miller said.