Esmeralda Santiago is a Puerto Rican author. She was born on May 17, 1948 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She came to the mainland at age 13. Santiago attended New York City’s Performing Arts High School. She later went on to Harvard where she graduated in 1976 with honors, magna cum laude. She also holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Santiago married, Frank Cantor and found with him the production company, CANTOMEDIA that specializes in documentary filmmaking. Santiago has won numerous awards along with her husband.
Santiago's essays and opinion pieces have appeared in magazines and reputable newspapers. Santiago writes novels and memoirs that have become part of Latin Literature due to the historical data some of them contain along with what is like being Latino in America. She also writes children's books. Her most notable books are "When I Was Puerto Rican", "Almost a Woman", and "America's Dream". She is one of the founders of a women's shelter that assists battered women and children. The superbly beautiful and talented Santiago is still writing. She lives in Westchester County, New York.