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Class of 1949 - Inducted 1997
Mr. Al Martinez, Sr. was inducted into the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 1997.
Mr. Martinez served the community as a decorated member of the armed forces, as an Omaha Police Officer and a community activist for almost 50 years.
In 1956, Al Martinez, Sr. was the first Latino ever hired by the Omaha Police Department. He served with the OPD for 33 years, until he retired in 1989. A rare two-time recipient of an admiralty in the Nebraska Navy (an honor bestowed by the governor) Mr. Martinez served the greater community as six-time Commander of the Omaha Branch of the American G.!. Forum and as two-time State Commander.
In 1985 he was named Nebraska's first "Hispanic Man of the Year" and is the founder of the Latino Forum of Nebraska. A former member of the Board of Trustees at Packers Bank and Trust, Mr. Martinez also served as a Special Olympics Coach, a Volunteer Baseball coach, a member of the Mayor's JFK Interstate Committee and as a community fundraiser.
He was also pivotal in the naming of Miguel Hernandez Keith Park in South Omaha in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient who died in Vietnam.
In 2018, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Omaha Police Department.
Mr. Martinez passed away in November 2020.