April 8, 1935 born  grad high school 1952

52to56 air force  (17-year old applicants require parental consent)
During a tour of service in Latin America, Acosta converted to Protestantism and became a Baptist missionary in a leper colony in Panama

56-60 (age 17-21)
Following his discharge, Acosta worked his way through Modesto Junior College, and attended San Francisco State University

passed the State Bar exam in 1966 (age 31)  bachlor of law degree dated june 26,1965
first wife was Betty Daves during the years 1956-1963.  film say 57-62  wife name betty dowd (age 21-28)

His second marriage was to Socorro Aguiniga from 1969-1971 (age 34-36)

disappeared ??? May 27, 1974 (aged 39)
 I was fourteen when he disappeared from Mazatldn, Mexico, via a friend's sailing boat, in June of 1974.

born in El Paso, Texas and was raised in California's San Joaquin Valley, near Modesto.

Immediately following high school, at the age of seventeen, Acosta enlisted in the Air Force and was honorably discharged after four years of service

My mother is alive and well and happily remarried, As for my father: I was fourteen when he disappeared from Mazatldn, Mexico, via a friend's sailing boat, in June of 1974.

 My mom, Betty Acosta Dowd, to my grandparents, Ed and Ruth Daves and Juana and Manuel Acosta, dad's sisters, Anita, Marta and Sally, and his brothers, Roberto and Al,; to my aunt Gina

Marco Federico Manuel Acosta
January l989
San Francisco, California

Rodriguez said he opted to use actors to re-enact interviews and Acosta’s writing since little archive footage exists.

In the documentary, actors portraying former activists spoke of Acosta using Bob Dylan lyrics in closing arguments, detailed how he brought drugs in the courtroom and talked about Acosta keeping the remains of his stillborn daughter in a jar to cope with her death.



Oscar Acosta was born in 1935 in El Paso, Texas, to Mexican immigrant parents. In 1940 he moved with his family to Riverbank, California, Acosta was the second of five children Acosta’s father, Manuel Juan Acosta

 his high school classmates elected him president.
 Acosta joined the Air Force after high school.
in 1956, Acosta began ten years of psychiatric treatment.
 as a student at San Francisco State University, before leaving abruptly in 1960

Acosta decided to go to law school and pursue a career in civil rights.74

La Voz Latina, a Spanish-language paper in the Central Valley, published a picture of the stern-looking young Acosta wearing a dark suit and reported with pride his accomplishment

After law school, Acosta worked briefly as a legal aid lawyer in Oakland but felt frustrated by the powerlessness of the position. After a year or so, Acosta quit

 He arrived in Los Angeles in February 1968,
In Acosta, the East L.A. Thirteen found a most unlikely advocate. A volatile person, Acosta suffered from severe mood swings, psychological instability, drug and alcohol abuse, and the certainty that he was destined to change history.

Possibly worse, he had little experience as a lawyer—indeed, East L.A. Thirteen was Acosta’s first major criminal trial.81 Other than his brief stint as a legal aid attorney, Acosta had no practical legal training. And what little lawyering he had done had instilled in him a deep loathing for legal practice. Nevertheless, Acosta proved to be an ideal attorney for the militants. His psychological instability coexisted with brilliance, creativity, energy, and enthusiasm. His emotional volatility gave him a fierce passion for justice and morality. His lack of legal training and his intention to pursue a writing career liberated him from the strictures of professional deportment in his approach to lawyering.

 Acosta became the lead attorney for the Chicano movement in Los Angeles.

 in 1972 and 1973 he finally published the books he had always dreamed of writing.

For fundraising purposes, Acosta established the Chicano Legal Defense Fund.87 The sponsors of the fund included the prominent politicians Edmund G. Brown and Thomas Bradley, as well as César Chávez, Bert Corona, Rodolfo Acuña,