Known for her civic and philanthropic work and in support of the arts, education and the well being of the general public. She was president of the Ángel Ramos Foundation for fifty years. The foundation established the Tina Hill Prize for Community Service in her honor.
Argentina Schifano was born October 4, 1921, in Pola, Italy, the daughter of Argentina Schifano. At fourteen years of age, she immigrated along with her family to New York. She obtained United States citizenship and, after completing high school, enrolled at New York University.
In the mid-1940s, while she was working as an executive in the offices of Buitoni-Perugina, an Italian food and candy company, she met Angel Ramos Torres, owner of the newspaper El Mundo in Puerto Rico, while he was in the city on a business trip. She married Ramos and settled on the island.
After the death of Angel Ramos in 1960, she remained in charge of Empresas El Mundo, which consisted of WKAQ radio, WKAQ-TV Telemundo, Channel 2, the film dubbing company Film and Dubbing Productions and the ángel Ramos Foundation. The purpose of the latter was to support institutions that contribute to Puerto Rican communities.
In 1963, she married Lee Hills, a journalist and editor who later became president and executive editor of the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain. Argentina Hills continued managing the businesses and the foundation.
The newspaper began to decline in the early 1970s and finally closed in 1987. In 1984, the Angel Ramos Foundation sold WKAQ-TV to John Blair & Co. In 1986, the Reliance Holding Group of New York, owners of other stations in the United States, acquired the chain and converted it to the Telemundo Network, the second Spanish-language chain in the country.
Tina Hills was president of the Angel Ramos Foundation for fifty years until her retirement in 2008. Under her direction, the Foundation supported organizations such as the Teresa Toda Homes that helped children and youths from Loiza who were victims of mistreatment, the Fondita de Jesús, the Jane Stern Community Library, the Puerto Rican Down Syndrome Foundation, the Arecibo Observatory, and the Puerto Rico´s Online Encyclopedia.
Hills has also led numerous institutions such as the Inter-American Press Society, of which she was president (1977-1978), the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the Americas Society, an organization dedicated to education and dialogue and whose purpose is to achieve greater understanding of the political, social and economic situation in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada.
She has also served as a member of the boards of directors of Sagrado Corazón University of Puerto Rico, the University of Detroit in Michigan and Barry University in Miami, as well as the American Federation of the Arts in New York, the Catholic Community Foundation in Florida, the Miami Museum of Art and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust.
Among the awards and honors she has received are the María Moors Cabot Award from Columbia University and the Americas Foundation Award. She has also received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Miami in Florida, Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina, and from the Inter-American, Metropolitan, Caribbean Central and Sagrado Corazón universities in Puerto Rico.
The Angel Ramos Foundation established the Tina Hills Prize for Community Service to honor organizations or programs that have distinguished themselves by providing services with extraordinary social impact in improving the quality of life of the Puerto Rican community.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 12, 2014.
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