From his early years in Puerto Rico and humble beginnings in the boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx, Francisco Cortes says he has been driven to persevere, to constantly improve.
Many also say the vice president of Fox News Latino was meant to lead and succeed. A stint in the Army also helped. Cortes became a "Newyorican" at an early age when his family moved from Puerto Rico to New York City. During his youth, his "Abuelita," Sofia Soto, would often say, "cuidate, que de los buenos quedamos pocos." (Which, in Spanish, means "Take care of yourself, of the good men only a few remain.")
Although he grew up in rough neighborhoods, Cortes did well in school, played sports and stayed out of trouble. It was his grandmother who instilled in him his core values: always treat people with kindness; always stand up for the weak; always tell the truth; and always stay humble.
In his youth, Cortes aspired to serve his country. Looking forward to the day when he could proudly wear the uniform as his stepfather had done, Cortes enlisted in the Army when he turned 18.
In the Army, while recuperating from a tank accident, he was tasked with writing articles for the battalion newspaper. It was then that Cortes discovered his love of journalism.
The good feedback he received from his peers for his ability to capture their stories encouraged him to consider a future in journalism.
After returning home to New York City in 1999, Cortes applied with the NYPD and with Fox News. He accepted an offer from Fox News to work as an overnight production assistant, which was "the best position to be in because you're allowed to make mistakes, which I made a few of as I progressed and learned," Cortes shared.
Within the next couple of years, Cortes earned promotions in production. In these roles he got to experience a more hectic and faster pace of the newsroom, while interacting with writers, producers and executives.
While earning promotions, he also earned the nickname "the pushy Puerto Rican," for his constant drive to learn, to improve and to progress. Cortes' integrity and work ethic made him a prime candidate for the first class of the Ailes Apprentice Program, which was created by Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes to increase diversity in the executive ranks.
During the year-long program, apprentices are matched with senior executives and have unique...