Ernesto Galarza (1905–1984) was a labor organizer, historian, professor, and community activist. When he was eight, he migrated from Jalcocotán, Nayarit, Mexico, to Sacramento, California, where he worked as a farm laborer. He received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. In addition to Barrio Boy, he is the author of a number of books, including Strangers in Our Fields (1956), Merchants of Labor (1964), and Spiders in the House and Workers in the Fields (1970). In 1979, Dr. Galarza was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.