Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona Ernesto “Neto” Portillo Jr. is a proud Tucsonan. He is a columnist for The Arizona Daily Star and also works for La Estrella.
While Neto was a student at the University of Arizona, he traveled to Mexico and Central America. Neto graduated with a major in Latin American Studies, but developed a passion for journalism. He “fell in love with it” when he took a basic journalism class at the U of A. He only took three journalism courses, but he was fascinated. He was told he would be a good journalist because he is bilingual and a great writer.
In 1982, he attended a journalism program for minorities at University of California, Berkeley. When Neto finished the program, he began to work as a reporter in Massachusetts. He worked there for three years and then moved to San Diego, where he lived for 15 years working as a reporter.
In 2000, Neto moved back home to Tucson. He started working at The Arizona Daily Star, where he was hired as a columnist.
In addition to being a columnist, he loves his chickens and turtles. Neto also enjoys doing CrossFit with his wife. He hopes to inspire people and give them ganas or “moxy” when they read his columns.