Walter Mercado, our beloved icon, friend, confidant, and member of our family, died on Saturday. The Puerto Rican astrologer sadly passed due to kidney failure. He was in his late ’80s.
According to the Associated Press, spokeswoman Sofía Luquis at the Auxilio Mutuo Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, confirmed that he died there late Saturday. “He had been living in the suburb of Cupey and had spent several days in the hospital before his death,” the AP reports.
It’s very fitting, however, that Walter Mercado died during the biggest Latinx holiday — Day of the Dead— which is celebrated all over the world. The flamboyant astrologer always knew how to make an entrance. And his exit was just as grand.
Trying to explain Walter Mercado’s cultural significance to non-Latinxs is challenging in many respects because reducing Mercardo to his profession as just an astrologer would be dishonorable to his legacy. He simply meant so much more to so many. Here’s why Walter Mercado’s mark in Latinx history will be remembered forever.