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Sergio Bendixen, Pioneer Pollster Of Hispanics, Dies At 68

sergio-bendixen.jpg
C.M. GUERRERO
/
Miami Herald
Sergio Bendixen

Sergio Bendixen, the first Hispanic to run a U.S. presidential campaign who later pioneered public-opinion polling among Latinos, died late Friday in Miami. He was 68.

No cause of death was immediately available. Bendixen had been suffering from a bad cold in recent days, according to his friend and business partner, Fernand Amandi. The two ran the Coconut Grove-based Bendixen & Amandi International polling firm, though Bendixen was semi-retired.

“Sergio led the way in capturing the opinions of and understanding how Hispanics in America thought and felt about the most important issues in our time,” Amandi said. “He was largely responsible for giving Hispanic America a voice.”

Bendixen not only focused on polling Hispanics: He also chose to survey them in Spanish, if they were more comfortable in that language, an industry innovation now considered standard in multilingual polling. He later expanded his work to other ethnic groups and worked for political candidates internationally, especially in Latin America.

His best friend of 40 years, Mike Abrams, called him “the single greatest political mind I’ve ever met,” and said that all of Bendixon’s grandest political plans started humbly — sketched out on a napkin over lunch.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.