Tato Laviera was born Jesï¿½s Abraham Laviera on May 9, 1950, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He moved to the Lower East Side as a child. He attended Brooklyn College and Cornell University. Before becoming a full-time poet in the 1970s, he was a community organizer. His first collection, La Carreta Made a U-Turn, was published in 1979. He was one of the best-known representatives of the Nuyorican school of poetry. During his lifetime, he published books, plays and poems including AmeRï¿½can, Mixturao and Other Poems, and The King of Cans. After being in a coma since late January, he died from complications of diabetes on November 1, 2013 at the age of 63.