Julio Rafael Ortiz was born in Havana, Cuba on October 24, 1959. He emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1961 as a political exile. He was raised in Chicago, Illinois and Miami, Florida. Dr. Ortiz graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1985 with highest honors. He received his ophthalmic surgical training at Emory University Eye Center where he was Chief Resident and at Duke University Eye Center where he was Hornaday Fellow. He was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1991. Dr. Ortiz has been in private medical practice in Miami for the past twenty-one years. He specializes in cataract, glaucoma, and corneal transplantation surgery. Privately, J.R. Ortiz lives with his lovely wife and four children in Coral Gables, Florida.
He is an avid reader of history, economics, sociology, and political science. His interest in freedom was born from his own experiences in the Cuban diaspora and his love for America. Ortiz believes that America and what it has represented to the world since its inception, is now being eroded at home and abroad. Examples abound. The costs of freedom must be understood by all Americans. Dr. Ortiz has spent his entire professional life working to prevent physical blindness. He is now trying to prevent blindness in America, sociologically. The American Amaranth anthology shows that honor, courage, hope, and love are the foundation for freedom in America.