Activist, journalist and former Cal State Northridge professor Raul Ruiz, who was the top editor at the now-defunct La Raza publication in the 1970s, has died at the age of 78, according to multiple reports.

Ruiz died in his sleep on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Cal State Los Angeles graduate was born in El Paso, Texas, before moving to Southern California with his family as a teenager. In the late 1960s, he helped to start underground newspapers that reported on the experience of the Southland’s Mexican-American community, particularly as it applied to political activism and issues surrounding alleged police misconduct.

It was during this time that Ruiz became involved in La Raza, a more widely influential newspaper that documented what was then known as the Chicano Movement. He remained a top editor with the publication — whose archives are now housed at UCLA — until its dissolution in 1977.

In 1970, Ruiz took a photograph of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy firing tear gas into a Los Angeles bar during a march against the Vietnam War. Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar was killed in the incident, and Ruiz’s photo ran on the front page of the Times.

Ruiz ran unsuccessfully for a state Assembly seat in 1971.

He retired from teaching in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at Cal State Northridge in 2015, according to the Times.

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