Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) was one of Latin America's most important and well-known writers. He wrote 24 books, including Aura, The Old Gringo, and Terra Nostra, as well as several plays, short tales, and articles. He was awarded the Cervantes Award, the highest literary distinction in the Spanish-speaking world, in 1987. Fuentes, the son of Mexican parents, was born in Panama City and migrated to Mexico as a youngster. He was an ambassador to England and France and taught at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, and Columbia colleges. In 2012, he died in Mexico City.