Alissa Torres is the widow of Luis Eduardo Torres, known to his loved ones as Eddie Torres. Eddie died at age 31 on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, North Tower, on his second day of work at Cantor Fitzgerald. At the time, Alissa was seven and a half months pregnant with their son, who was born in October, 2001.
Eddie came to New York from Cali, Colombia as an illegal immigrant in 1990 and labored in the menial jobs that were readily available to him. But he also worked hard to rise above these circumstances. He learned English fluently and earned the respect and admiration of all his employers and co-workers. Through his work and good fortune — that tragically became his bad fortune – Eddie began working on Wall Street in 1995 where he eventually became a well paid currency broker for emerging markets in Latin America.
After her husband died, Alissa Torres wrote through her grief. She kept journals and published seven personal essays on Salon and one in Redbook magazine. All of the writing she did, the raw and the refined, kept her centered and sane and she continues to write today. In 2007, Alissa won a State Farm Embrace Life Award, given to widows who inspire others with their achievements. In September, 2008 she published AMERICAN WIDOW, her first book.
Alissa has been a member of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows since January, 2004. She has been especially involved with issues concerning immigration, the US Patriot Act, and Guantanamo Bay. In September, 2004, she also met with victim families and survivors from the 3/11 bombings in Madrid.