It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a legend. Alejandro Robaina, the famous Cuban cigar maker, died last week from a battle with cancer that was diagnosed last year. He was 91 years old. Robaina was the only Cuban cigar grower to have a cigar named in his honor, Vegas Robaina Cigars.
Despite becoming the unofficial Ambassador for Cuba’s tobacco and cigar industry, Robaina remained humble and true to his roots as a tobacco grower. Following his family’s legacy, which began in 1845 in the Canary Islands, Robaina went on to produce the finest cigars in Cuba. His exceptional cigars rose to fame due to their silky leaves. His company now rolls 8-10 million cigars of the 100 to 160 million cigars made in Cuba every year.
As a man who began with humble roots and found his way to unexpected fame—Sting once asking him for an autograph at an event with King Juan Carlos of Spain—his love remained in tending to his 40 acres of tobacco leaves, and in the large family he had.
“I had five children. The eldest passed away already. I have 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. I want to live until I turn 120 because I have such a big family, so many friends, that I want to live longer to see what they are going to be,” Robaina said in an interview with Cubanow.net. For someone who never swam in the ocean, despite living his entire life on an island, and who never put on short sleeve shirts, Robaina created a legacy that will live on for many generations to come.