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Carlos Arturo Fuente, The Fuente Story

David Savona
Posted: March 15, 2010

This new biography about one of the lions of the cigar industry, Carlos Arturo Fuente (known to modern day cigars smokers as Carlos Fuente Sr.) goes through the amazing life story of Fuente Sr. and how he grew his father's small, local cigar business into one of the largest producers of handmade cigars the world has ever seen.

The book, written by Loy Glenn Westfall and published by Prometheus International Inc., tells the story of how Fuente Jr. grew up in the family cigar business, which began on the back porch of his father, Arturo's, Tampa, Florida home in 1912. Carlos and his older brother Arturo Jr., would roll 50 cigars after school each day. Fuente was a cash-and-carry business in those early days, and the business was so modest it couldn't sustain Carlos Sr., who married at a very early age—he took work in his in-law's bakery business.

The story depicts the struggles Fuente faced. He contracted polio as an 11-year-old, at a time when the disease claimed nearly a tenth of all who came down with it. He was quarantined from his family and friends, and his father, Arturo, would visit each morning, and look at his son in the window, tears welling in the father's eyes as he encouraged his boy to fight.

"He would tell me with tears in his eyes, 'Don't give up, Carlos. Be a fighter—you're gonna make it—you're gonna make it.' … he didn't ask how I felt that day, he just told me to have faith." It took him two or three years to walk normally again.

Fuente acquired the family business when his father reached retirement age (his older brother had another job outside of the cigar industry) and after many difficult attempts in various countries settled in the Dominican Republic, where his tireless work ethic and help of his son Carlos Jr. turned Fuente into what it is today.

For anyone who enjoys smoking Fuente cigars, or simply likes the story of perseverance, Carlos Arturo Fuente, The Fuente Story makes fine reading.

The biography has a suggested retail price of $20, and is available at selected cigar retailers who carry Fuente cigars.

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