The Top 100 Cigar Smokers of the Twentieth Century
From the Print Edition:
Vince McMahon, Nov/Dec 99
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17 FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA The director of such films as The Godfather and Apoca-lypse Now owes his cigar education, in part, to Jack Warner, the onetime head of Warner Bros. As a young writer and director, Coppola worked a bit with Warner, who taught Coppola the proper way to light a cigar. When Warner died, he left a gold-and-silver cigar cutter to an associate, who gave it to Coppola. Warner had gotten the cutter from Lord Mountbatten, the British admiral who was assassi-nated in 1979.
18 RUSH LIMBAUGH The outspoken radio and TV commentator was a latecomer to cigars, but he was a quick learner. Starting out with Macanudos, Ashtons and Fonsecas, Limbaugh soon gravitated toward Havanas. On a trip to London, he became acquainted with Punch Double Coronas, Partagas Lusitanias and Monty No. 2s, but, alas, he couldn't find any Hoyo de Monterreys. The disappointment was short-lived, however; on a yachting holiday, he found a rare box of Hoyo Double Coronas on St. Maarten.
19 WHOOPI GOLDBERG If there's anyone who's hard to pigeonhole, it's Goldberg. She has been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The Color Purple and been named best supporting actress in Ghost. Her screwball stand-up routines are renowned, but she has also hosted a talk show in which she explored serious subjects. She's just as difficult to classify when it comes to cigars. While she prefers small cigars, she's been known to light up a big Cohiba now and then.
20 AL LERNER This Montecristo No. 2 connoisseur was given the unenviable task a decade ago of turning around MBNA Corp., a Maryland bank saddled with underperforming real estate loans. Lerner began to pay down debt and took the parent company public, and today it is one of the nation's biggest credit card issuers. Part of MBNA's success is due to Lerner's introduction of affinity credit cards, which benefit the group issuing them. A football fan, Lerner bought the new Cleveland Browns last year.
21 RUDYARD KIPLING The Nobel Prize-winning English writer and poet was hailed in Britain as the heir apparent to Charles Dickens. He is best known for tales that relate to British imperialism in India, such as The Jungle Book (1894) and Kim (1901). Despite being admired, Kipling was criticized by many of his peers for his support of British colonialism and racial prejudice. The cigar-loving author is also famous for saying, "A woman is a woman but a good cigar is a smoke."
22 ZINO DAVIDOFF "If your wife doesn't like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife," said the late Swiss-based cigar-industry icon, who began his illustrious career in the 1930s as a worker in his father's tobacco shop in Geneva. The Russian émigré was instrumental in creating the high-end Hoyo de Monterrey "Chateaux" series of cigars and launched his signature line of Cuban smokes in 1970. He was the author of The Connoisseur's Book of the Cigar, widely regarded as the bible of the industry.
23 J. P. MORGAN The legendary business tycoon and robber baron was a painfully shy and private person. But in his professional dealings, John Pierpont Morgan was ruthless. During his long career as head of J.P. Morgan & Co., he helped save the U.S. government from bankruptcy (at a price) and helped to create U.S. Steel. He loved to travel, collect art and smoke cigars, of which he consumed dozens a day. He was known to favor Cuban smokes, particularly Meridiana Kohinoors.
24 SIGMUND FREUD The father of psychoanalysis saw phallic symbols everywhere, but nevertheless conceded that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." He began smoking at 24, enjoyed an average of 20 cigars a day, and was rarely photographed without his tobacco companion. He often stated that he couldn't work without cigars and that "smoking was one of the greatest pleasures in life." A lifetime smoker, he favored Don Pedros, Reina Cubanas and Dutch Liliputanos.
25 BRUCE WILLIS Willis, who first gained attention as the wisecracking David Addison on ABC's "Moonlighting," has electrified worldwide audiences in a number of big-budget blockbusters that usually have him, if not saving the world (Armageddon), then saving the day (the Die Hard trilogy). He has demonstrated a flair for comedy as well, as shown in The Player. During the mid-1990s, Willis frequented Arnold Schwarzenegger's Monday night cigar dinners at Schatzi on Main.
26 MICHAEL DOUGLAS The award-winning actor-producer has a proclivity for playing flawed heroes and antiheroes. Douglas received an Academy Award for Best Picture as producer of the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a corporate high roller in Wall Street. He also starred in Romancing the Stone, The War of the Roses and everyone's favorite cautionary tale on the dangers of adultery, Fatal Attraction. He enjoys smoking Montecristo No. 2s on the golf course.
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