David Savona, the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado and a member of the editorial team for the past 27 years, badgered me to give him an interview to help
celebrate the 30th anniversary of our favorite magazine.
Little did he know that I had kept a secret from him and former executive editor Gordon Mott, who helped launch the magazine with me in 1992.
In the interview, I discuss the background behind my original desire to launch my own cigar, and what happened that prevented me from doing it. The story is complicated and personal, and were it not for a moment in time I might be a cigar importer—and there would be no Cigar Aficionado magazine. To learn why, turn to page 50 to read my interview.
My friends in the cigar industry will now discover that my burning desire was to be one of them. My passion for cigars was an obsession. While the dream of creating my own brand never happened, I can now say that I believe everything worked out for the best.
Through this magazine, I have made so many friends and met so many wonderful cigar families. It brings me great pride to see how together we were able to turn the handmade cigar industry around and create so much enjoyment for millions of cigar lovers around the world.
While there’s a lot of fun stuff in this issue reminding us of the past 30 years, I feel that I owe a great debt of gratitude to all of those at M. Shanken Communications who were involved with me in this long journey. Furthermore, to the cigarmakers and cigar retailers who have become my dear friends, I can only say that through this magazine I have truly been blessed.
Looking back at our charities, first the Night To Remember, which raised $24 million over 23 years for prostate cancer research, and now our Els for Autism Pro-Am, which has raised $13 million over 13 years so far, thank you to all who have supported these extremely important causes.
And I am particularly appreciative of all the thousands of readers who have either written letters to Dear Marvin or submitted their personal photographs to Moments to Remember. To date, we have published more than 4,000 photos and 1,500 letters—and there were so many more that we simply did not have room to publish. This has truly been a cigar-family affair.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.