The Year Was 1992

The world was quite a different place when Cigar Aficionado magazine was launched 30 years ago. Gas cost about $1.13 a gallon. Making a call when outside the home or office required a pay phone. Google, the euro and social media didn’t exist. Cigar sales were stagnant, and the average price of a handmade cigar was less than $3. Here’s a look back at key events that took place in 1992.

Howard Cosell


The Washington Redskins are crowned NFL champions, defeating the Buffalo Bills, who lose their second Super Bowl in a row. Buffalo will go on to lose the next two Super Bowls as well. Legendary cigar-chomping sports broadcaster Howard Cosell retires.


Sixteen-year-old Tiger Woods competes in his first PGA Tour event, four years before officially turning pro. The third website in history (for a Dutch physics institute) is formed; by year’s end there will be all of 10 websites in the world, compared to around 1.8 billion today. George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, meets with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Maryland to declare an end to the Cold War.


The Silence of the Lambs dominates the Academy Awards and its stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster go home with Oscars.

John Gotti


The Teflon wears out for Mafia Kingpin John Gotti, who is found guilty on 13 counts, including murder. He is later sentenced to life in prision. 


Johnny Carson ends his 30-year run as host of “The Tonight Show.”


Starbucks goes public with a price of $17 per share. A $10,000 investment then would be worth more than $4 million today. Compact discs are the top-selling medium for music in the United States, having overtaken cassettes.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average ends the month at 3,393. It would be two and a half years before it hit 4,000 for the first time.


Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and the rest of the United States Dream Team cruise to gold in Barcelona, the first Olympiad to feature NBA players, with a perfect 8-0 record.

Cigar Aficionado


Marvin R. Shanken releases the first issue of Cigar Aficionado. It’s one of 443 magazines launched that year according to magazine expert Dr. Samir Husni, and its odds of long-term success are slim. “The survival rate at that time was slightly below 50 percent after one year of publication with 70 percent of the failed magazines having one and only one issue,” says Husni. “My estimate for the magazines of 1992 survival rate is less than 10 percent, if that.” The Cohiba Robusto takes top honors in the magazine’s inaugural taste test, with a 96-point score. The average price of a non-Cuban cigar in the ratings is $2.93; eight cigars sell for $2 or cheaper.


Thirty-six-year-old Bill Gates is declared the richest person in America by Forbes, with a net worth of $6.3 billion, replacing the media mogul John Kluge. He’s the youngest person to top the list.


Bill Clinton is elected U.S. president. “Cheers” is in the midst of its 11th and final season; each of the three shows that air this month are watched by an average 27.4 million viewers.


The Ford Taurus overtakes the Honda Accord as the best-selling car in America. It has a sticker price of around $15,000.

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