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Cigar News: Rolando Reyes Sr. Passes Away

20 Mar 2012

It was announced yesterday that longtime cigar pioneer Rolando Reyes Sr. died at the age of 89 on Sunday. Reyes will be fondly remembered as the founder of the Puros Indios brand and a mentor for many in the industry.

“My grandfather has been around this industry so long that many of the great manufacturers of today have come to him at one time or another for help and guidance, but left our factory with an incredible life-long friendship,” said Carlos Diez, current president of Puros Indios.

Reyes was also a longtime member of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR). An IPCPR statement released yesterday called him “an inspiration to many in his industry, with a tireless work ethic and an extreme dedication to his craft.”

Rolando Reyes Sr. embodied the very essence of perseverance. Born in Cuba in 1924, he made his dream of becoming a “tabacalero” true when, at age 21, he established his own cigar factory—only to have his “Los Aliados” trademark and properties seized by the communist government. Then, when he refused to work at the nationalized El Rey del Mundo factory, he was forced to labor in rice fields.

A lesser man might have given up. But Don Rolando moved to America to get his feet back on the ground, working in textiles by day and rolling cigars by night. By 1989, after overcoming a trademark setback, he had his own cigar operation again, this time with an office in Miami and a factory in Danlí, Honduras.

Reyes’ impact on the cigar industry will be felt long after his death. I think I can speak for the entire community when I say that our thoughts are with his family. Don Rolando will be missed.

Patrick A

photo credit: N/A

3 Responses to “Cigar News: Rolando Reyes Sr. Passes Away”

  1. John Pierre Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Mr.Rolando Reyes was a honorable man., with integrity and honesty in the industry,
    His legacy would always live as one of the world great cigar maker.

  2. jim Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    My condolences to the family. I have been an Aliados lover for more than 20 years. I can only hope Carlos Diez follows in his grand fathers footsteps and continues to make my favorite cigar.

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