Pablo Escobar Biography & Net Worth
Pablo Escobar Biography & Net Worth
|Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria
|1 December 1949
Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia
|Died on 2 December 1993 (aged 44)
Maria Victoria Henao (m. 1976)
|Drug Lord, Narcoterrorist
Pablo Escobar oftentimes referred to as the ‘King of coke’, was an infamous Colombian criminal and drug lord. He was considered to be the most powerful and wealthiest person in the history of drug trafficking. The Medellín Cartel was created by him and other associates to ship cocaine to American. The 1970s and 1980s saw Escobar and the Medellín Cartel enjoying a kind of monopoly in the cocaine trafficking business in America shipping over 80 percent of the total drug trafficked in the country. He made several billions of dollars from his trade and was said to have earned up to $100 billion when money buried in different parts of Colombia are included.
Escobar was mentioned as the 7th richest person in the world by Forbes in 1989. He lived an extravagant life with the riches he made, kept around four hundred luxury mansions in various countries, owned private aircraft, and even a private zoo that was home to various exotic animals. To also mention, the notorious kingpin had his own army of soldiers and hardened criminals. While his vast empire was erected on murders and crimes, Escobar was known for sponsoring several charity projects and soccer clubs. Find more details below.
Early Life: Family, Childhood, Education
Escobar was born Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria on December 1, 1949, in Rionegro, Colombia. He was the third of the seven children of Abel de Jesús Dari Escobar and Hermilda Gaviria. His father, Abel, was a farmer. On the other hand, his mother, Hermilda, was employed in the city as an elementary school teacher.
It was on the streets of Medellín that Pablo Escobar started his criminal activities as a teenager, stealing different items and selling them off to smugglers. He had a strong desire to be a known millionaire by the age of 22 since his childhood. Alongside Oscar Bernal Aguirre, he would steal cars, sell fake lottery tickets to unsuspecting buyers, sell contraband cigarettes, and operate petty street scams. He became a thief and bodyguard in the early 1970s and kidnapped a Medellín manager to earn a quick $100,000. His next step up in the crime business was to work with the contraband smuggler Alvaro Prieto.
Escobar reportedly attended the University Autónoma Latinoamericana of Medellín, but only briefly.
Professional Life: Criminal Career
According to Roberto Escobar, brother of the crime lord Pablo Escobar, the drug trafficker was a simple middle-class person who rose to become one of the wealthiest persons under the Sun. Roberto used to keep track of all the cash made by Pablo Escobar as his accountant. At its peak when the Medellín Cartel pushed 15 tons of cocaine daily to the United States worth over half a billion dollars, Escobar and his brother bought rubber bands worth $1000 every week to wrap the cash bundles. About 10 percent of the money warehoused was lost every year due to damage by rats.
Pablo Escobar entered the drug business in the 1970s and had advanced in his cocaine operations by 1975. He himself would fly a plane between Panama and Colombia for smuggling Cocaine to America.
In 1975, after he returned from Ecuador to Medellín with a heavy load, Escobar was arrested along with his gang, and 39 pounds of white paste was discovered in their possession. He failed in his attempt to bribe the judges in charge of his case and eventually killed the two arresting officers, leading to the dropping of his case. Seeing that he was successful the first time, he started applying the same tactics of either bribing his way out or killing to deal with the authorities.
Earlier, he used to sneak cocaine in old tires of planes and would pay a pilot $500,000 per flight. Later, when its demand in America escalated, he arranged for extra shipments and alternative networks and routes including South Florida and California.
In collaboration with Carlos Lehder, Escobar developed Norman’s Cay in the Bahamas as a trans-shipment point. Between 1978 and 1982, this location remained the main route for the Medellín Cartel’s smuggling activities. Escobar splashed millions of dollars in purchasing 7.7 square miles of land which includes his estate ‘Hacienda Napoles’.
The mid-1980s saw Escobar at the peak of his power, moving about 11 tons of cocaine per flight to America. He also made use of two remote-controlled submarines to smuggle cocaine into intended sites.
In 1982, he was elected to the Chamber of Representatives by the Colombian Liberal Party, and represented the Colombian government at the swearing ceremony of Felipe Gonzalez in Spain.
As his network stretched out and he gained notoriety, the drug lord became infamous worldwide. By that time his ‘Medellín Cartel’ controlled a huge portion of drug trafficking covering Spain, Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, Dominic Republic, Puerto Rico, and many other countries of Europe and America. Rumor had it that his network reached Asia as well. His criminal activities included murders of hundreds of civilians, state officials, and policemen and bribing judges, politicians, and government officials.
By 1989 the Medellín Cartel was in control of 80 percent of the world’s cocaine market. It was generally understood that he was the principal financier of his country’s football team ‘Medellín’s Atlético Nacional’. He was also credited for funding or establishing football fields, multi-sports courts, and supporting the children’s football teams. Although he was looked at as an enemy of the Colombian and American governments, he was successful in building goodwill among the poor around him. He was instrumental in building churches, hospitals, schools, and hospitals in parts of Colombia and also donated money for several projects that were of benefit to the poor. He was quite famous in the local Roman Catholic Church and the people of Medellín often protected him from authorities.
Escobar’s empire became so powerful that other smugglers gave away 20 to 35 percent of their profit to him for easy shipment of their cocaine to the United States. In 1989, he was accused of the murder of a Colombian presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Galan. He was also accused of being responsible for the bombings at the Avianca Flight 203 and at the ‘DAS Building’ in Bogota.
After the killing of Luis Carlos Galan, the Cesar Gavitis led government acted against him. He was asked to surrender on the condition of a reduced sentence along with satisfactory treatment during his sentence.
In 1991, when he surrendered to the Colombian government, Escobar was kept in La Catedral that was transformed into a private lavish prison. In July 1992, after discovering that Pablo Escobar was operating his illegal activities from La Catedral, the government decided to shift him to a more secured jail. However, he came to know of the plan and made a timely escape.
The United States Joint Special Operations Command combined with Centra Spike and started hunting Escobar in 1992.
Personal Life: Family, Wife, Children
Pablo Escobar wedded Maria Victoria in March 1976. She was 15 years old at that time. Their marriage produced two children, a daughter, Manuela Escobar, and a son, Juan, now known as Juan Sebastián Marroquín Santos. It was known that Escobar had countless affairs all through the time he was married.
On December 2, 1993, after a 15-month-long manhunt by various security operatives including the Colombian and American intelligence agencies and the local vigilante group that was set up for that purpose, called the ‘Los Pepes’, Escobar was found at his hiding and was shot by the Colombian Police. It remains a mystery as to who shot and killed him, as his relatives believe that killed himself using a gun.
Over 25,000 people attended his funeral, including most of the Medellín’s poor who he aided extensively. His grave rests at Cemetario Jardins Montesacro in the city of Itagui, in Colombia.
Pablo Escobar Net Worth: Earnings, Assets, Expenses
The true extent of his wealth at the time of his death remains unknown to date. When he was alive, the drug lord ran one of the most notorious and violent drug cartels in world history, The Medellín Drug Cartel. At the peak of its power, Escobar’s cartel controlled 80 percent of the world’s cocaine market. He and his cartel are said to have caused the deaths of thousands of people, including law enforcers, politicians, rivals, and also innocent civilians.
Pablo Escobar’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at $30 billion. He made billions of dollars from his illegal business and was said to have made around $100 billion when all the cash buried in different parts of Colombia are included. Forbes named him the 7th richest person alive as of 1989. He owned countless properties around the world, including lavish houses, private planes, pricey jewels, exotic cars, and even his own personal zoo that was home to all the exotic animals that he liked and kept.