10 Outrageous Facts About Pablo Escobar’s Absurd Wealth
Pablo Escobar was a family man, a giver to the poor, and one of the wealthiest and most feared criminals ever to have lived. In less than two decades, he became more than just the head of the Medellin Cartel; he was also known as Don Pablo, El Padrino, (“The Godfather”), and El Zar de la Cocaina (“The Tsar of Cocaine”).
Escobar’s cocaine empire bagged him an estimated net worth of $30 billion by the early 1990s. He was one of the richest men in the world. Pablo Escobar truly was the King of Cocaine, and these are some of the most outrageous facts about his unimaginable wealth.
10: From Poverty To The One Of The Richest Men In The World
Born December 1, 1949, in the city of Rionegro in Colombia’s Antioquia Department, Pablo Emilio Escobar was the third of seven children. He was a quiet child, often lost in his own thoughts. As his older brother, Roberto Escobar, recalled, “My brother was always thinking.”
The future cocaine kingpin was born during La Violencia, a civil war in Colombia from 1948 to 1958 between the Colombian Conservative Party and the Colombian Liberal Party that cost the lives of 200,000 people. The families who survived were forced into poverty.
Escobar wanted better for himself in life and began to make money of his own. He started to sell old tombstones, robbing them from forgotten graves, sanding off the names, and reselling them. It wasn’t long before Escobar discovered there was a lot more money to be made in the cocaine trade, and he began to build his own organization.
9: His Cartel Supplied 80 Percent Of the Cocaine In The US
The Medellin Cartel was a partnership between drug traffickers Pablo Escobar, Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, Carlos Lehder, Jorge Luis Ochoa, and Juan Matta-Ballesteros. However, Pablo was always at the top of the criminal organization. As former US Drug Enforcement Agency officer Javier Pena explained, “Escobar was the CEO, very charismatic, very powerful, very demanding.” Those who would not cooperate with Escobar were executed. He had a saying, “Plata o plomo,” which essentially meant: “Take my silver or take my lead.”
Eventually, the demand for cocaine in the US had surpassed the demand for coffee as the cartel was smuggling more than 15 tons of cocaine into the US per day. By the late 1980s, they had an enormous fleet which included 142 planes, 20 helicopters, 32 yachts, and 141 homes and offices. At the top of his game, four out of every five lines of cocaine snorted in the United States were supplied by Pablo Escobar and his cartel.