Edgar Meyer Cullman Sr., a legendary cigar magnate who ran the General Cigar Company, manufacturer of Macanudos and a wide range of cigars, died on Sunday at the age of 93. His Times obituary is great, and he comes from a long line of tobacconists:
Edgar Meyer Cullman was born on Jan. 7, 1918, and, as a company publicist told Business Week in 1968, was "diapered in tobacco leaf." His great-grandfather Ferdinand Kullman was a wine and tobacco merchant from Germany who settled in the United States in the 1840s. Ferdinand's sons, Joseph and Jacob, founded Cullman Brothers, a tobacco brokerage house, in 1892.
And just one year after taking over as president and CEO of General Cigar, in 1963 the company pulled in $70 million from the sale of cigars. I'm not sure what that is in 2011 dollars, but it was 11% of the market back then. Dang.
[Image of classy man enjoying a cigar via Getty/Hulton Archive]