Death of a Legend: Carlos Fuente Sr.

FUENTE, Carlos Arturo, age 81, born and raised in Ybor City and resident of Tampa, Florida and Santiago, Dominican Republic, passed away on August 5, 2016. 

Carlos was born in Tampa on May 6, 1935 to Arturo and Cristina Fuente. At the age of 18, Carlos married the love of his life, Anna Louisa Lopez Fuente. They celebrated 62 years of marriage prior to Anna's death on December 10, 2015. 

Carlos inherited his passion for cigars from his father Arturo, the founder of Arturo Fuente Cigars. Carlos took the reins of the Arturo Fuente cigar company at a very young age and spent his life building it from a tiny company in Tampa into one of the largest and most respected premium cigar companies in the world. Carlos served as a leader, mentor, and inspiration to many people in the cigar industry. He was dedicated to his home town, Tampa where he maintained his company headquarters, and to his adopted home of Santiago, Dominican Republic, where his cigar factories and plantations were located. Carlos was grateful to the people of the Dominican Republic, particularly his many friends and those who work in the Fuente companies for their contribution to the success of Arturo Fuente Cigars. 

Carlos' love for the cigar industry was only surpassed by his love for his family. Carlos' family included those related to him by blood, and many others whom Carlos took under his wing. Carlos led by example, not with words. He asked nothing of others that he did not demad of himself. His loyalty and honesty were legendary. Carlos was extremely generous during his life, but by choice, he gave to those in need with little or no recognition. Carlos felt blessed to have both his son, Carlos Fuente, Jr., and his daughter, Cynthia Fuente Suarez, work with him in the family company, which has persevered as a family business since 1912. 

Carlos was surrounded by family, in body, prayer and spirit, at the time of his passing. He is survived by his children Carlos Fuente, Jr., Cynthia Fuente Suarez and Richard Fuente, grandchildren Liana Fuente, Rosana Fuente, Christina Suarez, Lidiana Fuente, Bianca Suarez, Sofia Fuente and Carlos Fuente III, his great-grandchildren Alvaro Valerio, Jr., Arturo Valerio, and Anna Valentina Valerio, and brother Arturo Fuente. Carlos was preceded in death by his wife Anna Louisa Lopez Fuente, his grandson Carlos O. Suarez, and his parents Arturo and Cristina Fuente. 

A funeral Mass will be held on August 13, 2016 at 10:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 3012 W. Cherry St., Tampa Florida 33607  After the Mass, the family will host a Celebration of Life beginning at 6:00 pm at the Fuente Building, 1310 N. 22nd St., Tampa Florida 33605. All who wish to honor Carlos' life are welcome to attend the Mass and the Celebration of Life. 

There will be no visitation hours, and the family respectfully request no visitors at the family home. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation ( or the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay ( Please send written condolences to 1310 N. 22nd St., Tampa Florida 33605.