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I like to start off the week with good news, but unfortunately this week will begin on a sad note. Daniel Blumenthal, former chairman of Villazon & Co and namesake of the Daniel and Gloria Blumenthal Cancer Center in Paramus, NJ, died last Thursday at 94 after a battle with cancer.
According to a Cigar Aficionado article, Blumenthal was behind the Honduran Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch brands, which he sold to General Cigar in 1997. He was also once the sole importer of the Cuban El Rey del Mundo and Ramon Allones brands in the1950s, and is also the namesake of the popular Mister B. bundled cigars. And according to an article on NorthJersey.com, he also once supplied cigars to actors Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and provided Burl Ives with cigars for both the live and on-screen versions of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
After retiring from the cigar industry in 1998, he focused on his family and on his many philanthropic efforts, not the least of which was the 128,000-square-foot Daniel and Gloria Blumenthal Cancer Center. “When my husband sold the business, he felt he wanted to give back,” his wife, Gloria Blumenthal, told NorthJersey.com. “He felt the need to give back.”
Anyway, I’ll light one up tonight in honor of Daniel Blumenthal, one of the most charitable figures in the cigar world and a testament to the generosity that seems to be woven right into the cigar industry.