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Jose Antonio Ortega Bonet October 27, 1929 - September 19, 2009 was a Cuban-born entrepreneur and businessman who founded the Sazón Goya Food Company Ortega, who was nicknamed "Pepe", was known as "El Gallego" to his friends
Jose Antonio Ortega Bonet was born in Havana, Cuba, on October 27, 1929 He attended the Belen Jesuit School, which had been founded by the Jesuits in Havana in 1854 Ortega graduated from the University of Havana with a business science degree When he was still relatively young, Bonet began working at a food distribution company called F Bonet y Cía after the death of his father He soon launched his own business Ortega founded the first automobile air-conditioning business in Cuba
Ortega married his wife, Lucila Galvis Gómez-Plata, a Colombian student studying in Havana, in April 1954 The couple had two children during their marriage, María Elena and José Antonio Ortega Jr The family left Cuba in 1960 following the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro They briefly moved to Lucila's native Colombia before settling in Puerto Rico in 1963
Ortega launched a new food business in Puerto Rico This business would eventually become the Sazón Goya Food Company under a partnership with the Unanue family, who owned Goya Foods
Ortega and his family moved to Miami, Florida, in 1976 Once in Miami, Ortega continued to run Sazón Goya, expanding its products into new markets in the United States with the growth of the Hispanic population throughout the country Ortega continued to head his company until his death in 2009
Ortega devoted his time to philanthropy, especially in the Miami area He devoted time and money to a number of local institutions, including Mercy Hospital, the José Martí scholarship program, the League Against Cancer and the Centro Mater Foundation
Jose Antonio Ortega Bonet died of cancer at his home in Coral Gables, Florida, on September 19, 2009, at the age of 79 His funeral was held at the Epiphany Parrish, and he was buried in Woodlawn Park North Cemetery in Miami
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Munoz, Viviana 2009-09-19 "Jose Antonio Ortega Bonet, Founder of Sazón Goya foods" Miami Herald Retrieved 2009-09-30
- Sazón Goya products
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