In Memoriam: Avo Uvezian 1926 – 2017

Born on March 22, 1926 in Beirut, French Lebanon Avo Uvezian would lead a life that touched many people. He was known in jazz circles, as well as loved in the cigar world. He was 91 years old.

Avo would travel to America in 1947 where we would go on to be one of the writers of Strangers In The Night but not before spending time as a member of the armed forces where he would serve during the Korean War.

In 1983, when Avo’s daughter Karyn was born, he went to Switzerland for her christening where he would smoke a Cuban cigar, that would change everything after he complained about the prices. His friend mentioned that they should make their own. Uvezian travelled to the Dominican Republic, where he searched for two years for a satisfactory production facility. Avo finally met Hendrik Kelner, and after smoking samples, Avo offered Kelner twenty-five percent more than he had originally offered. His presumption was that paying Kelner more would make sure that Avo cigars would receive the best tobacco.

In the first year, 120,000 Avo cigars were sold. By the third year, Avo sold over 750,000 cigars. In 1995, Davidoff paid Avo Uvezian an estimated $10 million for the rights to distribute his cigars.

Today, Avo cigars are in just about every reputable tobacconist in the world where his legacy will live on.

Image Courtesy of Oettinger Davidoff/Brian Fox.

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