I honesty believe that this subject has little argument. I mean the Top Cigar Smoker of All Time is a pretty easy call in my mind. But I understand that you might have a personal favorite and it’s hard to argue with that.
I mean some guys would pick President John F Kennedy, hands down in a debate. I mean the guy told his press secretary, Pierre Salinger to go out one night and purchase every Cuban made H Upmann Petit Corona that he could find. When Salinger came back telling Kennedy that he had bought 1200 of his favorite smokes, he then pulled out the Cuban Trade Embargo and signed it right in front of him. Ballsy, right?
George Burns, loved by so many used to smoke huge El Producto cigars on stage because they’d stay lit for long periods of time. He’s famous for saying, “If I had taken my doctor’s advice and quit smoking when he advised me to, I wouldn’t have lived to go to his funeral.” Mark Twain is a favorite of many who smoked an absolute mountain of hand rolled sticks. The author is well known for saying “If smoking is not allowed in Heaven, I shall not go.”
Now the list of possible favorites could possibly include the following greats like, Babe Ruth, Groucho Marx, Red Auerbach, Jack Nicholson, Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, JP Morgan, Sigmund Freud, Orson Welles, Sylvester Stallone, Ulysses S. Grant, WC Fields, Rudyard Kipling, and Milton Hershey. But to me, there’s just one name that belongs at the very top of the list…
It is figured that old Winne smoked approximately 8 – 10 cigars a day for a good 70 years, which is approximately 3,000 a year, and a total of a quarter of a million during his lifetime. The Romeo Y Julieta factory in Cuba named their 7 x 48 (his favorite size) the Churchill, and that alone should win him best in show.
Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of England during World War 2 and took Adolph Hitler head on. When his opposition in the British government wanted to cave to Hitler, Winnie chose to fight the bastard against all odds and how fortunate the country was because of it. When the Nazis bombed London in ’41 and the Dunhill factory took a major hit, Alfred Dunhill himself called Churchill early in the morning to tell him, “Your cigars are safe, sir.”
Back in that day the high-altitude flights required an oxygen mask and Winston got the Royal Air Force to create a mask that allowed him to smoke a cigar. And he burned so many holes in his expensive silk pajamas that his wife – God rest her soul – actually made him a smoking bib for nighttime.
The man was quoted as saying “I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.” And he smoked absolutely everywhere he went, not giving a damn what head of majesty, king or queen he pissed off along the way. Yeah, he was an incredibly hard-headed man, but that was a definite reason for his success. One of his many awesome quotes is, “I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
So I’ve got Winnie as #1, how about telling me what you think in the comments section below?
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The correct answer is Rudyard Kipling. In his poem, “The Betrothed,” he is torn between his fiance and the cigars she is telling him he must quit. He makes it clear that there is no contest, and kicks her to the curb. As he writes, “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a SMOKE!”
You make a good case, Thor!
I agree! Churchill is at the top for me too. Having a cigar size named after you is not for the average smoker. Besides you`d be hard pressed to find a pic of him without a stick in his hand or mouth.
You’re absolutely right, AD!
Great Article. I had Churchill in mind right away too. Awesome cigar facts on these famous people.
Agree totally with your rankings here
Good man, Jeff!
I definitely agree! Gotta be Churchill! Nobody else has a size named after them!
Right on, David!
All is fair in cigars and smoking…..I like Jack Nicholson, George Burns (we have the same birthday, January 20th) and Churchill….one of the great world leaders…..stay smokey everybody…!
Nothing wrong with those picks, Michael!
Great article and excellent history lesson! I’m going to nominate someone who was never famous, at least outside of his own mind. My family was in the grocery business in New Orleans and we had a cast of characters come through the store. The most eclectic cigar smoker would have to have been Frenchie. We never knew him by any other name and yes he was French – imagine Frenchie from Hogan’s Heroes with another 80 pounds and a mustache . Frenchie smoked Optimo Palmas and bought them by the five pack (almost daily). He was a salesman – of… Read more »
THAT was a great story, Gary. Thanks so much for sharing!
The writer Mark Twain “Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man’s enjoyment of his cigar.“
True dat, Nestor!
Alfredo Hitchcock ranks up there, as he was never seen without a good Cuban cigar.
Very true, Brad!