- Full Name: Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria
- Born: December 1, 1949
- Place of Birth: Colombia
- Occupation: Drug Lord
- Marital Status: Deceased
Pablo Escobar Net Worth History
Escobar is considered to have been one of the richest individuals who has ever lived. Were his personal fortune to be adjusted for inflation since his death in 1993, he would likely be so today. Escobar made his money by the ruthless leadership of the Medellin drug cartel, which throughout the late ’70s and ’80s was the leading global powerhouse for drug manufacture and smuggling. Despite immorality of his profession, he rose from being a small time street hustler and gangster to entering the drugs trade just as cocaine, in particular, was to see an exceptional rise in popularity in the USA and Europe. Learning how to smuggle was key to his success, and he deposed his rivals to set up his own Cartel renowned for it’s brutality and power. His wealth allowed him essential impunity throughout Colombia where he controlled high ranking officials through bribery and extortion, with often 20-30000 deaths a year in the country being caused by his drug empire. He was shot down by police after finally being taken on by a strongly US backed anti-drugs initiative. His popularity as a ‘Robin Hood’ figure saw 30 000 people attend his funeral.
About Pablo Escobar
As we’ve seen Escobar rose from a humble family. He tried his hand at automotive school yet failed, and had few alternatives open to him that would provide the wealth he aspired to other than entering the criminal world. His brutality was obvious from an early age, that gave him the reputation and contacts enough to set up his own fledgling criminal network.
Yet despite the trappings of his wealth, which we shall come to shortly, Escobar always claimed that he was staying true to his roots. He considered the political and military elites to be highly exploitative of the poor and peasant communities from which he came, and saw little compassion in removing those who attempted to stymie his business. Yet the poor provided not just all of the labor needed to produce and synthesize the cocaine, they were also the source of his own personal army. Escobar provided employment to tens of thousands of people who otherwise would have been in abject poverty; and while the salary of his staff wasn’t much better he ingratiated himself with these classes by building infrastructure. Schools, clinics, churches and grants were provided in areas where the government wouldn’t spend a dollar.
Such actions give rise to the Robin Hood notion of Escobar, that here was a man who gave back to those who had nothing. There was little sympathy to the customers of Escobar who used his product – they were considered as rich enough and exploitative enough to deserve whatever the consequences might be from their drug use. Escobar was a highly influential figure within the church, and was so politically powerful he was even elected to a local office – although it’s likely shady and a fixed election.
As Escobar’s wealth continued to grow into obscene figures, he became more reclusive and ever more feared. Using middle men and a complex and sophisticated network of managers he typically resided in his vast ranch, seemingly outside of the law and protected by thousands of soldiers better paid, equipped and motivated than the Colombian military. Vague efforts were made to bring him to account, yet these were met with extreme violence.
His ranch is legendary for the luxury enclosed within it’s walls. Not only did it have thousands of cattle and horses, yet also a private zoo packed with animals imported from across the globe. Escobar enjoyed the trappings of his success in a brazen and flamboyant manner.
Yet the pressure eventually got too much for Escobar, and word of his wealth and attitudes towards his business and the brutality it caused weakened, he began to lose his influence. Following the passing of a law banning the extradition of Colombian citizens – likely enforced by Escobar himself – he turned himself in to account for his actions. Expecting to be able to bribe or force his way free, he was met instead with the prospect of a punitive penal incarceration for the rest of his life. Knowing his time was short Escobar arranged for an escape while being transferred to a maximum security prison and went on the run.
The accounts of his death vary. Trapped on a rooftop a couple of years later, some say he attempted to surrender yet was gunned down regardless. Others claim he attempted to return fire. Whatever the truth, it was as fitting an end as possible for the man who caused such chaos and destruction not just in his own country, but across the entire world.