The Surprisingly Mundane Life Behind The World’s Biggest Drug Kingpin, Pablo Escobar

There are many facts about Pablo Escobar that confirm his mythological status. At the height of his power, Escobar was making $40 million a week. He bought a Lear jet just to fly his money. And he once burned a barrel of 2 million dollars to keep his daughter warm.

His public and private personas exist in stark contrast to one another. Escobar is rightfully regarded as a butcher who would do anything to attain and maintain power: it’s estimated that his organization was responsible for at least 4,000 deaths during his reign.

In private, Escobar was a man who put his family first to the point that his affection for his family allowed the Colombian government to track and kill him. Today, we explore the family photos of a man who was both a devoted father and the most ruthless drug kingpin in history:

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Pablo Escobar With Daughter

Vintage EverydayPablo Escobar met his future wife, Maria Victoria, when he was 24 and she was 13. Though her family didn't approve of their relationship, the pair would remain together until Escobar's death.

Normal Life Of Pablo Escobar

Wikimedia CommonsIn March 1976, Escobar married Maria Victoria after dating for two years. She was 15 on their wedding day.

Pablo Escobar 1977

Soon after, they had their first child, Juan Pablo, who was born in 1977.

Mugshot

Wikimedia CommonsThat same year, Escobar was briefly arrested, at which time the mugshot above was taken by the Medellín Control Agency. He would continue to elude law enforcement for the next decade.

Watching Television

Vintage EverydayEscobar and his son watch television in the early 1980s in their newly constructed house, Hacienda Nápoles, the Escobar's estate 100 miles east of Medellín, Colombia . The eight square mile estate included a Spanish colonial house, a sculpture park, a private airport, and a zoo.

Ranch

Vintage EverydayHacienda Nápoles' private zoo included antelope, elephants, giraffes, and hippopotami. Due to the size of the estate, the Escobars typically toured their zoo in a cart.

Hippos

RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty ImagesOne of the more bizarre imprints of Escobar's life was the smuggling of four hippos for his private zoo in 1980s. After his death, the zoo went into disrepair and the hippos were forgotten about. But they managed to thrive and multiply, and in the process, have started to proliferate throughout Colombia.

Birth Of Manuela Escobar

The Escobars welcomed a second child, Manuela, in 1984.

Manuela Escobar

Manuela became Escobar's princess. When she asked for a unicorn for her birthday, Escobar bought her a horse and stapled a cone to its head and wings to its back.

Pablo Escobar And Gustavo Gaviria

Escobar's cousin, Gustavo Gaviria, was his most trusted confidant and the financial head of the Medellín cartel. During a trip to Las Vegas in the 1980s, the pair posed as Old West gangsters in a staged photograph.

Popsicle

Vintage EverydayEscobar helps his son with a popsicle during a family outing.

Running For President

Wikimedia CommonsIn 1982, Escobar successfully ran for Congress in Colombia as part of a larger strategy to prevent extradition to the United States. But the election victory turned out to be Pyrrhic: the heightened scrutiny brought to light Escobar's criminal activities and his history of murdering police, judges, and politicians.

Soccer Game

Escobar was a rabid fan of football and invested millions of dollars into the Atlético Nacional team based in Medellín . Flush with cash, Atlético Nacional recruited international players and won several international championships in the late 1980s.

Medellin Cartel

Getty ImagesThe leaders of the Medellín cartel were frequent visitors and adopted members of the Escobar family. At the height of their power, they controlled 80 percent of the global cocaine supply, which netted them upwards of $60 million a day.

Pablo Escobar At The White House

Wikimedia CommonsIn the early 1980s, Escobar frequently visited the United States with his family. Above, Escobar and his son pose for a photo in front of the White House.

Son

Vintage EverydayAs the law caught up to Escobar, he was unable to spend much time with his family. In the last years of his life, he was shuttled from safe house to safe house, where he was restricted to three-minute phone calls with his family in fear of being located by Colombian authorities.

Death Of Escobar

Wikimedia CommonsUsing radio triangulation technology, Colombian special forces located Escobar after a cellular phone call was placed to his son on December 2, 1993. Within minutes, forces mobilized on the ground to capture Escobar that culminated in his death by the Colombian National Police.

Family

GUILLERMO TAPIA/AFP/GETTY IMAGESEscobar's mother, Hermilda, attends his funeral on December 3, 1993. In total, more than 25,000 people attended.

Juan Pablo Escobar

LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty ImagesJuan Pablo Escobar came to denounce the actions of his father and subsequently changed his name to Sebastián Marroquín, He wrote a book entitled Pablo Escobar: My Father and pledged to donate some of the proceeds to his father's victims.

Party

Vintage EverydayJuan Pablo also released a documentary entitled Sins Of My Father, which chronicles his attempts at reconciliation with the sons of Colombian politicians that were assassinated by Pablo Escobar.

Luz Maria Escobar At Pablo Escobars Grave

RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty ImagesEscobar's sister, Luz Maria, sits on her brother's grave while visiting his burial place on the 20th anniversary of his death.

Pablo Escobar Graffiti In Medellin

RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty ImagesRegarded by some as a hero and by most as a villain, Escobar continues to cast a long shadow upon Colombia. In the above photograph, a woman walks past graffiti celebrating Escobar in his hometown of Medellín .

Praying For Pablo

RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty ImagesFor many in the working class of Colombia especially, Escobar remains a hero. Above, a resident of Medellín lights a candle in prayer on the 20th anniversary of Escobar's death.

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Machu Picchu Facts: The History Of Peru’s Lost City

105 years ago, an American explorer “discovered” Machu Picchu. Just what do we know about this world wonder? Discover historical Machu Picchu Facts, and the future of the legendary site.

Machu Picchu Construction Site

Photo courtesy of Teresa Cantero. Use by permission. All rights reserved.

It was July 24th, 1911. Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, arrived at Machu Picchu after a local farmer told him about some ruins on top of a mountain. The farmer’s 11 year old son joined Bingham to show him the route. By then, vegetation shrouded much of this stone amalgam from view. When Bingham beheld the site, it had been abandoned for 400 years, with the exception of a few indigenous families living and farming in the area. Continue Reading

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