Q. I just saw a rather lengthy biography of Winston Churchill. In it were many shots of him smoking his famous cigars, which seemed to me were the same size, color, and texture. He obviously stuck to only one cigar over the years. So, I was wondering if you have any authoritative information about his cigars such as length, ring size, strength, filler, binder, wrapper, manufacturer, and supplier. Learning the details of his favorite cigar will help me round out my study of this great statesman. Thanks for any help.
– Ken R. (Riverside, CA)
A. Following is an article written by Gene McCann. Gene has an impressive background in cigars and history, and I believe this piece on Sir Winston, will shed some light on your question. – G.K.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
Born: November 30, 1874 ~ Died January 24, 1965. While many books have been written about this fascinating man; we will try to confine our brief article to “Churchill and Cigars.”
Apparently, young Winston began his love affair with Cigars around 1895 at the tender age of 21~22 when he and Reggie Barnes garrisoned in Havana, Cuba to observe the Spanish battles against Cuban guerrillas and also received a commission to write about the conflict from the Daily Graphic newspaper.
Sir Winston, as he was later known, enjoyed many different types of cigars [Ed. Note: premiums, not machine mades like GyV or AyC] and was said to smoke approximately 10 cigars a day (or 250,000 during his lifetime). He was especially fond of large maduro cigars yet observers noted that he never seemed to smoke them more than halfway down.
The Romeo y Julieta brand was introduced by Alvarez y Garcia in 1875 and was later sold to “Pepin” Fernandez Rodriguez in 1903. Making a large selection of personalized cigar bands and styles for famous people of the era; it is he, Rodriguez, who is credited with the introduction of “The Churchill” cigar which measured 7″ long with a ring gauge of 47. This cigar can still be obtained today in Cuba; is sold in tubes with a red & gold band and has a superb aroma.
An interesting footnote is that Hitler and Mussolini were dedicated non-smokers while the “Big 3” of the Allied Powers; Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill were all avid smokers.
Copyright © 2006 by Eugene McCann.