Pablo Escobar's Private Life in Photos

Pablo Escobar’s Private Life in Photos

By Jacob Miller

Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord, who, at his peak, supplied an estimated 80% of all the cocaine smuggled into the United States. He was the wealthiest criminal in history with a net worth of between $25-$30 billion by the early ‘90s ($49-$56 billion in 2017).

During the height of his operations, Escobar was smuggling 15 tons of cocaine per day, earning more than $70 million per day. Escobar became somewhat of a Robin Hood figure and worked to create goodwill among the poor of Colombia by frequently distributing money through housing projects and funding other civic activities.

In 1985, Escobar allegedly backed the assault on the Colombian Supreme Court by left-wing guerrillas from the 19 of April Movement (M-19). The siege, a retaliation for the Supreme Court studying the constitutionality of Colombia’s extradition treaty with the United States and ended with half of the judges murdered. Escobar was on a list of smugglers under threat of extradition so he paid the M-19 to destroy all the files on ‘Los Extraditables’.

When questioned about the essence of the cocaine business, Escobar replied with “[the business is] simple: you bribe someone here, you bribe someone there, and you pay a friendly banker to help you bring the money back.”

After the politician Luis Carlos Galan was assassinated, Escobar surrendered himself to the Colombian authorities in 1991. Escobar was kept in a luxury private prison called La Catedral, which had a soccer field, a giant dollhouse for his daughter, a bar, jacuzzi, and a waterfall. He maintained control of cartel operations while in La Catedral. When the media began to realize that he was continuing his cocaine business in the prison, the government prepared to transfer him to a traditional prison. Escobar was able to learn of the change of location in time to escape, spending the rest of his life evading the police.

Escobar died in a shootout on December 2, 1993. Escobar was shot in the leg, torso, and in the head. It was never proven who fired the killing shot through his head, and speculation persists. His brothers believe that he committed suicide.

Pablo 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. Vintage Everyday
In March 1976, Escobar married Maria Victoria after dating for two years. She was 15 on their wedding day. Wikimedia Commons
Soon after, they had their first child, Juan Pablo, who was born in 1977. Pictured here, Pablo and Juan. allthatisinteresting
That 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. Wikimedia Commons
Escobar 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. Vintage Everyday
Hacienda 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. Vintage Everyday
One of the more bizarre imprints of Escobar’s life was the smuggling of four hippos for his private zoo in the 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. RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Pablo paid US$5 million for the animals for his country estate, Hacienda Napoles. Photographs from El Chino’s archives
The Escobars in 1984, welcoming their second child, Manuela, into the world. allthatisinteresting
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. allthatisinteresting
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. allthatisinteresting
Escobar helps his son with a popsicle during a family outing. Vintage Everyday
In 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. Wikimedia Commons
Escobar was a rabid fan of soccer and invested millions of dollars into the Atlético Nacional team basMedellín. Flush with cash, Atlético Nacional recruited international players and won several international championships in the late 1980s. allthatisinteresting
The 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. Getty Images
In 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. Wikimedia Commons
As 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 for fear of being located by Colombian authorities. Vintage Everyday
Using 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. Pictured here, the forces that took down down Escobar. Wikimedia Commons
Escobar’s mother, Hermilda, attends his funeral on December 3, 1993. In total, more than 25,000 people attended. GUILLERMO TAPIA:AFP: GETTY IMAGES
Juan 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. LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Juan Pablo, pictured here as a child, 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. Vintage Everyday
Escobar’s sister, Luz Maria, sits on her brother’s grave while visiting his burial place on the 20th anniversary of his death. RAUL ARBOLEDA:AFP: Getty Images
Regarded 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. RAUL ARBOLEDA:AFP: Getty Images
In the mid-1980s, Escobar’s cartel brought in an estimated $420 million a week, which totals almost $22 billion a year. Business Insider
Escobar made the Forbes’ list of international billionaires for seven years straight, from 1987 until 1993. In 1989, he was listed as the seventh-richest man in the world. Business Insider
Escobar was nicknamed Robin Hood after handing out cash to the poor, building housing for the homeless, constructing 70 community soccer fields, and building a zoo. Business Insider
Pablo Escobar sitting on his jeep drinking a beer. The Richest
Alberto Villamizar, politician. Pablo kidnapped his wife and sister in 1990. He helped secure Pablo’s surrender. James Mollison
Pablo’s prison ‘cell’ in La Catedral, equipped with office and kitchen. The Police Files.
Early methods used by cocaine ‘mules’. Photographs were taken by anti-narcotics police at Bogotá airport. James Mollison
Colombian police and military forces storm the rooftop where drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot dead just moments earlier during an exchange of gunfire between security forces and Escobar and his bodyguard December 2, 1993. AFP
Pablo Escobar and his family in 1977. CNN
Escobar got into politics in 1982 and was elected to Congress. Escobar, here, pictured on the campaign trail. CNN