Olujide Oluyeba of LUJ Luxury Cigars, known to many simply as “Luj” or “Double O,” passed away on March 20 after an extended illness.
Born in Nigeria, Oluyeba came to the United States for college, attending Northeastern Illinois University. In 2010, Oluyeba founded his eponymous cigar brand, growing a strong following in the Chicago area before reaching national and international distribution. He credits Tom Selleck and Joe Pantoliano for introducing him to premium cigars, as they introduced him to the lifestyle while he was working as doorman at the Swissotel in Chicago, according to the company’s biography.
In addition to making small-batch luxury cigars, Oluyeba also released lines of LUJ-branded coffee.
According to an article by Cigar Journal, the LUJ Luxury Cigars brand will continue, headed by Luj’s long-time friend Art Payne.
Update — The date of Oluyeba’s passing has been updated after receiving clarification from several sources. It had originally been reported as March 19.