Samuel Mendez, GM of Tabacalera A. Fuente, Dead at 44


Samuel Mendez, the longtime general manager of the Arturo Fuente Cigar Co., has died at the age of 44.

The news of his passing was reported on Friday morning by several Dominican news outlets, including Diario Digital and Listin Diariowhich report that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.


Mendez was found in a Ford Explorer shortly after noon on Thursday in the La Barranquita area, south of Santiago. Diario Libre adds that a letter to Mendez’s family and friends was found inside the vehicle.

Mendez was one of the more visible members of the extended Fuente family, particularly for visitors to the factory and Procigar Festival, where he led the company’s operations. He also represented the company at numerous events around the world, including the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Convention & Trade Show. He joined the company in 1995 and in 2000 was named general manager.

In addition to his work the Fuente family, Mendez was second lieutenant in the Dominican Republic army.

Mendez is survived by his wife, Brenda, and two children, Camila and Diego.

(Image via Samuel Mendez’s Facebook page)

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Patrick Lagreid
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I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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