Roberto Crispulo Goizueta: 1931-1997: Businessman, Chemical Engineer
Born Into Cuba's Social Elite
Roberto Crispulo Goizueta was born on November 18, 1931, in Havana, Cuba. He was the oldest of three children, and the only son, born to Crispulo and Aida Cantera Goizueta. His grandparents on both sides of his family had emigrated from Spain to Cuba in the late 1800s. His mother's father, Marcelo Cantera, owned a profitable portion of a local sugar mill. His father, Crispulo, was an architect and a real estate investor who inherited Cantera's sugar interests. Goizueta grew up in a wealthy neighborhood in Havana called Vedado. His parents were part of the social elite of pre-revolutionary Cuba.
Goizueta attended the prestigious Jesuit school Colegio de Belen from first grade through high school. He received a classic education and he excelled in math, grammar, geography, and English. He spent many summers at Jesuit camps in the United States, which helped improve his English skills. Goizueta also enjoyed playing soccer, basketball, and baseball in his youth. During his senior year of high school he was named Brigadier of Belen Academy, the highest honor awarded students to recognize outstanding achievement in academics, leadership, and athletics. As a student Goizueta was introduced to the young ladies of Havana's social elite. In particular he became interested in Olguita Casteleiro, a student at the Covenant of the Sacred Heart. When Goizueta graduated from high school the Goizueta and Cantera families agreed that Roberto and Olguita would eventually marry.
In 1948 both Goizueta and Olguita went to the United States to attend preparatory school. Goizueta spent a year at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut to improve his English before attending college in the United States. However, it was in the Cheshire movie theater, rather than the classroom, that Goizueta learned colloquial English. A year later Goizueta graduated valedictorian of his class and he decided to study chemical engineering at Yale University. Goizueta did well at Yale, but for the first time he was not in the top of his class. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1953.
- Roberto Crispulo Goizueta: 1931-1997: Businessman, Chemical Engineer - Left Family Business For Coca-cola
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