By the winter of 1964, my brother and I were attending school in Wisconsin. It was fun playing football in snowstorms and answering questions about “Ricky Ricardo,” the only Cuban that any of my friends knew anything about.
Desi was born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III on this day, March 2, 1917. His father was a politician and mayor of Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city on the island. In the 1930s, Mr. Arnaz sent Desi and his mother to the U.S. and joined them a little later. We understand that Mr. Arnaz had some political problems and decided to take a little “exile” in Florida.
In the U.S., Desi worked in odd jobs and eventually found himself playing “bongos” on stage. In 1940, he met Lucy and they were married quickly. They worked separately for most the 1940s until the idea of “I Love Lucy” in 1951.
We also remember him for “Desilu,” the TV company that changed TV and produced many of the sitcoms that we grew up watching. Desi Arnaz became one of the most successful businessmen and executives of the 20th century.
He died in 1986.