Back in the fall and winter of 1964, my brother and I started school in Wisconsin and would hear a lot about “Ricky Ricardo.” It did not take long for us to figure out that Lucy’s husband was the only Cuban my friends knew anything about.
Desi Arnaz was born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III on this day in 1917. His father was a politician and mayor of Santiago de Cuba, or the second-largest city on the island. In the 1930’s, Mr Arnaz sent Desi and his mother to the US. He joined them a little later.
Over here, Desi worked in odd jobs and eventually found himself playing “bongos” on stage. In 1940, he met Lucille Désirée Ball and married quickly. They worked separately for most the 1940s until the idea of “I love Lucy” came up in 1951. The TV show was a smashing success in the 1950’s. The story of “Ricky Ricardo” was born.
We also remember him for “Desilu,” the TV production company that changed television and released many of the sitcoms that we grew up watching, such as Mannix, The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek.