Gustavo Cisneros

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Cisneros and the second or maternal family name is Rendiles.
Gustavo Cisneros
Gustavo Cisneros.jpg
Gustavo Cisneros in 1981
Born Gustavo Alfredo Cisneros Rendíles
(1945-11-20) 20 November 1945 (age 71)
Caracas, Venezuela
Residence Dominican Republic La Romana, Dominican Republic[1][2][3][4]
Citizenship  Venezuela
 Spain[citation needed]
 Dominican Republic[5][6]
Alma mater Suffield Academy
Babson College
Occupation Media Investor, Hotel industry
Net worth Increase US$ 4.0 billion (2014)
Spouse(s) Patricia Phelps

Gustavo Alfredo Cisneros Rendíles (born 1945)[7] is a Venezuelan-Dominican media mogul of Cuban descent. He is among the world’s richest men according to Forbes magazine, which estimated his fortune at US$4.0 billion in 2014.[1] The New York Times calls Cisneros, "one of Latin America’s most powerful figures" and says he and his wife, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, have a reputation for being "a Latin American power couple in business and the global social scene."[8]

Cisneros resides in the Dominican Republic since the 1990s[2] and holds Dominican citizenship.[5][6] Cisneros has been developing Tropicalia, a multibillion-dollar resort in Miches, near Punta Cana;[9][10] its opening is scheduled for 2019.[11]

Early life and education[edit]

Cisneros is the son of Diego Cisneros. Diego Cisneros was in business in Caracas from 1929 and received the Pepsi concession for Venezuela in 1940, before going on to gain the concession for private TV channel Venevisión in 1961.

The Cisneros family was the first-wealthiest in South America on the 2006 Forbes ranking.[12] He graduated from Suffield Academy in Connecticut in 1963[13] and from Babson College in Massachusetts in 1968.[14] In 1970, he married Patricia Phelps. Her paternal great-grandfather was a noted businessman and ornithologist, William Henry Phelps. Phelps was educated in the United States.[15]

In addition to Venezuelan citizenship, Cisneros also holds United States, Spanish and Dominican citizenship.[16]

Cisneros Group[edit]

Cisneros’ wealth comes from his holdings in media, entertainment, telecommunications and consumer products companies.[17] The Cisneros Group of Companies is one of the largest privately held Spanish-language media and entertainment companies.[18] Until the buyout of Univision, the United States’ leading Spanish-language television network, Cisneros was one of the biggest shareholders of the Company. He also owns Venevision International, which produces and distributes media and entertainment products throughout the world, and Venevisión, a Venezuelan television network. Since 1980 the Group has owned the Miss Venezuela contest[19] and since 2001 also the Leones del Caracas baseball team.

In August 2013, Gustavo Cisneros appointed his daughter Adriana Cisneros de Griffin as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cisneros.[20][21]

Views and awards[edit]

Long an advocate of free enterprise[22] Cisneros has for many years been expanding his operations outside of Venezuela and into overseas markets, including the U.S., Spain and more recently China.[17]

One of his major accomplishments has been a major role in the international development of telenovelas[23] – emotion-packed melodramas based on the harsh realities of life in Latin America that are now broadcast to about 2 billion people around the world. In part to honor his international success, he was named MIPCOM "Personality of the Year" in 2005,[24] a prestigious media industry award.[25]

For his work, in March 2004, Gustavo was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, in Miami, Florida, by the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution.

Although Cisneros and Hugo Chávez were originally friends with Cisernos contributing to Chávez's first presidential campaigns, he has been accused of involvement in the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt against Chávez after their relationship became strained due to Chávez's confrontation of the media.[26][27]


The Cisneros Foundation (Fundación Cisneros) runs a wide range of educational and cultural programs aimed at improving the lives of Latin Americans.[28] These include the AME program for professional development of Latin American educators, visual arts education and awareness based on the Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; PPV, a visual thinking curriculum for Latin American school children, and traveling art exhibits showcasing the talents of Latin American artists for North America and European audiences.[29]

Having grown up with Spanish colonial art, Patricia and Gustavo Cisneros began collecting Latin American abstraction after their marriage, in 1970. Over the years, it has grown to more than 2,000 pieces, including about 200 Spanish colonial objects. In addition, the couple have amassed a vast holding of ethnographic material from the Amazon.[15] Based in New York and Caracas, the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros today also includes works by Uruguay’s Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Brazil’s Lygia Clark and Venezuelan modern masters Jesus Soto, Alejandro Otero, and Carlos Cruz-Diez. The Cisneros Foundation was moving toward building a permanent institution in Caracas in the late 1990s until Hugo Chavez was elected president. In 2007, the foundation encountered resistance from the Chavez government when lending works by Venezuelan painter Armando Reveron (1889-1954) to New York’s Museum of Modern Art for the museum’s first retrospective devoted to a single Latin American artist in 50 years.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Further information: Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

Cisneros has been married to his wife, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, since 1970.[31] She has been a significant MoMA benefactor since 1992, she has been a trustee of the museum and made substantial cash contributions to the museum’s recent renovation. Her name is on one of the institution’s exhibition rooms. In addition to MoMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art, and the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid also have received art loans.[30][32] Phelps de Cisneros is an active member of the International Council and the Latin American Acquisitions Committee of Tate, London; she is an International Trustee of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid; belongs to the Association Centre Pompidou América Latina; the Museum Berggruen’s International Council; and the American Friends of the Fondation Beyeler, among others.

In 2013 an exhibition at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid La invención concreta: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros showed to the European public artists like Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and Hélio Oiticica which were until then relatively unknown to them.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Profile: Gustavo Cisneros". Billionaires. Forbes. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Dan a conocer Centro Cardiovascular Cedimat
  3. ^ Presidente se reúne con Bush padre
  4. ^ José Fernando López e Isaac Lee (27 August 2003). "Objetivo "militar" de Chávez". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Rosario, Fausto (17 March 2014). "Gustavo Cisneros ha recibido la ciudadanía dominicana en tres ocasiones" (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Acento. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "El magnate venezolano Gustavo Cisneros adquiere la nacionalidad dominicana" (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: 7 Días. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Bachelet, Pablo (2004). Gustavo Cisneros, pioneer. Barcelona : Planeta, p. 19. ISBN 0-9748724-8-2
  8. ^ Romero, Simon."Coup? Not His Style. But Power? Oh, Yes." The New York Times, April 28, 2002.
  9. ^ Cándida Acosta; Viviano de León (1 October 2009). "Cisneros invertirá US$2,000 millones". Listín Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Ircania Vásquez; Jairon Severino (6 March 2013). "Chávez impulsó la salida de capitales". Listín Diario (in Spanish). Santo Domingo. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Suárez, Manuel (28 May 2015). "Ganan terreno en RD los hoteleros vacacionales no españoles" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "The World's Richest People". Forbes (2006). Retrieved on January 19, 2009.
  13. ^ Gustavo A. Cisneros '63 to Speak at Suffield Academy’s 2006 Commencement. Cisneros Group of Companies (May 15, 2006). Retrieved on January 29, 2009.
  14. ^ Gustavo A. Cisneros. Babson College. Retrieved on January 29, 2009.
  15. ^ a b Suzanne Muchnic (August 19, 2007), Spreading the riches Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ Pablo Bachelet, Gustavo Cisneros Un empresario global, Barcelona, Planeta pag.20
  17. ^ a b Carugati, Anna (January 2005). "Gustavo Cisneros, chairman y CEO de Cisneros Group of Companies" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  18. ^ Kirkman, Alexandra (2001-11-26). "The visionary". Forbes. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Yearwood, John (1 February 2012). "Adriana Cisneros - Interview with The World Desk The Miami Herald". Miami Herald. 
  21. ^ Adriana Cisneros: the new face of Cisneros Group
  22. ^ Bachelet, Pablo (2004). Gustavo Cisneros, pioneer. Barcelona : Planeta, p. 259. ISBN 0-9748724-8-2
  23. ^ Mipcom Personality of the Year, Gustavo Cisneros, Supplement to Mipcom Daily News 3, October 19, 2005
  24. ^ "Gustavo Cisneros named MIPCOM 2005 Personality of the year". MIPCOM. 2005-07-25. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  25. ^ Variety, October 7, 2005
  26. ^ Nikolas Kozloff (2007), Hugo Chávez: Oil, Politics and the Challenge to the United States, Palgrave Macmillan. p68
  27. ^ Nelson, Brian A. (2009). The silence and the scorpion : the coup against Chávez and the making of modern Venezuela (online ed.). New York: Nation Books. p. 79. ISBN 1568584180. 
  28. ^ "About/Quienes Somos" (in Spanish). Fundación Cisneros. 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  29. ^ Sierra Laffite, Michelle (2007-02-19). Por Amor al Arte. Expansion.Mexico.
  30. ^ a b Chris Kaul (January 28, 2009), An art trove ends its nomadic phase Los Angeles Times.
  31. ^ "Chapter 1: Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, A Passion for Latin America" (Video). Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. 16 October 2016. 
  32. ^ Cristina Carrillo De Albornoz (March 27, 2012), Madrid's Reina Sofía signs agreement with Cisneros Foundation The Art Newspaper.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bachelet, Pablo. Gustavo Cisneros: Un Empresario Global. Barcelona: Planeta, 2004. ISBN 978-8-408-04958-6 OCLC 654595716
  • Bachelet, Pablo. Gustavo Cisneros: Pioneer. Barcelona: Planeta, 2004. English translation of Gustavo Cisneros: Un Empresario Global. ISBN 978-0-974-87248-3 OCLC 57305155
  • Rodríguez, José Ángel. Cisneros: A Family History 1570-2015. 2015 (Upcoming)

External links[edit]