We Bet You Didn’t Know These 5 Facts About Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Millions of people are mourning the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of the greatest Spanish language authors known for his legendary books and characters. But as revered as he was, there are many things about his personal life that most people don’t know.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nobel Prize winner Marquezis renowned for his masterpieces including One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Living to Tell the Tale and his novel that was made in to a Hollywood film, Love In The Time of Cholera.

His death was mourned by people around the world but there are important details about him that not many know.

He was a journalist

He was not only a professional journalist, but he said that he identified more as a reporter than a novelist.

"I've always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist. What I didn't like about journalism before were the working conditions," he is known to have said.

His first newspaper job was at El Universal, in the coastal city of Cartagena. Over the years he wrote for news publications including El Heraldo (under the name Septimus), and El Espectador.

He was friends with Fidel Castro

They met in 1959 and though many never understood their friendship, it lasted for decades even though he was a fierce critic of right-wing dictatorships in Latin America.

Garcia wrote of the Cuban dictator: “When he talks with people in the street, his conversation regains the expressiveness and crude frankness of genuine affection. They call him: Fidel. They address him informally, they argue with him, they claim him. It is then that one discovers the unusual human being that the reflection of his own image does not let us see. This is the Fidel Castro that I believe I know. A man of austere habits and insatiable illusions, with an old-fashioned formal education of cautious words and subdued tones, and incapable of conceiving any idea that is not colossal.”

He was banned from entering the US

He was an outspoken man who didn’t believe in mincing his words, least of all his opinions regarding imperialism and he was buddies with Fidel Castro. It goes without saying then that for the longest time he was not the government’s favorite person.

Marquez was labeled as a subversive and for many years was denied visas by US immigration authorities.

It was only during President Clinton’s era that things changed. Bill Clinton not only lifted the decades-long entry ban on Marquez, but said that 100 Years of Solitude was one of his favorite books. The two even became friends.

He decided to marry his wife when she was 9

It is said that he set his eyes and heart on Mercedes when she was nine years old, proposed when she was fourteen and married her when she was 26 and he was 31 years old. However, the widely believed version says they met while at university and decided to wait until Mercedes finished her studies and until Garcia returned from his stint as a journalist in Europe. Now isn’t that something?

He wanted to make films

Marquez was always interested in films. In fact. he even reviewed movies during his time as a newspaper writer and penned several screenplays. His writing inspired numerous  film adaptations. One of his dreams was to be a movie director.

 "I felt that cinema was a medium which had no limitations and in which everything was possible. … But there's a big limitation in cinema in that it's an industrial art, a whole industry. It's very difficult to express in cinema what you really want to say,” he said.He also studied direction at the Experimental Film School in Rome in the 1950s.

His dream is probably being fulfilled through his son, Rodrigo García, now a television and film director, producer and screen writer.

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