Pablo Escobar is a name known in every household – and if you haven’t watched the Netflix original series Narcos yet, you’ve got some serious binge-watching you need to do. The series details the rise of Pablo Escobar, the ruthless Colombian drug lord who ruled the world’s most intricate and wide spread drug trade – all while killing thousands in the process.
Escobar surpasses just about every drug kingpin in the history of drug trafficking. From starting at nothing (the bottom), he became one of the most powerful and feared men in the world – all while doing doing some unbelievable things.
20 Unbelievable Facts About Pablo Escobar
1) At the height of his reign, Escobar made an estimated $420 million each week.
2) At his extravagant estate in Puerto Triunfo, Escobar also built a private zoo filled with hippos, giraffes, elephants and other animals. Hippos still roam the grounds today.
3) Despite his horrific business dealings, Escobar did fund a number of programs to help Colombia’s poor residents. He gave money to churches and hospitals, established food programs, built parks and soccer stadiums, and created a barrio.
4) Escobar was responsible for killing about 4,000 people, including an estimated 200 judges, 1,000 police workers, journalists and government officials.
5) Pablo Escobar’s greatest fear was extradition. No matter what happened, he didn’t want to spend his final years in an American jail cell.
6) Before getting into the drug trade, Escobar sold stolen tombstones to smugglers and also traded in stolen cars.
7) Pablo Escobar was born in Rionegro, Colombia in 1949. His father was a farmer, and his mother was a school teacher.
8) While the Escobar family was in hiding, Pablo’s daughter, Manuela, got sick. To keep her warm, Escobar burned about two million dollars.
9) Pablo Escobar bought a Learjet specifically for flying his cash.
10) Escobar is said to have smuggled cocaine into plane tires. Depending on how much product pilots flew, they could earn as much as $500,000 per day.
11) In an attempt to change the laws of extradition, Escobar offered to pay off Colombia’s national debt – an estimated 10 billion dollars.
12) Escobar spent around $2,500 a month on rubber bands used to hold his money.
13) Escobar’s earnings peaked at an estimated 30 billion dollars.
14) At the height of the drug trade, Escobar smuggled up to 15 tons of cocaine each day.
15) Pablo Escobar’s support of the poor earned him the nickname “Robin Hood.”
16) Other popular nicknames for Escobar were “Don Pablo” and “El Patron.”
17) About ten percent of Escobar’s cash was lost to spoilage. Rats likely consumed a bulk of those bills.
18) When Escobar agreed to turn himself in to the Colombian government he built himself a luxury prison in which he could serve his time. The prison was referred to as “La Catedral” (aka the Cathedral) and had soccer fields as well as other amenities not normally found in Colombian prisons.
19) In the 1980s, Escobar’s Medellin cartel was responsible for 80 percent of the cocaine that was sent to the United States.
20) Pablo Escobar was gunned down at the age of 44. Some people speculate that the wound was self-inflicted.
If you found these facts about Pablo Escobar interesting, check out our list of 8 crazy facts about ‘El Chapo’.