Father Theodore Hesburgh was maybe best known for running Notre Dame University. But he also for a time oversaw the Civil Rights Commission, the International Federation of Catholic Universities and several U.S. and Vatican delegations. He passed away last week. More than that though, Father Hesburgh smoked cigars for most of his 97 years and rarely had to buy them.
“Just when I think I’m getting low,” he told The Observer in 2013, “someone will come in out of nowhere and say, ‘hey, by the way, I was in Central America and I picked up something for you,’ and they come up with a box of cigars.”
Junior Tommy Schneeman said the president emeritus was smoking the first time he met him.
“He was over 90, and it was like, alright, interesting,” Schneeman said. “[He] never had any health problems, which is like a miracle in itself.
“… He was like, in his gravelly voice, ‘they’ve been trying to get me to quit smoking in here forever, but I told ‘em, if you don’t let me smoke in here, you’re going to have to take my name off the building.’”
So Hesburgh kept smoking cigars — and people kept sending them — until his death Thursday.
As a memorial, candles were put in front of the Notre Dame library named for him…in one of the holders, though, there was a cigar. Very appropriate.
And with that my part of this blog comes to an end. For the past 3 and a half years it has been my privilege to blog about the happenings in the cigar industry. Now it will be someone else’s turn. Until later. Thanks for the read.