Last Thursday, to great Gentlemen past away, Gabriel García Márquez and Cheo Feliciano.
Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. García Márquez started as a journalist, and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magic realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations.
José Luis Feliciano Vega, better known as Cheo Feliciano was a Puerto Rican composer and singer of salsa and bolero music. As a young boy, his affinity for Bolero music was evident, but it was his moved to Spanish Harlem where he got into Salsa genre. He was the rare baritone among salsa singers, and his deep voice and quick wit as an improviser made him a favorite among the Latino public. Having overcome a heroin addiction, he became a vehement anti-drug spokesperson, assisting in the rehabilitation of fellow salsa artists who fell prey to drug addiction. He recorded fifteen albums for Fania Records Co. and participated in the first Salsa Opera Hommy. His music had acquired an international following, having him travel all over Europe, Japan, Africa, and South America.
These were two simple men that chose to be more. They followed their dreams and their passions against everything that life threw their way. They faced financial downfalls, sickness, addictions, and even assassination attempts. And yet they stood strong to their very last day, and did it with the same dignity and class they always had. To you gentleman, I thank you for your legacies.
I leave you know with one of Cheo’s great songs.
A farewell message to Garcia Marquez over at Good Men Project.