Brazil’s Ex Vice President, Self-Made Millionaire José Alencar, Dies at 79

    José Alencar

    José Alencar Brazil’s former vice president, José Alencar, died in the Sírio-Libanês Hospital in São Paulo this Tuesday afternoon after a very long battle with cancer.

    Alencar was born in 1931, the eleventh child in a poor family that had 15 children (five of them did not live to be adults). At the age of 7 he began helping his father in a kind of general store that sold goods to farmers for payment when the harvest came in, if it came in.

    Alencar left home at age 14 to work behind a counter in a store that sold cloth. He also worked as a salesman in other stores. At the age of 18, in 1950, he got a loan from an older brother and opened a store where he sold cloth, footwear, hats and umbrellas. To save money, he lived in the store.

    In 1953, he sold the store and moved on into different commercial areas. He certainly had a head for business, was prudent with his money and hard working (he was named best salesman in many of the places he worked). And he worked in many places over the years, always a person who knew how to do business and do it well.

    Together with a group of business partners he founded a textile company in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, in 1967, the Coteminas firm. Today it is Brazil’s biggest textile company with 16,000 employees in ten plants.

    Coteminas makes thread, cloth, fabric, T-shirts, socks, towels, bathrobes and sheets. The company also has five branches in the US, one in Argentina and another one in Mexico

    Alencar was prominent in trade associations. He was president of the Minas Gerais Industrial Federation and vice president of the National Industrial Confederation (CNI).

    He went into politics. He ran for governor of Minas Gerais in 1994, but lost the election. In 1998 he was elected senator (PMDB) from Minas with 3 million votes.

    Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva needed someone to calm the business community when he ran for president for the fourth time in 2002. Alencar got the nod; he was in a pro-business party, the PL, at the time.

    Alencar and the president he served came from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Lula was a labor union leader, Alencar joked that he also had experience in labor negotiations – representing the management.

    In spite of the differences, the former lathe operator and the self-made millionaire businessman worked well together. Alencar, ever the businessman, good-naturedly complained constantly about the country’s high interest rates (the highest real rates in the world during most of the Lula era).

    For the last 13 years, Alencar fought cancer. In 1997, he was operated on for tumors in a kidney and his stomach. Since then, another 16 operations in Brazil and the United States. Through it all he showed fortitude and optimism.

    He is survived by his wife, Mariza, three children, Josué Christiano, Maria da Graça and Patricia, and five grandchildren.

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (1)

    • demonio do espaço

      the only good man in lula´s piece ofn s### gorvement, he put filosophy at elementary schools and much more…while acting as president when lula travels, for you gringos lula was the president but we all brasillians know that there something else behind the scenes…you served well your country…

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Brazilian technology

    Brazil Vows to Spend 1.5% of Its GDP, About US$ 22 Billion, in Science

    Brazil has just announced that it will invest approximately 1.5% of its Gross Domestic ...

    Brazil Votes for Mayor and City Council This Sunday

    On October 3, 2004, more than 115 million Brazilian voters in 5,562 municipalities will ...

    American WWII Plane Found in Brazil’s Amazon

    A Brazilian archeological team from the Joaquim Caetano da Silva Museum, in Macapá, capital ...

    Brazil in Cancún and the Free Trade Farce

    The creation of the G21 group led by Brazil in Cancún was intended to ...

    Brazil Expecting 3.5% GDP Growth for 2005

    The latest weekly survey of market expectations by the Central Bank (the Focus survey) ...

    Brazilian-Argentinean Team Find Oldest Snake Ever

    A fossil find in Argentina and studied by a Brazilian-Argentinean team of scientists has ...

    Brazil’s Lula: Just Another President of the Old Republic

    The first generation of the Workers Party (PT) was a heroic one. In the ...

    Brazilian Women Get New Lease in Life Planting Flowers

    The life of 21 impoverished women from the interior of the northeastern Brazilian state ...

    Brazil and Argentina Need to Clean House First, Says Ferrer

    The alliance between Brazil and Argentina, together with the South American integration process as ...

    Brazil’s Top Business School Partners with American Babson College

    Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), Escola de Administração de Empresas, Sao Paulo (EAESP), Brazil, has ...