Porfirio Rubirosa

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Porfirio Rubirosa
Porfirio Rubirosa.jpg
Rubirosa with his final wife, Odile Rodin
Born(1909-01-22)January 22, 1909
San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic
DiedJuly 5, 1965(1965-07-05) (aged 56)
Paris, France
OccupationDiplomat, polo player, race car driver
Spouse(s)Flor de Oro Trujillo
(m.1932–1938; divorced)
Danielle Darrieux
(m.1942–1947; divorced)
Doris Duke
(m.1947–1951)
Barbara Hutton
(m.1953–1954; divorced)
Odile Rodin
(m.1956–1965; his death)
ParentsPedro María Rubirosa and Ana Ariza Almanzar
 
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Porfirio Rubirosa
Porfirio Rubirosa.jpg
Rubirosa with his final wife, Odile Rodin
Born(1909-01-22)January 22, 1909
San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic
DiedJuly 5, 1965(1965-07-05) (aged 56)
Paris, France
OccupationDiplomat, polo player, race car driver
Spouse(s)Flor de Oro Trujillo
(m.1932–1938; divorced)
Danielle Darrieux
(m.1942–1947; divorced)
Doris Duke
(m.1947–1951)
Barbara Hutton
(m.1953–1954; divorced)
Odile Rodin
(m.1956–1965; his death)
ParentsPedro María Rubirosa and Ana Ariza Almanzar

Porfirio Rubirosa Ariza (January 22, 1909 – July 5, 1965) was a Dominican diplomat, race-car driver, and polo player. He was an adherent of the dictator Rafael Trujillo, and was also rumored to be a political assassin under his regime.[1] Rubirosa made his mark as an international playboy, for his jet setting lifestyle, and his legendary sexual prowess with women. Among his spouses were two of the richest women in the world.[2]

Early life[edit]

Porfirio Rubirosa was born in San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic, the third and youngest child of an upper-middle-class family. His parents were Pedro María Rubirosa and Ana Ariza Almanzar. The eldest child was named Ana, and the elder son was named César. His father, also a womanizer, was at one time a "general" of a group of heavily armed men in the mountainous Cibao region working with the government.[3] Don Pedro advanced to become a diplomat, and after a stint at St. Thomas, was sent as Chief of the Dominican Embassy to Paris in 1915.[4] Rubirosa thus grew up in Paris, France and would return to the Dominican Republic at the age of 17 to study law. But he soon changed course and enlisted in the military.

Diplomat[edit]

In 1931, Rubirosa met Rafael Trujillo at a country club. The "Benefactor" asked to see him the next morning, and made him a lieutenant of his Presidential Guard.[5] Their relationship lasted throughout their lives, went up and down, mostly close, but not without episodes of danger for Rubirosa, and defined his professional career when he became a diplomat of the Dominican Republic in 1936.

In this role, he was sent to embassies first at Berlin (during the 1936 Olympic Games) and soon to Paris where he spent most of his time; he also served at the embassies at Vichy, Buenos Aires, Rome, Havana (witnessing the Cuban Revolution), and Brussels. He was a frequent visitor to New York, Washington, Florida, and California. "Rubi", who defined himself a Trujillista, moved freely among the rich and famous, made the connections, and kept the secrets. At times, when his escapades stirred up too much notoriety, Trujillo would dismiss him – as from his post in Paris in 1953 – or move him to another place. Trujillo recognized what an asset Rubirosa was for his regime, remarking: "He is good at his job, because women like him and he is a wonderful liar."[6]

After Trujillo's assassination on May 30, 1961, Rubirosa supported his son as successor and attempted to persuade John F. Kennedy to help his government. However, when Ramfis Trujillo and his family fled the Dominican Republic, Rubirosa's career came to an end. On January 2, 1962 the Council of State removed him from his unique appointment as "Inspector of Embassies".[7] After he lost his diplomatic immunity, he was questioned by the New York District Attorney concerning the disappearance of Trujillo opponents Sergio Bencosme in 1935 and Jesus Galíndez in 1956, but was never charged.[citation needed]

At a social affair, c. 1954 accompanying Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Personal life[edit]

Rubirosa was linked romantically to Dolores del Río, Eartha Kitt, Marilyn Monroe,[8] Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Soraya Esfandiary, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, Joan Crawford, Veronica Lake, Kim Novak, Judy Garland, and Eva Peron.[9] He dallied with his ex-wife Flor de Oro Trujillo Ledesma during his marriage to Doris Duke, and with Zsa Zsa Gabor during his marriage to Barbara Hutton. He was named a co-respondent in at least two divorces, the wives charging adultery in each case.

Rubirosa was married five times, but never had any children. His wives were:

His playboy lifestyle was matched by stories of his sexual prowess. His larger than average penis size inspired Parisian waiters to name gigantic pepper mills “Rubirosas”.[12]

Polo and car racing[edit]

After World War II, Rubirosa became engaged in two major passions, polo and car racing, both expensive sports that would be supported in years to come by his American wives. He organized and led his own polo team Cibao-La Pampa that was an often successful contender for the Coupe de France cup. Rubirosa played polo until the end of his life. In the same period, Rubirosa started to acquire fast cars and form friendships with race car drivers. He would own a number of Ferraris. His first race at 24 Hours of Le Mans took place in June 1950 with his partner Pierre Leygonie, and his second race, this time with Innocente Baggio, was four years later; in both races his car did not finish. Rubirosa participated in a number of races at Sebring, all but once as a private entry.[13]

Rubirosa entered one Formula One race, in 1955, the Grand Prix de Bordeaux on April 25. He planned to drive his own Ferrari 500, identical to the one which brought Alberto Ascari the 1952 and 1953 Drivers' World Championship.[14] However, he fell ill before the race and did not drive.[15]

Death[edit]

Rubirosa died early in the morning on July 5, 1965, when he crashed his Ferrari 250 GT into a chestnut tree after an all-night celebration at the Paris nightclub "Jimmy's" in honor of winning the Coupe de France polo cup.

References[edit]

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