Antonio Ordóñez

16 Feb 1932
19 Dec 1998
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Antonio Ordóñez Araujo (February 16, 1932 – December 19, 1998) was a famous Spanish bullfighter.

Ordóñez was born Antonio Ordóñez Araujo in Ronda, Spain. He was one of the top bullfighters of his time. As a matador, Ordóñez came face to face with over 3,000 bulls. He finally retired in 1968, having fought over 60 bullfights in that year alone, but came back until finally retiring in 1988.

He was honored with a monument at the gates of La Malagueta bullring in Málaga and his ashes lie beneath the “toril” gate, opened to allow the bull to enter, in the oldest bullring in the world, in his hometown of Ronda. His family owned the arena. There is a statue of him outside the arena.

Ordóñez was married to Carmen Cristina González, and is the father of Belen Ordóñez and of Carmen Ordóñez, who married the matador Paquirri (killed by a bull in 1985). His grandsons, by daughter Carmen, are bullfighters Francisco Rivera Ordóñez and Cayetano Rivera Ordóñez

Ordóñez met a number of writers and actors, and he also starred in a few films. Antonio was a long time friend of Ernest Hemingway, whom he called Father Ernesto. Hemingway wrote an account of Ordóñez’s rivalry with the matador Luis Miguel Dominguin (also Ordóñez’s brother-in-law) titled The Dangerous Summer. Ordóñez also befriended Hollywood movie star Orson Welles, whose ashes were buried on Ordóñez’s estate after Welles’s death.

Ordóñez died of liver cancer in 1998.

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