People - Antonio Ordoñez

BULLFIGHTER (1932 - 1998)

Antonio Ordoñez was one of Spain's most famous bullfighters. Born in Ronda in 1932, he made his first public appearance as a bullfighter in 1948 and in 1951, aged 19, he appeared in the bullring in Madrid. In the glittering career which followed, Ordoñez came face to face with over 1000 bulls. He finally retired in 1968, having fought over 60 bullfights in that year alone.

His father was "El Niño de la Palmas", also a well-known bullfighter. He fought in Pamplona in the 1920s where he met Ernest Hemingway, who had developed a great interest in bullfighting. Antonio knew Hemingway as a boy and called him 'Father Ernest'.

Antonio virtually retired in 1968 and turned to bull breeding on his estate near Ronda. He was also a friend of the American film star Orson Welles, and when Orson Welles died in 1987, his ashes were scattered on Antonio's estate.

Following the family tradition, his grandson Francisco Rivera Ordóñez also became a bullfighter and was briefly married to the daughter of the Duquesa de Alba, a member of Spain's most aristocratic family, with more titles to her name than the king!

His daughter, Carmen Ordonez married the famous bullfighter Paquirri (Francisco Rivera). They later divorced and Paquirri married the singer Isabel Pantoja. Paquirri died in a bullfight near Cordoba.

Antonio Ordoñez died in Sevilla in 1998. His ashes were scattered on his beloved estate near Ronda.

There is a monument this great bullfighter at the gates of the La Malaguita bullring in Malaga.

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