Politician & businessman (1933 - 2004)
Jesus Gil was born on March 11th, 1933, in Burgo de Osma, Soria. He attended university where he studied Economics and Veterinary medicine.
Gil began his working life as a car salesman, but soon moved into property development. In 1969, aged 36 he built a complex in 'Los Angeles' in San Rafael (Segovia), which was to land him in jail for the first time. Before the cement had time to set 700 people were eating in the restaurant attached to the complex. The roof fell in and 58 people died with many more seriously injured. Gil had been dining in the restaurant at the time and had left for a few minutes to show a plot to a potential buyer. He was fined 400,000 pesetas and jailed for 18 months when Franco pardoned him.
Gil has always professed a passion for football. When he was younger he played as central defence in a local amateur team and his subsequent friendship with Vicente Calderón helped him to establish the official Athletic Directive over a four-month period. On June 26th, 1987, he was elected President of the Athletic Club of Madrid. During his presidency, the club has won the following titles: Copa de S.M. El Rey 1991, 92 and 96.Campeonato Nacional de Liga 1996, plus various seasonal trophies.
In 1984 Jesús Gil moved to Marbella where he worked in the construction and development field. On June 15th, 1991 the Grupo Independiente Liberal (G.I.L.) elected him mayor of Marbella On September 1st, 1995,
Gil lead a campaign to clean up Marbella, paint the town blue and white, promote Marbella nationally and internationally. Gil was elected President of the Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Costa del Sol Occidental and his party fielded candidates in most of the Costa del Sol municipalities plus Ceuta and Melilla. In January 1999 he was remanded in jail for embezzlement, perversion of justice and falsification of public documents, but later released on ill health grounds, then granted bail. He won the 1999 local elections but the party had mixed results in the other municipalities. Since 1991 he has been involved in more than 80 court cases. He was disqualification from holding public office for 27 years by one court and stepped down as Mayor of Marbella in 2001. In spite of this he remains popular in Marbella.
He was married to Maria de los Angeles Marin Cobo. His son was mayor of neighbouring Estepona from 1995 until 1999.
Jesus Gil was an excellent orator and is credited with many unusual quotations:
On petty crime
"For the delinquents, the stick. For the prostitutes, the door."
"Politics is a shelter for incompetents. I wouldn't have them as bellboys in my company."