Cuban American entrepreneur Gus Machado dies at 87
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Gus Machado, a Cuban American entrepreneur, has passed away at 87.
Machado was well known for selling automobiles in South Florida at his dealership, Gus Machado Ford, on West 49th Street in Hialeah.
According to his dealership website, Gus Machado came to the United States from his native Cuba at the age of 15. In 1956, Gus Machado decided to relocate to Miami. Having borrowed $2,000 from his father and $2,000 from personal savings he invested in a gas station on North Miami Avenue and 17th Street. Gradually, he began exporting used vehicles from this site to Cuba.
The business continued to grow until 1960 when the political rift between Cuba and the U.S. ended business transactions between the two countries. Over the next decade, Gus Machado established American Auto Sales, Big Trail Auto Sales, and G.M. Auto Export, exporting General Motors vehicles to Puerto Rico. After much success, Machado purchased Seipp Buick in 1982 and Johnson Ford in 1984, soon becoming the #1 Ford dealer in Dade county.
There has been an outpouring of support and condolences for his family from the South Florida community, following the news of his passing:
“The passing of Gus Machado has been devastating to us here, at St. Thomas University. Monsignor Franklyn Casale created a wonderful relationship, and Gus and Lilliam became one of the most important philanthropic supporters of STU with the founding gift for the Gus Machado College of Business building. Just like the Machados, that building is iconic for St. Thomas University. Gus Machado is the epitome of what the American Dream is all about. He was a phenomenal example for our students, and all of South Florida, for what one can do in this country if they are willing to dream and work to make that dream a reality. We love Gus and Lilliam. We pray for the repose of Gus’ soul, and know that his name will live forever at St. Thomas University.” – David A. Armstrong, J.D.
The last time I saw this Icon of the American Dream, he was receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for the car industry. Gus Machado & Lilliam are everything that is right with our country. Gus’ name will live forever @StThomasUniv May he Rest in Peace! pic.twitter.com/dTkm4jPykB
— David A. Armstrong, J.D. (@STUPrez) May 17, 2022
Heartbroken by the passing of a dear friend, mentor, and pillar of our community, Gus Machado. My prayers go out to his wife, Lilliam, and his family. May he rest in eternal peace.https://t.co/Ou84Uh41CT
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) May 17, 2022
Gus Machado vivió el Sueño Americano y ayudó a muchos en la comunidad a cumplir los suyos. Hoy lamentamos su muerte y celebramos el legado de un hombre de familia, exitoso empresario y, sobre todo, un cubano de pura cepa.
¡Llegue a familiares y amigos nuestro más sentido pésame! pic.twitter.com/h9OBa0cVcQ
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) May 17, 2022
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