Skip to content

Celebrating 120 Years

La Aurora has set the standard for premium craftsmanship since 1903, featuring masterful blends, impeccable construction and meticulous attention to detail.


With a goal of creating a world-class brand of cigars, Eduardo León Jimenes opens La Aurora cigar factory in Guazumal in the Dominican Republic. Born to a 2nd generation tobacco grower, the 18-year-old Eduardo began in 1903 by crafting his signature Preferidos cigar for locals in Guazumal. His beginnings were modest – a few hectares of land, six tobacco rollers and one donkey to assist him in traversing the nearly impassable muddy, dirt roads in search of the region's finest tobacco. Fortunately, relentlessness was one of Don Eduardo's key traits, and he succeeded in obtaining the country's finest tobacco. But it wasn't the last time the León family would need their trademark relentlessness.


Due to growing demand for La Aurora’s high quality cigars, Don Eduardo and his brother Don Herminio move the factory to the Calle Independencia in Santiago de los Caballeros, erecting a yellow factory with colonial-style windows and adopting the lion as the symbol for the brand.


Don Eduardo's son, Fernando León, is born in Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. He would later go on to take over La Aurora for almost half a century beginning in 1957.


The iconic lion lying on the bands of the La Aurora cigars appeared for the first time above the words ‘E. León’ in gold on a red background.


General Rafael Trujillo assumes power in the Dominican Republic, creating a dictatorship that would span three decades. Because Trujillo himself controlled many aspects of the tobacco industry, he did all he could to stifle competition in order to create a single, national tobacco industry under his leadership. Despite a bevy of taxes and laws intended to harm La Aurora, the León family would persist, leading to the success the brand enjoys today.


Don Eduardo sadly passes and his brother Don Herminio takes stewardship of La Aurora. Because La Aurora is a family mission more than just a business, Don Herminio’s focus was to prepare the company for the next generation of Leóns. Don Herminio would mentor and pass along his passion for tobacco to Eduardo’s sons – his nephews – with Fernando and Eduardo primed to play a leading role.


Don Herminio passes, and the sons of Don Eduardo – Fernando, Eduardo, Guillermo and Jose – take over, with Eduardo expanding the family's business interests and Fernando ultimately steering the cigar business. As a master blender, Don Fernando would become the 4th generation of Leóns to work in the tobacco industry, and he would became renowned for his demand for quality, his knowledge of tobacco and the respect he cultivated among Dominican farmers.


To reemphasize Don Eduardo’s vision and the high esteem he held for each member of his team, the León brothers create the Union of Workers and signed its first collective agreement that recognized workers rights. With this initiative, they sought to guarantee and reassure their workforce that new technologies of the day would not and could not substitute their expertise, and would actually be a benefit to them.


Dominican Republic dictator General Trujillo is assassinated, opening the doors for La Aurora to fully realize Don Eduardo’s vision. After this monumental moment, the León brothers capitalize with a variety of business maneuvers that seal the long-term success of La Aurora. Don Fernando takes the reins of La Aurora to fulfill his father’s vision, while Don Eduardo was dedicated to strategically broadening the family's involvement in diverse sectors throughout the Dominican Republic, aiming to identify new growth opportunities and strengthen their presence in industries beyond their current portfolio.


La Aurora launches León Jimenes, paying homage to Eduardo León Jimenes and his brother Herminio, while expressing the spirit of innovation that Don Eduardo established in 1903. León Jimenes draws on the expertise of the first Dominican cigar makers and reimagines it for today, resulting in a distinctly modern collection.


Eduardo León's grandson, and Fernando León's son, Guillermo León, joins his father in guiding the vision of La Aurora into the 21st century, making him the 5th generation of Leóns to work in the tobacco industry.


The La Aurora factory moves back to where it all began in 1903 – Guazumal.


Sadly, Don Fernando passes at the age of 87. A legend in Dominican tobacco culture, his passion, knowledge and relationship with the tobacco growers of the Cibao Valley, of whom he earned the respect and admiration, made him a beloved and influential figure in the cigar industry. Several of La Aurora’s cigars bear his name in honor of his devotion and work for tobacco and the cigar culture of the Dominican Republic.


Carrying on the legacy of his grandfather, Eduardo, and his father, Fernando, Don Guillermo establishes the La Aurora Cigar Institute to train a new generation of premium cigar artisans. Under his leadership, La Aurora is now available across over 80 countries and 5 continents worldwide – fulfilling his grandfather's vision to craft a world-class cigar brand.


For 120 years, La Aurora has crafted premium cigars that stand on the shoulders of tradition. Our cigars are the result of generations of knowledge passed down from master craftsmen to their apprentices, and the result is a product that is truly worthy of the La Aurora name. As we celebrate our 120th anniversary, we take inspiration from Don Eduardo's "La Aurora" – or "new dawn" – name by christening 2023 as "The New Dawn of La Aurora." To mark the anniversary, we have rebuilt our Tabaquería to represent our Dominican identity in full, as well as grown more of our own unique La Aurora tobacco than ever before. We have revamped our approach toward tobacco education to focus on learning as a team, creating a family of artisans that rival any other. Armed with this unprecedented knowledge and skill, our standards of quality have never been higher.