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Roberto Martinez Inc. Founder Dies
Retired since the 1990s, the company’s eponymous creator died at age 83.
He was 83.
According to an obituary shared by family members, Roberto Martinez Sr. died on Jan. 20 of a non-COVID-related respiratory illness at his home in the Capistrano Beach area of Dana Point, California.
Martinez’s story shows shades of the “American Dream.”
Born in Cuba, he emigrated to the United States in 1960 and went on to settle in California.
In 1968, he cofounded Latin Gold of Los Angeles. In 1976, he branched out on his own, creating Roberto Martinez, Inc.
The company sold Italian chains and 14-karat gold and sterling silver jewelry by the gram to be able to offer its customers savings based on current market price. His obituary said he was a “pioneer” of the practice, the first to do so in the United States.
Martinez retired in 1997, after 30 years in the industry and 20 at the helm of his own brand.
His children, Elsa Martinez and Roberto Martinez Jr., took over. They moved the company from downtown Los Angeles to the more laid-back and scenic San Clemente, California, in Orange County.
The second generation still runs Roberto Martinez, Inc. today. It remains faithful to Martinez Sr.’s design ethos, creating and selling Cuban link chains and religious medallions, all nods to Hispanic culture, faith, and family.
The company’s classic pieces are crafted in karat gold and diamonds, sterling silver, gold plate, and cubic zirconia.
They sell online through the Roberto Martinez website, as well as through companies like Amazon and Overstock.com.
Martinez is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elsa; his children Elsa, Eileen, and Roberto; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
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