Carlos Alvarez, a San Antonio Business and Philanthropy Icon, Dies at 73


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A man who introduced America to some of Mexico's best-known beers has died at the age of 73.

Carlos Alvarez founded the Gambrinus Company in San Antonio, Texas, in 1986 and introduced the US to Modelo, Corona, and Shiner beers, reports the San Antonio Express-News.

His father owned a Corona distributor in Acapulco, where Alvarez grew up, and he went on to work in Mexican beer exports for Grupo Modelo.

In 1981, he began selling Corona in Austin with no marketing budget, landing its first distribution deal in local bars and restaurants, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

He went on to grow the Corona and Modelo portfolio of brands into the number one beer import in the US over the next two decades.

"Carlos Alvarez was a generous philanthropist and supporter of higher education," says San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

"He helped nourish the economic and cultural ties between our community and Mexico."

Alvarez and his wife, Mal, donated $20 million to the University of Texas at San Antonio and $2 million to NPR.

He also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

"Our entire team at Texas Public Radio is heartbroken at the passing of Carlos Alvarez," says interim president and CEO Rebecca Caven.

"Amazingly, Carlos also donated

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