Lucio Tan Biography, Success Story, Net Worth

Lucio Tan is a Chinese-Filipino billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He is best known as the founder of Fortune Tobacco, a huge cigarette manufacturer until its merger with Philip Morris. To date, his business empire includes banking, beer, real estate and air transportation. According to reliable estimates, his net worth is around $2.1 billion, making him one of the richest Filipinos in 2022.

Lucio Tan
Lucio Tan (Credit:

Personal Information
Complete Name –> Lucio Chua Tan Sr.
Birth Date –> July 17, 1934 (Age)
Hometown –> Metro Manila, Philippines

First Wife –> Carmen
Second Wife –& Lucia “Letty” Gonzales Tan (+)
Children with Carmen –> Lucio “Bong” Tan, Jr. (Passed away in 2019), Michael Tan, Timmy Tan, Vivien Tan
Children with Lucia –> Michael Gonzales Tan, Cherry Tan Ty (wife of Alfred Ty, son of the late billionaire George Ty) Sharon, John, Timmy and Christine
Siblings –> Mariano Tanenglian, Tan Eng Chan, Shirley Chua, Harry Tan, Frank Chan, Tan Hui Bin

College –> Far Eastern University (FEU)
Degree –> Chemical Engineering

Brief Biography

Lucio Tan was born on July 17, 1934 in Fujian, China. When he was a small boy, Lucio Tan immigrated to the Philippines with his parents. He finished chemical engineering from the Far Eastern University in Manila. As a student, he worked part-time in a cigarette factory “mopping floors” as would describe it. After graduation, he became a partner in a cornstarch factory then in a radio manufacturing firm. Both companies were not successful but the failure only emboldened him. In 1960, he set up a chemical trading company and six years after, he put up Fortune Tobacco which would eventually become the biggest cigarette manufacturer in the Philippines. During those years, he became a friend of Ferdinand Marcos.

When Marcos became president and later dictator, Lucio Tan’s business became an empire. He was able to purchase a failing bank for a pittance and built it into one of the biggest banks in the country. He was also given a license to produce beer to become the second manufacturer of the beverage in the Philippines. Later, he added liquor production when he purchased Tanduay distillery.

When Marcos was overthrown, several cases were brought against Lucio Tan with allegations that he was a dummy of the former president. He stood his ground and none of the cases were proven in court.

In 1990, Lucio Tan entered the education sector when he purchased the University of the east, one of the biggest educational institutions of the country. Subsequently, he gained control of the national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines. When the Philippine National Bank was privatized, he also become the controlling shareholder and later merged it with his Allied Bank. Meanwhile, his Fortune Tobacco Company merged with Philip Morris. In 2012, he formed LT Group, Inc. as a holding company with interests in beer, banking, airline, property, and sugar refining. It is now a publicly listed in the Philippine stock exchange.

Lucio married twice, first to Carmen and then to Letty. His 6 children namely Lucio Tan, Jr., Timmy Tan, Michael Tan and Vivien Tan are now taking charge of the growing business empire.

See also: List of Famous Filipino Entrepreneurs

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