Biography Philanthropists

Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega
armancio ortega

Born Amancio Ortega Gaona
28 March 1936 (age 82)
Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain
Residence A Coruña, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Occupation Businessman
Known for Co-founder of Inditex Group
Net worth US$68.2 billion (September 2018)[1]
Board member of Inditex (CEO) Daez (COO)
  • Rosalía Mera
    (m. 1966; div. 1986)
  • Flora Pérez Marcote (m. 2001)
Children 3 (including Sandra Ortega Mera)
Amancio Ortega Gaona signature.png

Amancio Ortega Gaona (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈmanθjo oɾˈteɣa ɣaˈona], born 28 March 1936) is a Spanish billionaire businessman. He is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories shops. As of late September 2018, Ortega had a net worth of $68.2 billion, making him the second-wealthiest person in Europe after Bernard Arnault, and the fifth-wealthiest in the world.[2]

Ortega is also the wealthiest retailer in the world.[1][3]

Early life and education[edit]

The youngest of four children, Ortega was born in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain, to Antonio Ortega Rodríguez and Josefa Gaona Hernández from the province of Valladolid, and spent his childhood in León.[4]

He left school and moved to A Coruña at the age of 14, due to the job of his father, a railway worker. Shortly after, he found a job as a shop hand for a local shirtmaker called Gala, which still sits on the same corner in downtown A Coruña, and learned to make clothes by hand.[5]


In 1972, he founded Confecciones Goa to sell quilted bathrobes.[citation needed]

In 1975, he opened his first Zara store with his wife Rosalía Mera.[6]

In 2009, Zara was part of the Inditex group (Industrias de Diseño Textil Sociedad Anónima), of which Ortega owned 59.29%, and aside from over 6,000 stores included the brands ZaraMassimo Dutti, Oysho, Zara Home, Kiddy’s Class, Tempe, Stradivarius, Pull and BearBershka and has more than 92,000 employees.[7]

His public appearance in 2000, as part of the warm-up prior to his company’s initial public offering on the stock market in 2001, made headlines in the Spanish financial press. However, he has only ever granted interviews to three journalists.[8]

In 2011, Ortega announced his imminent retirement from Inditex, parent company of the Zara chain, stating that he would ask Inditex vice-president and CEO Pablo Isla to take his place as head. In 2012 Ortega donated about €20 million to Caritas Internationalis, a Roman Catholic relieforganisation.[9][10]

He purchased the Torre Picasso skyscraper in Madrid. He also purchased the Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, Florida.[11]

As of 2016, he owned around 60% of Inditex, which is the holding company for Zara and related chains.[12]

In July 2017, for its second edition of the AEF awards,[13] the Spanish Association of Foundations awarded Amancio Ortega in the 2017 Philanthropic Initiative category.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Very private about his personal life, as of 2012 he had only given three interviews to journalists. He married Rosalia Mera in 1966, and divorced in 1986. Mera died in August 2013 at the age of 69. He married his second wife Flora in 2001. He has three children.[16] As of 2017, he lived with his wife in La Coruna, Spain.[11]

Ortega keeps a very low profile and is known for his preference for a simple lifestyle.[12] Until 1999, no photograph of Ortega had ever been published. He refuses to wear a tie and typically prefers to wear a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray trousers, none of which are Zara products.[8]

See also[edit]


  • Blanco, Xabier; Salgado, Jesús (2004). Amancio Ortega, de cero a Zara: El primer libro de investigación sobre el imperio Inditex. Esfera de los Libros. p. 271. ISBN 978-8-497-34167-7.


  1. Jump up to:a b “Amancio Ortega”Forbes. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. Jump up^ “Amancio Ortega”Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  3. Jump up^ “The World’s Billionaires”Forbes. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  4. Jump up^ Zara: Visión y estrategia de Amancio Ortega By David Martínez.
  5. Jump up^ “Meet Amancio Ortega”. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  6. Jump up^ Dennys, Harriet (16 August 2013). “Rosalia Mera”Daily Telegraph. London.
  7. Jump up^ “Inditex Group Annual Report 2009” (PDF). Inditex Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  8. Jump up to:a b Meet The Secretive Spanish Billionaire
  9. Jump up^ Amancio Ortega Foundation donates 20 million euros to charity. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  10. Jump up^ The richest man in the world according to Forbes became the founder of Zara Amancio Ortega
  11. Jump up to:a b “Meet the reclusive Spanish billionaire who just beat out Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world”Business Insider, Kate Taylor and Will Martin, August 30, 2017
  12. Jump up to:a b “The management style of Amancio Ortega”The Economist, December 17, 2016
  13. Jump up^ “Premios AEF”.
  14. Jump up^ “Asociación Española de Fundaciones”.
  15. Jump up^ “Amancio Ortega, Fundación Accenture y Fundación Recover, premiados por su labor filantrópica”ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  16. Jump up^ Dowsett, Sonya. “Exclusive: Zara owner Ortega shields Inditex stake to maintain…” U.S. Retrieved 2018-08-17.