Gloria Estefan was born as Gloria Fajardo, after her mother, on September 1, 1957. Her father, Jose Manuel Fajardo, was a Cuban soldier assigned to protect the family of the Cuban President General Fulgencio Batista. When Fidel Castro siezed power of the country in 1959, the Fajardo's along with thousands of other Cubans fled to the United States. Gloria and her mother were left in Miami while Jose Fajardo was held prisiner in Cuban. Being an opponent of the Communist Party, Jose Fajardo took part in the Bay of Pigs Invation and faught for the US in Vietnam. While fighting, Jose had been exposed and apon returning was already suffering from the symptoms of Agent Orange. Gloria's mother had to go back to work as a teacher and Gloria was given the job of taking care of her little sister Becky, and her father.
Gloria first met her future husband, Emilio Estefan, when his band came to her High School and showed Gloria and her friends some tips on singing. Gloria and Emilio later bumped into eachother at a wedding. Emilio recognized her and asked her to sing a couple of songs with his band. She really didn't want to, but her mother pushed her into doing it. After hearing Gloria's voice with the band he asked her to join. Even with her love for music, Gloria was hesitant because she felt absolutely no desire to step into the spot light. After getting her degree in Phycology from the University of Miami, Gloria joined the Miami Latib Boys who later became known as the Miami Sound Machine. Gloria, although overweight and painfully shy, blossomed into a sleek and self-assured performer. As her confidence and stage charisma grew, Gloria gradually stepped into the stop light. She began singing more often, included dancing into the performancens and even contributed her own songs and ballads
As the Miami Sound Machine grew, Gloria and Emilio's relationship did as well. Their romantic relationship was sparked at a 4th of July party when Emilio claimed it was his birthday. Emilio kept trying to get Gloria to give him a birthday kiss. Gloria continued to say no by saying things like, "Um.. I'll get you a present," until Gloria finally agreed to a peck on the check. As Gloria leaned to give him the kiss, Emilio turned his face and there were fireworks. The two were married on September 2, 1979, the day after Gloria's 22nd birthday. Exactly a year later, Gloria and Emilio's first child Nayib Estefan was born.
Everything was going great. Gloria had a hit album and was at the height of her career when everything came to a crashing hault. On March 20, 1990, while on tour, Gloria's tour bus was hit from behind by a semi. Gloria was asleep and awakened when the bus was stopped because of an accident from up ahead. She was then startled by an explotion. Their tour bus had been hit and was sandwhiched between two semis. Gloria had been thrown and her husband was knocked literally out of his shoes. Gloria had broken her back. Though in pain, the only thing she worried about was her son Nayib who suffered from a broken collar bone. It wasn't until hours after the accident when doctors got Emilio to get examened. He too had been hurt from the accident. He had a broken arm, but his love for his wife was so strong he couldn't feel the pain. After the accident Gloria had to undergo a dangerous operation to realign her spine. She pulled through, came out of the dark, and amazed doctors with her speedy recovery.
After recovering from the accident Gloria desperatly wanted another child, but another obstacle laid in her path. As a result of the accident, one of Gloria's fallopian tubes had been crushed. After going through yet another operation to fix the damage caused by the bus crash and after a cesarian section, Gloria gave birth to Emily Estefan on December 5, 1994. Day by day Emily becomes more and more like her mother. Emily loves music and even cries when Gloria sings her a sad song. Like Gloria at her age, Emily is very shy. Since Emily doesn't like being in the spot light, Gloria tries her best to keep her out of the public eye. Nayib on the other hand, loves the spot light.
Now days Gloria continues to be an all-around successful woman. She can make a hit and still be a wonderful wife and mother at the same time.While many artists turn bitter with fame, Gloria uses it to help others. Since her accident where she broke her back, she has helped in the research for paralyisis through her foundation. The Gloria Estefan Foundation not only helps in research for paralysis, but also helps those in need. The money helps to buy computers and other school supplies for children's education. Throughout her life, Gloria Estefan has gone through tragidy and triumph, but has been able to do it with amazing grace.
Nayib's Story
Emily's Story