Amancio Ortega Gaona (Busdongo, 1936) is a Spanish businessman dedicated to the textile sector.

Amancio Ortega Biography

Amancio Ortega Gaona was not born in Galician lands. His birth occurred on March 28, 1936, in Busdongo de Arbás, León, very close to Asturias.

His parents were two people who absolutely influenced the personality that he developed due to the experiences he shared with him and due to the values ​​that they instilled in Amancio. 

In addition, Amancio had two brothers, Antonio and Pilar. Antonio and Pilar or Pepita, as we will mention later, were key players in his business growth. We must not also forget the figure of his maternal grandfather, a self-made man, not knowing how to read or write, he began as a bricklayer, later a promoter, owner of a dance hall and other businesses.

Originally from Valladolid, his father was a railway maintenance employee and his constant changes of destination meant that Amancio had to travel with his family to various cities in northern Spain. In the first place, the family lived in the Basque Country, all of this before the War.

Later, at the time of Amancio’s birth, they were in Busdongo and when Amancio was just a few months old, the family had to move very close to San Sebastián, to Tolosa. Finally, his father was transferred to the city of Herculina (A Coruña) where he would definitely establish his home.


In addition, he remembers with special affection the town of his mother’s birth in Valladolid, Valoria de la Buena, a place where they went in their childhood to spend vacation periods.

His mother was the inspiration of his life. In the aforementioned book written by Covadonga O’Shea, an inspiring and very emotional event is narrated that marked the definitive change in his life at a very young age.

Amancio was 12 years old and, like any other child his age, accompanied his mother to a grocery store in order to buy groceries. When they went to the store, chance made the little boy hear a comment that the shopkeeper made to his mother, she told him that, feeling very sorry, she could not trust him with more money.

Amancio Ortega 5 Phrases 

“The important thing is to think about goals in life and put all your soul into fulfilling them”.

“If I have won so much money it has been because my goal has never been to make money”.

“We don’t need consultants. Or is it that people who don’t live it day to day, like us, are going to know more about our business?”

“The consumer is the one who has the word, with more force every day, and we have learned that it is essential to listen to him”.

“Clothing is universal and the client is also universal. You don’t design for 84 countries, you design a dress for 84 countries”.

Amancio Ortega Hobbies

He allocates part of his fortune to charitable organizations, and in 2001 he created the homonymous Foundation, a private non-profit institution that promotes activities in different fields – culture, research, education and science. 

Through this foundation in October 2012 he donated 20 million euros to Caritas, which is the largest donation the NGO has received in its history.

His known hobbies include horse riding, cars and painting . 


Those who know him say that he likes to move like a common and simple man, that he is not a friend of ostentation or eccentricities, and that he prefers to move without bodyguards. 

Amancio Ortega Career

Amancio Ortega brought added value to this establishment with his work and bravely decided to undertake and leave his position as a subordinate manager, he was then only 27 years old. At this time he began his work manufacturing garments, he had in his favor his business skills, the experience of ten years in the sector, which had made him generate a portfolio of contacts both related to manufacturers and potential own clients.

And it was then that with just 2,500 pesetas the adventure of entrepreneurship began for Amancio Ortega, creating his first company GOA Confecciones in 1963. Accompanying him in this project is his brother Antonio. In fact, the name of GOA corresponds to the inverted initials of both brothers.

They were in charge of the production in their own workshop and the product they manufactured were matte coats. The aforementioned gowns sold very well among the female public, they sold to third parties and part of the production was also exported. 

One of the third parties to whom they sold was La Maja, but Amancio suffered an unpleasant encounter with one of the relatives of the business who despised his robes, which did not please Amancio.

Amancio Ortega always had in mind that for his business to work, he had to give the customer what he wanted, his goal was always to focus on the customer’s needs. In addition, he focused his efforts on increasing the speed with which the product was available to the consumer, with the aim of always satisfying the demand.

At that time, the fashion sector did not think about speed, which gave it a clear competitive advantage. To which he added an adequate and affordable price for his target audience. According to what was published years ago in the newspaper La Voz de Galicia, the first gown was sold in shops for 98 pesetas.


But there was something that did not fully convince him, he was not convinced to sell to third parties, he wanted to sell what he wanted, obeying the needs of the client at all times, that was always and will continue to be one of his obsessions regarding the business, offering the client not that you need, satisfy needs.

Amancio Ortega And Zara

At the age of 40, on May 15, 1975 in A Coruña, Amancio Ortega Gaona opened the first Zara store on Calle Juan Flórez nº 64-66, a store that is still open today.

The name of the brand was not going to be Zara, but Zorba, this is a really unknown fact for many. This name evoked the movie “Zorba the Greek”, which had had a huge impact on the businessman, but the name was definitely Zara, because there was already a bar in the area with that name.

Zara sold a bit of everything, clothing for women, children, men, robes, nightgowns, towels, etc. This, together with the low prices, caused their clothes to overcrowd the city. At that time the company did not have the best pattern makers, so it decided to enhance its claim due to the creation of exclusive and very striking windows for customers.

With Zara, an unknown phenomenon began for the European fashion industry. He worked day and night to spread his brand throughout Galicia.


In 1976 Goa and Samlor merged, giving rise to Goasam, owner of Zara, establishing its registered office in the Sabón Arteixo industrial estate, A Coruña. Place that, today, forms the headquarters of the empire.

From a very young age he began to work as a delivery man in the Gala shirt shop, one of the most famous commercial businesses in the capital. 

Shortly after, he was hired at the La Maja haberdashery, also a prosperous business in the city run by the Castro Quintás, where two of his brothers, Antonio and Josefa, already worked. 

There he acquired his first knowledge of the textile sector and it was not long before he ventured into his own business, which he baptized in 1963 with the name of Confecciones Goa (initials of his name and surname placed in reverse order) and where he began to manufacture quilted gowns. 

His business conception was based on the maxim of “offering fashion at a low price” and devised a formula to reduce costs that involved the formation of an integrated business in which the goods were manufactured, distributed and sold directly.

Amancio Ortega Awards And Accolades

At the end of 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit.

Amancio Ortega Net Worth

Even so, he have the great luxuries of it, such as an Arab sheik’s plane or an equestrian center in the last corner of Finisterre.


He has been considered one of the  richest business men in the world  for many years. Currently, it is estimated that his fortune is 77,600 million euros (2018)  and he has almost 60% of the shares of the Inditex group. 

Likewise, Ortega’s assets also extend to the real estate sector with the company Pontegadea ,  which continues to grow and reaches a value of 8,900 million euros.

In this line, you will be interested to know that only the rents of his buildings bring him 380 million a year (2017).

Amancio Ortega Personal Life

He had two children with his first wife Rosalía Mera: Sandra, born in 1968 and Marcos, born in 1971, the only son of Ortega, was born with a serious disability and the businessman promoted the foundation of Paideia , an institution to support minors with disabilities. , which was run by his ex-wife, from whom he separated in 1986.

He married Flora Pérez Marcote in 2001, the mother of his other daughter, Marta, born in 1984.


He has four grandchildren, three sons of Sandra: Martiño, Antía and Uxía. And one of his daughter Marta with Sergio Álvarez, who is named after him, Amancio.

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