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The Founders

Botín Foundation´s Founders

Marcelino Botín Sanz de Sautuola born in Puente San Miguel (Cantabria) on the 10 August 1907, son of Mr. Emilio Botín López and María Sanz de Sautuola y Escalante, and grandson of Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola y Pedrueca, discoverer of the history of the value of the Altamira Cave paintings.

Married to Carmen Yllera Camino. No children. He completed his secondary education at the Colegio de los Padres Escolapios de Villacarriedo school and did an Economics degree at the University of Deusto.


Professional ahievements.

In 1931 he was appointed an insurance agent at La Equitativa. He shortly became one of the leading agents, "being one of the Company´s pre-eminent figures, as shown by the fact for many years he was the Chair of La Equitativa´s Circle of Distinguished Agents, a category awarded annually to the person who achieves the highest personal premium earnings", as reported in a 1971 bulletin.

He was appointed as a Director of Banco Santander in 1946 and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors ten years later. He also held important positions in other companies and financial institutions: Banco Intercontinental Español SA (Bankinter), Banco Comercial para América, Asfaltos Españoles SA, Sociedad Española del Acumulador Tudor SA, Compañía Española de Petróleos, Iberduero, Unión Resinera Española, Minero Siderúrgica de Ponferrada, Saltos del Sil, Financiera Bansantander, Central de Inversiones en Valores and Mobiliaria Internacional.


Hobbies and interests

A keen sportsman, he liked playing skittles and was one of the best players of the time. He was a major instigator of this sport in Cantabria. The Marcelino Botín Skittles Memorial Tournament held at Puente San Miguel every year remains one of the leading and most prestigious events in this sport in the region. He also liked playing golf and hunting.

He was involved too in projects of a social and cultural nature. A range of people and institutions received as much aid as they needed.

In the words of his friend Adolfo Martos in an obituary published in the Malaga newspaper, Sur, shortly after his death: "If I had to highlight one characteristic which in just a few words gives us an idea of the type of man he was, I would say his spiritual elegance; an elegance which firstly came from a kindness of heart, followed by his education, disciplined life and ethics. [...] Highly intelligent, managing important businesses and the owner of a major fortune, he was particularly careful to make sure nobody noticed this; when talking to him, it seemed as though we his friends were teaching him and he was the one receiving and thanking".

He was one of the founding members of the Cantabria Board of Education, with the Centro de Estudios Superiores Técnico-Empresariales (CESTE), led by the Society of Jesus, Mr. Botín had a silent influence over everytning. But he was most concerned with promoting and developing the Cantabria region and its inhabitants; he wanted to train leaders at all levels.


Creating the Foundation.

He set up the Foundation that bears his name on 18 April 1964. When he died he left the Foundation a capital of five hundred million pesetas, which has steadily increased thanks to his wife María del Carmen Yllera Camino, who died on 26 February 1984; Jesús Fernández García Miguel, member of the institution´s governing body who died on 13 February 1988; Emilio Botín-Sanz de Sautuola y López, patron of the institution from this brother´s death until his own death, on 22 September 1993; and his nephew Emilio Botín García de los Ríos, chairman of the Foundation until his death on September 2014. Javier Botín is the chairman of the Foundation, since the death of this father, Emilio Botín.

Marcelino Botín died on 16 August 1971, after a long illness.


Botín Foundation