José Álvarez was born in Antilla, Oriente, Cuba in 1940. At the age of 10, his parents sent him to a religious boarding school in Santiago de Cuba, the provincial capital. Months later, Fulgencio Batista and a small group of military officers took power by force and started a dictatorship that would last almost seven years. Despite his age, he opposed the new regime since the first day and enrolled in clandestine organizations. When Fidel Castro founded the « 26 of July Revolutionary Movement» in 1955, he became a member until it was disbanded by Castro himself, after taking power in 1959.
Almost three years later, he dropped out of Law School, resigned his position and applied for permission to leave the country. In early February 1969, he was able to travel to the United States with his wife and their 5-year-old daughter. They went to Gainesville, Florida, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in food and resource economics feom the University of Florida in 1977, becoming a member of its faculty. After a productive academic career that included over 300 publications, more than 50 presentations in national and foreign events, and numerous grants and awards, José Álvarez retired in 2004, receiving the title of Emeritus Professor. He founded the project «Rethinking the Cuban rebellion of 1952-59» (http://josepepinalvarez.com). Some of the 16 books he has published, have received an equal number of national and international awards including Florida Book Awards, International Latino Book Awards, London Book Awards, Nashville Book Awards, New Generation Indie Book Awards, Readers Favorite Awards Contest, and several from Editorial Voces de Hoy. For his work on Cuban agriculture, he received the «National Honor Award for Superior Service»”, the highest honor conferred by the United States Department of Agriculture to an agricultural researcher. He lives in Wellington, Florida, with his wife of more than 50 years Mercy, his son Alejandro Javier and daughter-in-law Monika, and his grandchildren Alexis Monique, Ricardo Julián and Niko Enrique.