Xavier was known as the Rhumba King and is credited with pushing Latino music and dance into popularity and best-known for having popularized the rumba in the United States during the 1930s.
He and his band, the Gigolos, were featured in several popular Hollywood movies in the 1940s and 1950s. They introduced many popular Latin American rhythms to North American audiences and toured extensively every year, playing tangos, rumbas and congas.
“Under the influence of tropical skies and a couple of daiquiris, people developed a taste for my Latin American style of music,” he once said.
3. Xavier went on to work for the Los Angeles Times as a cartoonist. Not a huge stretch, considering art seemed to run in the family. His older brother Francis Cugat worked as a portrait, poster, book jacket artist and set designer. He is known for his 1925 cover of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Cugat himself can be seen in a few films drawing his caricatures prior to or during a performance.