The Mesquita Family controls the Estado Group since its origins. Inaugurated in 1875 by a group of 16 people, among them the Coffee Farmer José Alves de Cerqueira César, the newspaper started having a single proprietor from 1902 on: Julio Mesquita, writer of the daily publication since 1885, Cerqueira César’s son-in-law. A lawyer, Mesquita was a state deputy for São Paulo in the Old Republic.
With his father’s Julio Mesquita passing, Julio de Mesquita Filho took on the general direction of the company in 1927. Also a lawyer, he had performed several different functions in the newspaper until 1919, when he took on the position of newsroom secretary. In this period, interested on the coffee farming situation in the country and motivated by family interests, he wrote a series of articles on which he defended the necessity of creating an organization dedicated to the protection of coffee producers.
In 1932’s Constitutionalist Revolution, Julio de Mesquita Filho put Estado de S. Paulo in support of the revolting parties, articualted by Sao Paulo’s Republican party (PRP). He would end up arrested and exiled to Portugal. Two years earlier. He had done the opposite move: supporting the “Aliança Liberal” (Liberal Alliance) and Getúlio Vargas’ candidature in opposition to Júlio Prestes, the candidate then supported by PRP. IN that period, the newspaper reached a circulation of 100 thousand copies, in a moment in which the city of São Paulo had around 890 thousand inhabitants.
In 1933, however, Getúlio Vargas invited Armando de Salles Oliveira to be the federal auditor in São Paulo. Salles, who was married to Raquel Mesquita, Júlio de Mesquita Filho’s sister, negotiated the amnesty to the 1932’s revolting parties, and the owner of Estado de S. Paulo could return to the country. Since then, the journalist oscillated between moments of support of Getulio Vargas’ government and moments of strong opposition to the regimen, what caused a series to new temporary detentions when the Estado Novo (The New State) was decreed, in 1937, culminating in his exile the following year – first, to France, then to the USA, and at last to Argentina, where he contributed with the newspaper La Nación, writing about the Paraguay War. During his exile, Estado de S. Paulo was managed by Francisco Mesquita, Mesquita Filho’s brother and his partner during the time of expatriation spent in Portugal.
The brothers Júlio de Mesquita Filho and Francisco Filho passed away in a short time spam, between July 12th and November 8th 1968, in a period of stronger hardening of the Military Dictatorship they had supported in 1964, when a State coup removed elected president João Goulart. So, in January 1969, the leadership of the newspaper went to Júlio de Mesquita Neto,Júlio de Mesquita Filho’s and Marina Vieira de Carvalho Mesquita’s son. The elder of three siblings, Neto, after graduating in Law, had worked as a reporter and a writer in the newspaper’s political section and performed other functions in different areas of the company. He would end up, therefore, opting for the journalistic career.
During Mesquita Neto tenure ahead of Estado de S. Paulo, the company acquired new machinery and built a new headquarters, expanding the business to other media sectors. Julio de Mesquita Neto aligned the newspaper direction to the actions in defense of press freedom along with entities such as the Internaional Press Association, of which he was President, and the Inter-American Press Association. He died in June 1996, at 73 years old, victim of a cancer, passing the control of the newspaper to his brother Ruy Mesquita. Ruy remained ahead of Estado Group until 2009, when he had to step away to fight a tongue cancer. He would pass away in 2013, at 88 years old.
Between 2009 and 2012, the presidency of the Estado Group was occupied in transition by Silvio Genesini, who left the office in August 2012, vacating it to Francisco de Mesquita Neto and the fourth generation of family members in charge of the Group. Francisco is a stockholder and member of the Management Council, besides being CEO for 15 years of the Estado Groupa. He also held the CEO position in the groups TotalCom S.A, for three years, and Unialco S.A., for two years.