Cristina Saralegui was born in Havana, Cuba, on January 29,1948, to Francisco and Cristina Saralegui. One of five children, she was raised among the wealthy Saralegui publishing family in the Miramar suburb of Havana. In most of her biographical interviews and profiles, she credits her paternal grandfather, Francisco "Pancho" Saralegui, for instilling in her an early love for journalism. He was one of Cuba's most influential figures in print journalism and owned the publications Carteles, Vanidades, and Bohemia, three of the most important Latin American magazines of the time. He was also known as "The King of Paper in his native Cuba because he owned the largest paper-distribution conglomerate on the island.