|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2007)|
He was the son of Eugenio Mendoza Cobena (the grandson of Venezuela's first president, Cristóbal Mendoza) and Luisa Goiticoa (the great-granddaughter of Simón Bolívar's sister, Juana Bolívar). Despite his family's historical position he grew up in modest circumstances due to the monetary sacrifices made by his family during the war for Venezuelan independence and later the Venezuelan civil war.
Mendoza had seven brothers and two sisters and was the only one who did not pursue a university education, choosing instead to go into business by opening a hardware store. By 1943, he had created the "Venezolana de Cementos", the largest supplier of cement in the country, with subsections in Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, Pertigalete, Macuro and Catia La Mar. Also, in the following years he conformed "Protinal", dedicated to the production of animal feed, "Venezolana de Pinturas" and "Venezolana de Pulpa y Papel". His business organization, "El Grupo Mendoza" became the largest industrial conglomerate in the 1970s encompassing everything from cement, construction, manufacturing, heavy machinery, paint, paper mills, animal feed, banking, and insurance to ownership of General Motors of Venezuela.
He founded the Fundacion Mendoza which led the philanthropic community of Venezuela for two decades primarily focusing on the founding of the largest children's hospital in Latin America and numerous schools. In 1970, he founded the Universidad Metropolitana, a private university located in Caracas, which became the most important passion of his later years. It was the first Venezuelan university to offer careers in business management and finance. It remains one of the most prestigious private universities in Venezuela.
He married Luisa Rodriguez Planas in 1938, and had four children with her (Eugenio Andres, Gertrudis, Luisa Elena and Eugenio Antonio). One son, Eugenio Andres, drowned as a youngster. Today, their three children and grandchildren continue the business and philanthropic work of El Grupo Mendoza and Fundacion Mendoza.