Cardinal José Manuel Estepa Laurens, Archbishop Military Ordinary emeritus of Spain, was born on 1 January 1926 in Andújar, Spain.
After completing his studies in Salamanca, Rome and Paris, he was ordained a priest on 27 June 1954.
He began working in the diocese of Madrid and then on 5 September 1972 he was appointed titular Bishop of Tisili and Auxiliary of Madrid, where he served for eleven years as rector of the archdiocesan seminary. He was consecrated on 15 October 1972.
On 30 July 1983 he was named titular Archbishop of Velebusdus and Military Ordinary of Spain. As a member of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, he assisted in tasks regarding the teaching of catechesis and doctrine of the faith.
On 18 November 1989 he was transferred to the titular see of Italice. He retired on 7 March 1998.
On 30 October 2003 he retired as military ordinary of Spain.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the Consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Title of San Gabriele Arcangelo all’Acqua Traversa (Saint Gabriel the Archangel all’Acqua Traversa).