On 23 November 1912, Deportivo Cali was founded and went on to become one of Colombia's most successful clubs.
The club was formed largely through the efforts of the three Lalinde Caldas brothers—Nazario, Fidel, and Juan Pablo—who hosted the first meeting at their home. They had just returned from London, bringing a love of football and some kits, and helped write the new club's constitution, along with Alfonso Giraldo and Enrique Cucalón.
They were one of the founding teams of the Colombian league in 1948. Although they finished eighth out of ten teams that first season, they finished second the following season. They won their first title in 1965 and dominated the next few years, with additional titles in 1967, 1969, 1970, and 1974. In 1978, they became the first Colombian team to reach the Copa Libertadores Final, finishing as runners-up to Boca Juniors.
After going without a trophy through the 1980s, Deportivo regained the league championship in 1996, then again in 1998 and most recently in 2005. All told, they have total of eight titles and have finished in second place twelve times.