Franklin Otis Booth Jr., Member of 'L.A. Times' Founding Family, Dies at 84

Editor & Publisher, June 18, 2008 | Go to article overview

Franklin Otis Booth Jr., Member of 'L.A. Times' Founding Family, Dies at 84


Franklin Otis Booth Jr., a member of the founding family of the Los Angeles Times, has died. He was 84.

Booth, a great-grandson of newspaper founder Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles from complications of Lou Gehrig's disease, his family told the paper.

During the 1950s, Booth oversaw the printing of the newspaper. In 1968, he was named vice president of Times Mirror Corp. in charge of forest products and commercial printing.

His tenure at the paper overlapped with that of his second cousin and close friend, Otis Chandler, the famed publisher who held the reins of the paper from 1960 to 1980. The cousins shared a passion for the outdoors.

Booth, also called Otis, surfed, fished and hunted.

During his early years at the Times, Booth began investing in real estate with his friend Charles Munger, now vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

They worked on two real estate projects in Pasadena and quadrupled their money, Munger told the paper.

It was Munger who introduced Booth to investor Warren Buffett in 1963 -- before Buffett's business acumen had earned him billions.

"Otis went to Omaha, met Warren, and made his own decision," Munger said. …

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