This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (May 2008)
Earle C. Anthony
|Born||December 18, 1880|
|Died||August 6, 1961|
Earle C. Anthony (December 18, 1880—August 6, 1961) was an American businessman and philanthropist based in Los Angeles, California who worked in broadcasting and automobiles. He was also a songwriter, journalist and playwright.
Earle C. Anthony was born on December 18, 1880.
Anthony built an electric automobile of his own design, the first to run in Los Angeles, at the age of 17. A replica of this car, made in the 1920s with parts of the original automobile, is exhibited in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
In 1923, Anthony was the founder and owner of what eventually became 50,000-watt KFI AM (640) radio, a station he controlled until his death in 1961. From 1929 to 1944, he also owned KECA/1430, which evolved into KABC. He was an early president of the National Association of Broadcasters and during his term oversaw the establishment of the organization's first paid staff. He also was a founder of one of the earliest television stations in Los Angeles, KFI-TV, channel 9 and KFI-FM/105.9 (now defunct), both of which were disposed of in 1951.
From 1915 to 1958, Anthony was the Packard distributor for all of California, selling one out of every seven Packards. After Packard ceased production in 1958, Anthony acquired two franchises for the ill-fated Edsel, a new, medium-priced car from Ford Motor Company, one in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles. He was also instrumental in developing the concept of the gasoline service station (the Chevron was the trademark of the National Supply Co., a service station chain Anthony headed with several other auto dealers and sold to the Standard Oil Company of California in 1913.) He was also a pioneer in inter-urban bus transportation, founding a company later incorporated into Pacific Greyhound lines and had a role in the development of car radios.
Anthony was active in many civic activities. He helped save the Hollywood Bowl by assuming leadership of the Symphony Under Stars Foundation in the early 1930s. He donated resources for a wind-resistant cross to replace others that had previously been blown over in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs).
Anthony helped to bring major league baseball to Los Angeles. This resulted in the Los Angeles Dodger games being carried on KFI and Dodger owner Walter O'Malley becoming a board member of Earle C. Anthony, Inc., according to his biographer, Arthur Landing.
Anthony also founded the Los Angeles Auto Show, introduced neon signs to Southern California from France, and personally built the first automobile ever constructed in Los Angeles (later rebuilt and now in the possession of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles).
Anthony was a lifelong Episcopalian.
Anthony died on August 6, 1961.
Anthony's only son, Kelly Anthony, was disabled in a WWII mishap and died months after his father. Anthony's fortune went to a trust primarily benefiting the California Institute of Technology and the University of California (the latter of which was Anthony's alma mater). Some of Anthony's employees and friends also received pensions from the trust for the rest of their lives.
His home in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles was designed by Bernard Maybeck. Over the property's history, many internationally distinguished visitors were entertained in the mansion and its eight and one half acre environs. The core building was designed by Maybeck in the style of a medieval renaissance castle. The basic Norman-French and Spanish structure also exhibits Greco-Roman and Moorish influences. After the death of Anthony's wife the home was purchased in the early fifties by Sir Daniel J. and Countess Bernardine Murphy Donohue. The mansion was donated to the Immaculate Heart Sisters in 1971 upon the death of the Countess. The interior of the Nordic entrance tower was furnished by Donohue as a replica of the Pope's prayer room at the Vatican in Rome.
As noted, Donohue bequeathed the property to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is currently now known as the Cardinal Timothy Manning House of Prayer for Priests and the Immaculate Heart Retreat House. It is an urban sanctuary available to individuals or groups for a few hours or a day for reflection and prayer. A chapel, dining room and conference rooms are available.