Saturday, March 24, 2012
FORMER HOLLYWOOD PARK CHAIRWOMAN MARJE EVERETT DIES AT 90
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (March 23, 2011)—Marje Everett, the longtime chairwoman of Hollywood Park, died Friday morning at her West Los Angeles home. She was 90.
A native of New York, Everett, who grew up in a racing family – her father Benjamin Lindheimer owned Arlington Park and the now defunct Washington Park in Illinois – spent a great portion of her adult life in race track management.
After leaving Illinois and selling her interest in both tracks, Everett came to California, acquiring stock in Hollywood Park, eventually joining management. She was on the board of directors from 1972-1991 and served as chairman, chief executive officer and president of the track from 1985-1991. She resigned after losing a proxy fight to R.D. Hubbard.
During her tenure, Hollywood Park twice hosted the Breeders’ Cup – including the inaugural event in 1984 – and began what is now the Pick 6 in 1983. On May 4, 1980, the track had what remains its largest on-track crowd (80,348) thanks primarily to a tote bag giveaway. More than 68,000 were in attendance when Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew suffered his first defeat to J.O. Tobin in the Swaps Stakes July 3, 1977.
“She was certainly an important part of racing in California for a long period of time,’’ said Hollywood Park general manager Eual Wyatt, Jr., who worked as racing secretary for more than 15 years under Everett. “She was very sincere about her love for racing. She tried to do everything in the best interest of both patrons and horsemen. She tried to look out for everyone.’’
Retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. remained close friends with Everett, saying he last spoke to her about two weeks ago.
“She was one of my closest friends,’’ he said. “She was always very good to me and was very close to my first wife (Linda) and my children.
“The thing I admired about her was her love of racing. She always wanted the best for racing. The last time I saw her was about two months ago and we had a really good conversation.’’
In addition to her career in management, Everett also was a horse owner. The best of her thoroughbreds was 1975 Charles H. Strub Stakes and Santa Anita Handicap winner Stardust Mel. Trained by Charlie Whittingham, Stardust Mel was ridden by Bill Shoemaker, another of her very close friends.
Services are pending for Everett.
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