Net Worth: $1.78 billion, up 1.8 percent
LAST YEAR: $1.75 billion
RESIDENCE: Hancock Park
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Insurance
THE MONEY: Founder of property and casualty insurer Mercury General saw net worth rise slightly as 3 percent drop in Mercury share price was more than offset by cumulative padding of dividend payouts.
THE BUZZ: Nonagenerian founder and chairman of L.A. auto, property, and casualty insurer still goes into the office at least a couple of days each week for a few hours. Lowered public profile after suffering defeat at polls in 2012 with second attempt to allow insurers to offer discounts to drivers who switch providers. Measure would presumably have benefited Mercury, which specializes in low-cost policies to attract newcomers. Navigated B-17 bomber during World War II, earned dual Harvard degrees, and worked as door-to-door salesman before founding Mercury in 1961 with offices on Wilshire Boulevard’s insurance corridor. Company now employs more than 4,500. By far Mercury’s largest shareholder, with 34 percent of shares. Lives in nearby Hancock Park with wife, Vicky; couple also own home in Santa Barbara. Couple funded building of cross at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles; other recipients of philanthropic efforts include USC, Harvard, Cal State Fullerton, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
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