Orvon Gene Autry

Age: 89

Net worth: $320 million

Source of wealth: Sports, broadcasting

Resident of: Studio City

Never mind the “Singing Cowboy” stuff Gene Autry long ago established himself as one of Southern California’s shrewdest investors, on or off a horse. He did it by staying ahead of the curve in radio and television.

His most noteworthy deal was the purchase of KTLA-TV for $12 million in 1964, which he then sold to Tribune Broadcasting in 1982 for $245 million.

Earlier this year, his Golden West Broadcasting company sold radio station KSCA-FM to Las Vegas-based Heftel Broadcasting Corp. for about $110 million.

Autry bought the Angels in 1960 for about $2.5 million and had been looking to divest himself of the daily operations of the club for the past several years.

Chapman University President Jim Doti brought Angels owner Gene and his wife Jackie together with Walt Disney Co. and the City of Anaheim when the deal started to sour. He finally sold his 25 percent controlling interest to Disney last year for an estimated $30 million.

Autry, who gained fame as a Western star and for singing “South of the Border” and “Mexicali Rose” still has numerous business holdings, including Gene Autry’s Western Music Publishing Co., Golden West Melodies Inc., Ridgeway Music Co. Inc. and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. He has sold off all holdings in Golden West Broadcasting, including radio and television stations.

Julie Sable

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