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Edward L. Doheny, portrait
Alternative Title
Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
Underwood & Underwood
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
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Title supplied by cataloger.
Edward Laurence Doheny, Sr. (1856-1935) was an industrialist, oil magnate, businessman, benefactor and philanthropist, who along with partner Charles A. Canfield, drilled the first successful oil well in Los Angeles in 1892 and set off a major petroleum boom; in the process, becoming one of the richest men in America. Prior to striking it rich in Southern California, Doheny lived in Wisconsin where he met and married his first wife, Carrie Louella Wilkins on August 7, 1883. In the Spring of 1891, Doheny and his family moved to Los Angeles. After some failed business ventures, he obtained a $400 lease near downtown and sank a shaft at the corner of 2nd and Glendale Street, bringing in his first gusher on November 1892. Doheny soon made a fortune by drilling in the area and selling the oil to nearby factories. In 1899 Doheny met Carrie Estelle Betzold, his company's telephone operator, and they married the following year on August 22, 1900. Though Carrie Estelle never bore any children, Edward had a son (Edward Lawrence "Ned" Doheny, Jr), and a daughter (Eileen Doheny) from his first marriage. Within a decade, Doheny had drilled thousands of wells and in 1919 formed the Pan American Petroleum Company. His empire spread into Mexico, where he leased 1.6 million acres for industrial development. By 1920, Doheny was one of America's wealthiest citizens, with a personal fortune estimated at $150 million dollars. The Doheny's became major philanthropists, often to Catholic organizations. In 1925, the family provided the funding for the construction of St. Vincent de Paul Church, and in 1932, they donated 1.1 million dollars for the construction of the Edward L. Doheny, Jr. Memorial Library at USC in honor of his only son, who died in a mysterious 1929 murder-suicide. Mrs. Doheny would later donate her rare book collection to St. John's Seminary in Camarillo; and after her death, the Doheny Mansion was deeded to the Catholic Church and is now the Doheny campus of Mount St. Mary's College. Edward Doheny died on September 8, 1935 at the age of 79. His funeral was held at St. Vincent's Church, and was interred at Calvary Cemetery. The rich Carrara marble for his tomb at Calvary Mausoleum was a gift from Pope Pius XL, in gratitude for the millions he had donated to Catholic institutions.
Portrait of Edward L. Doheny, Sr., who discovered oil in Los angeles in the late 1800s. Mr. Doheny can be seen sitting on a chair, wearing a dark three-piece suit, white shirt, dark tie and rimless glasses; he holds a folded paper in his hand.
1 photographic print :b&w ;18 x 13 cm. on sheet 26 x 21 cm.
Photographic prints
Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Portraits-Doheny, Edward Laurence; BN-000-486 5x7
Doheny, Edward L.--(Edward Laurence),--1856-1935
Philanthropists--United States
Businessmen--United States
Industrialists--United States
Portrait photographs
Time Period

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