La Jolla's William F. Black, Black’s Beach namesake, dies
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 01/17/20 - 04:04 PM | 6162 views | 12 12 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
William F. Black did on Dec. 11. Photo courtesy of the La Jolla Historical Society.
William F. Black did on Dec. 11. Photo courtesy of the La Jolla Historical Society.
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The founder of La Jolla Farms, for whom Black’s Beach is named, William F. Black, 86, died Dec. 11 from congestive heart failure.

Born in Oklahoma City in 1933, Black moved to La Jolla with his family as a child. In 1947, his father, oilman William H. Black, purchased 240 acres of land on the bluff top now known as La Jolla Farms. He built a horse breeding and training center there named Black Gold Stables.

The Black’s Pueblo Revival-style home, designed by Santa Fe historic architect William Lumpkins, featured thick adobe walls and hand-carved wooden doors.

In 1966, Black and his father sold 132 acres of their La Jolla Farms estate, including the family home, to UC San Diego for $2.7 million. 

Their former home was turned into the official residence of the UC San Diego chancellor. It has since been remodeled and retrofitted to protect it from earthquakes.

In the early ‘50s, Black received a bachelor’s degree in geography from Stanford before going into the U.S. Air Force where he flew helicopters.

Returning to San Diego in 1958, Black and friends formed a company buying and remarketing La Jolla Farms residential property. 

In 1963, Black co-founded Bank of La Jolla and was CEO for five years. He moved on to manage personal investments and become president of family-owned La Jolla Properties Inc. and Landowners Oil Assoc.

Black served on several boards including the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, the San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Foundation. 

In 1967, while part of the San Diego Stadium Authority, Black aided in influencing Major League Baseball to expand into San Diego with the Padres.

In 1989, Black joined the State Department during the Bush administration. As assistant chief of protocol, Black helped arrange visits to the U.S. from prominent world figures like Queen Elizabeth II and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union.

Survivors include three children: Kathleen Serena Black of London, Charles Randolph Black (Frania) of Newport Beach, and Alexandra Sevier Black Narasin (Benjamin) of Atherton, California; several grandchildren; companion Mary Jennings; and his first wife, Katherine McCormick Price.

Donations in his memory are requested to the Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute.

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