New York Times
Aug 1, 1962
GEORGE PEPPERDINE, FOUNDER OF COLLEGE
LOS ANGELES July 31 (AP) George Pepperdine, a farm boy who founded George Pepperdine College and later lost a personal fortune estimated at $10,000,000 died today at his home. He was 76 years old.
Death was caused by aneurysm, an enlargement of the aorta. He had been ill several years.
Born of poor parents, Mr. Pepperdine turned a $5 investment at 23 into Western Auto Supply, a multi-million-dollar business that netted $12,000 its first year, 1909.
His fortune withered in the Nineteen Forties, and in 1950 he testified in court that his assets did not exceed $1.
He was born in 1886 at Mound Valley, Kansas, and his education was limited mainly to rural schools and a business college at Parsons, Kansas.
He started a small mail-order house in Kansas City and handled auxiliary equipment for automobiles, Despite lack of capital his business flourished, but ill health forced him to sell out and move west. He re-established his business here and then sold out, using most of the proceeds to found the college in 1937.
His widow, Lena Rose, three daughters and two sons survive.