Is your surname Chandler?

Research the Chandler family

Harry Chandler's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Harry Chandler

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Landaff, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States
Death: Died in Los Angeles County, California, United States
Place of Burial: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Moses Knight Chandler and Emma Jane Little
Husband of Magdalena "May" Chandler and Marian Otis Chandler
Father of Frances Chandler Kirkpatrick; Alice May Goodan; Constance Chandler; Ruth Chandler; Norman Chandler and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Harry Chandler

Harry Chandler (May 17, 1864 – September 23, 1944) was an American newspaper publisher and investor who became owner of the largest real estate empire in the U.S.

Early life

Harry Chandler was born in Landaff, New Hampshire to Moses K. and Emma J. (Little) Chandler. He attended Dartmouth College, and on a dare, he jumped into a vat of starch that had frozen over during winter, which led to severe pneumonia. He withdrew from Dartmouth and moved to Los Angeles for his health.


In Los Angeles, while working in the fruit fields, he started a small delivery company that soon became responsible for also delivering many of the city's morning newspapers, which put him in contact with The Los Angeles Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis. Otis liked this entrepreneurial young man and hired him as the Times’ general manager. Harry’s first wife had died in childbirth and he went on to marry Otis’s daughter, Marian Otis. Upon Otis’s death in 1917, Harry took over the reins as publisher of the Times, transforming it into the leading newspaper in the West and at times the most successful: for three straight years in the 1920s, under his leadership, the Times led all other American newspapers in advertising space and amount of classified ads.

Much of his boundless energy and dreams were however directed to transforming Los Angeles. As a community builder and large-scale real estate speculator, he became arguably the leading citizen of Los Angeles in the first half of the 20th century. Chandler was directly involved with helping to found the following: the Los Angeles Coliseum (and bringing the 1932 Summer Olympics to L.A.), the Biltmore Hotel, the Douglas Aircraft Company, the Hollywood Bowl, The Ambassador Hotel, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Automobile Club of Southern California, KHJ radio station, Trans World Airlines, the San Pedro Harbor, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the California Club, The Pacific Electric Cars, the Los Angeles Art Association, the Santa Anita Park racetrack, the Los Angeles Steamship Company, the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, and the restoration of downtown’s Olvera Street and Chinatown.

As a real estate investor, he was a partner in syndicates that owned and developed much of the San Fernando Valley, as well as the Hollywood Hills (Hollywoodland). The Hollywoodland sign was used to promote the development. Chandler's other real estate projects included Mulholland Drive, much of Dana Point, the Tejon Ranch (281,000 acres (1,140 km²) in Southern California), the Vermejo Park Ranch (340,000 acres (1,400 km²) in New Mexico), and the C&M ranch (832,000 acres (3,370 km²) in northern Baja, Mexico). At one point these investments made him the largest private landowner in the U.S., while at the same time, he was an officer or director in thirty-five California corporations, including oil, shipping, and banking.

Harry Chandler was a notable eugenicist during his time as President of the Los Angeles Times, and was a member of the Human Betterment Foundation, an organization headed by Ezra Gosney.

Personal life

On February 6, 1888, Harry married Magdalena Schlador whose brother worked at the Los Angeles Times. They had a daughter, Francesca, born April 7, 1890 and a second daughter, Alice May, born July 24, 1892. Sadly Magdalena, who Harry called May, died of puerperal fever two weeks after Alice May's birth on August 4, 1892 at the age of twenty nine.

Chandler went on to marry Marian Otis in 1894 and together they had six children. His oldest son, Norman Chandler, followed him as publisher of the Times.

He died on September 23, 1944 from a heart attack. He and Marian are buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard. Harrison Gray Otis's memorial is nearby.


Chandler Boulevard, a major street in the San Fernando Valley, is named for Harry Chandler.

view all 14

Harry Chandler's Timeline

May 17, 1864
Landaff, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States
April 7, 1890
Age 25
Los Angeles County, California, United States
March 19, 1896
Age 31
Los Angeles County, California, United States
October 15, 1897
Age 33
California, United States
October 15, 1897
Age 33
September 14, 1899
Age 35
Los Angeles County, California, United States
February 12, 1904
Age 39
February 17, 1907
Age 42
February 17, 1907
Age 42