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California Institution Passes

December 29, 2009

Don Kott, the man who put the town of Carson, Calif., on the map with his chain of car dealerships, died last Monday after a five-year battle with throat cancer, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.

Kott was the state’s ninth largest car dealer when he sold his business to Sonic Automotive in 2002. The dealerships closed two years ago when Ford Motor Co. consolidated its franchises.

Kott was born in 1931 and attended USC before going to work for his father’s Ford dealership in 1953. The dealership had been located in Wilmington, Calif., since his father opened it in 1929.

After taking over the business when his father retired, Kott moved the business to Carson, Calif., in 1974 in an effort to expand the business.

In additional to his wife Margaret, Kott is survived by two sons, Jeffrey and Christopher Childers, a daughter, Kelley Hall; and four grandchildren.

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