03/23/2012 8:38PM

Everett, former Hollywood Park chairwoman, dies at age 90


Marjorie Everett, the former chairwoman of Hollywood Park, died of complications of old age at her home in the west side of Los Angeles on Friday morning, two of her friends said. She was 90, and had been in frail health. In recent months, Everett had dealt with memory and mobility issues, her friends said.

A native of Albany, N.Y., who was adopted at the age of 10 months, Everett spent her adult life in horse racing, in the Midwest and California. She lived in Southern California after leaving racetrack management in 1991.

Raised in the Midwest, Everett left Northwestern University in 1939 to join the racetrack management team at Arlington and Washington parks in Chicago, which were owned by her father, Benjamin Lindheimer. She took over as chairwoman of those two tracks, and Balmoral Park in Crete, Ill., following his death in 1960. Washington Park was later closed.

Everett left Chicago racing in the mid-1970s, selling her stake in Arlington and Balmoral, and moved to Southern California, where she acquired stock in Hollywood Park and joined management.

Current Hollywood Park general manager Eual Wyatt Jr. worked for Everett as a racing secretary in the 1980s and early 1990s. Wyatt said on Friday that Everett “loved racing more than anyone I’ve been around.”

“She was very demanding to work for,” he said. "She really loved racing. Sometimes, she came off a little bit rough. She was extremely sensitive to look out for the desires of the horsemen and the public.”

Everett was an aggressive marketer – conducting merchandise giveaways, including a tote bag day in 1980 that drew an all-time track record attendance of 80,348; initiating a carryover provision to the pick six, then known as the perfect six, in 1983; and luring the first Breeders’ Cup to Hollywood Park in 1984.

In 1988, under Everett’s direction, Hollywood Park offered the first nighttime Thoroughbred program in Southern California in conjunction with the track’s 50th anniversary. The program drew a season-high attendance that year of more than 40,000.

The track hosted the third Breeders’ Cup in 1987 under Everett’s management, but has held the event only once since then, in 1997. By then, Everett had left management of Hollywood Park.

She resigned as chairwoman, chief executive, and president of Hollywood Park in February 1991, after losing a contentious proxy battle with R.D. Hubbard. She did not have an official involvement in racing in subsequent years, but remained close to many people involved in the sport until her death.

She made very few visits to Hollywood Park in recent years, but did attend retirement ceremonies for Hall of Fame jockeys Chris McCarron and Laffit Pincay Jr.

Everett also raced Thoroughbreds, most notably Stardust Mel, who won the Santa Anita Handicap and Charles H. Strub Stakes at Santa Anita in 1975. Stardust Mel was ridden by Everett’s good friend, the late Bill Shoemaker.

Everett was preceded in death by her husband, Webb Everett, a former racing secretary at Santa Anita.

Services are pending.

John Parsons More than 1 year ago
I just found out about Mrs. Everett's passing. Does anyone know where I can send my condolences?
John Parsons More than 1 year ago
I just foundout about Mrs. Everett's passing. Does anyone know where I can send my condoloences?
Junior Jimenez More than 1 year ago
Look at the people who came after her at HP. RD Hubbard, Churchill Downs, Bay Meadows Group they ruined the track. Read the sarcastic tone from Hovdey in his article very sad. He puts her down instead of giving her credit. After her no one has cared of a once proud track
Vic Bullock More than 1 year ago
always personally answered letters.....it was easy back then....players came to the track.....ya had 'em right where you wanted them......make offer can't refuse ect ect
R D B More than 1 year ago
thats funny jeff i remember summertimeguy fun sprinter to watch i remember when banker john ok so far and surefire ran in the double almost ever weekend
Junior Jimenez More than 1 year ago
R.I.P. you were the best friend Hollywood Park had
Junior Jimenez More than 1 year ago
R.I.P. Marjorie, you were the best friend Hollywood Park had!!!!
Riposte More than 1 year ago
What a lovely story. Cakes & Ale.
nancyb More than 1 year ago
RIP Ms Everett. You did a wonderful job and I'll always remember fondly the heyday of Hollywood Park in the '80s, even the missteps of the first BC because you wanted it to be so spectacular.
Jeffrey Mathews More than 1 year ago
very humbling day i'll always cherish the 1970's when claimers such as "summertimeguy" were as good as todays stake runners when horseracing was on par w/football, boxing & the other top games, never met nor seen ms everett but her name became as popular as shoe or pincay.