09/09/2010 4:55PM

John Kluge, owner, dies


John Werner Kluge, the owner of Morven Stud who campaigned Grade 1 winners Unaccounted For and Buy the Firm, has died in Virginia at age 95.

A German immigrant who made his fortune in media and advertising, Kluge developed the Metromedia telecommunications conglomerate and, in the mid-1980s, sold Rupert Murdoch the group of television stations that ultimately became the Fox Network. In 1988, Kluge purchased the historic Morven Stud property, birthplace of Hall of Famer Shuvee, among others.

Kluge resigned as Metromedia's chairman in 2002, the same year that he dispersed his bloodstock through the Walnut Green agency at Keeneland. The dispersal included the $1.35 million session-topper Electric Society and 35 other horses who grossed $7,386,000.

In 2001, Kluge gave Morven and 10 other working farms to the University of Virginia in one of many notable acts of philanthropy. His other gifts included a $400 million pledge to his alma mater, Columbia University, and $60 million to the Library of Congress.