SOLOMON, Bernard C. (81) Art collector, businessman, C.P.A., passed away in Los Angeles on December 7, 2007 of congestive heart failure. "Bernie" was born in Mt. Vernon, New York on November 23, 1927. After graduating from New Rochelle High School, he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. In his freshman year he was drafted into the Army and served in World War II as a medic in the European Theater. After the war he moved to Los Angeles and resumed his education at U.C.L.A. Upon graduation he obtained his C.P.A. certificates and started work at the national accounting firm of Seidman & Seidman. It was there that he met Gene Autry who was a client of the firm. He went to work for Autry and for most of the 1950's served as chief accountant and business manager for Autry's enterprises. In 1959 he entered the business world by starting the Diners Record Club, the very first mail order record club in the U.S. to offer records from a variety of record labels. In 1962 he purchased Everest Records, a classical label, that he ran until his death. Under this label he presented classical music and opera to the public at a reasonable price. That year he also formed a group to purchase the Philadelphia Warriors NBA basketball team. He proceeded to move them to San Francisco to join the Los Angeles Lakers as the only West Coast teams. He served as General Partner of the San Francisco Warriors until 1965 when he sold them to local owners. Solomon was a world renowned collector of fine arts. Over his lifetime he had owned Van Gogh's "Pieta", Monet's "Waterloo Bridge", a Faberge "Cuckoo Egg", other paintings by Delacroix, Renoir, Hans Hoffman, and other major artists. In his later life he began collecting old masters paintings and sculptures. Many of his pieces have been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the 1970's Solomon purchased the historic Harold Lloyd Estate, Greenacres. He restored the mansion which had been in disrepair having been unoccupied for many years. It served as a showplace for much of his art collection. It is now owned by Ron Burkle. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his six children, Cori Solomon-Bornstein, Charles Solomon, Alexander Solomon, Nicholas Solomon, Cristina Solomon, Victoria Solomon, his stepchildren, Jennifer Gordon, Suzanne Calvin, Bonnie Wolk, 12 grandchildren, his sister, Adele Somers, his brother, Herbert Solomon and six nieces and nephews. A celebration of his remarkable life will be held at a future date. Donations to honor Bernie can be made to the ARCS Foundation, Inc., 24520 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505, General Israel Orphans Home for Girls/Jerusalem, 725 N. Stanley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046 or a charity of your choice.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Dec. 9, 2007.