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Joseph Robert Bolker
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Birth: May 23, 1924
Nebraska, USA
Death: Nov. 28, 1986
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Joseph R. Bolker, a major Southern California developer known for constructing low-cost housing for the poor and for gifts supporting the arts, has died of cancer, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Bolker, 62, was the first husband of Christina Onassis, the daughter of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. They married in July 1971 and divorced in 1972. They had no children.

Bolker died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said his executive assistant, Judy Fox. He was buried following a funeral Monday at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.

The founder of Brighton International Development Corp., a land development company, Bolker also was consul general for the Republic of Senegal when he died, Fox said.

He was a major Los Angeles philanthropist who raised more than $4 million for the Los Angeles Music Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the Gallery of Contemporary Statuary bears his name.

Additionally, he was the former chairman of the Los Angeles International Visitors Program and the city's Sister Cities Program, Fox said.

"He is best known for championing low-cost housing," Fox said. "His name surfaced most often in connection with affordable housing for the poor."

After graduating from UCLA, he joined Biltmore Homes and was involved in the construction of 7,000 mostly low-cost homes throughout Southern California, Fox said.

In 1971, Bolker merged his thirty-nine corporations into Brighton International, which also owns the small coast-to-coast chain of six Forty Carrots restaurants.

Bolker also remodeled shopping centers in Norwalk and built several large apartment complexes in Riverside, Fox said.

He is survived by his wife, Victoria; four daughters, Jilliene, Wendy, Cynthia, and Amy; by his first wife, Janice Taper, daughter of philanthropist Mark Taper; and a son, Alexander, whose mother is Victoria. He was named after Christina Onassis' brother, who died in a plane crash, Fox said. He also is survived by a brother, Norman, and sister, Freda.
Published in the Los Angeles Daily News on December 4, 1986. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Christina Onassis (1950 - 1988)
 
Burial:
Mount Sinai Memorial Park
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
 
Created by: Ryan Curtis
Record added: May 22, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70199099
Joseph Robert Bolker
Added by: Errete
 
Joseph Robert Bolker
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
 
 
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