Edgar B. Stern Jr.
October 14, 2008
Edgar B. Stern Jr., chairman of Royal Street Corp., founder of WDSU Television, New Orleans; Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah; the Stanford Court Hotel, San Francisco; and a longtime director of Sears Roebuck and Co., died Sunday, Oct. 12, in Seattle, Wash., at 86.
He was a true visionary, a pioneer in television and an innovator in the ski and hotel industries. In all his endeavors, he had a deep commitment to excellence and a philosophy of unstinting service to his community.
He was born in New York City on Sept. 1, 1922, and was raised in New Orleans, where he attended Metairie Park Country Day School. He was a graduate of the Hotchkiss School and Harvard University.
During World War II, he served as a Signal Corps officer in the Pacific Theatre and at the Pentagon during the Korean War.
In 1948, along with his father, he founded WDSU-TV, Channel 6, in New Orleans, the first commercial television station in the Gulf Coast region. WDSU was the recipient of a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. He served on local civic and social services boards and served nationally as public relations chairman of the United Fund.
Among his many New Orleans projects was participation in the creation of the Royal Orleans Hotel and the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Oakwood Shopping Center, another one of his developments, was the first air-conditioned shopping center in the region.
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In 1968, he moved to Aspen, where he developed the Starwood residential subdivision and Red Mountain Ranch. He served for many years as chairman of the Music Associates of Aspen, the governing body of the Aspen Music Festival and School. He took the leadership position in establishing the Aspen Valley Improvement Association and served on the Aspen Valley Hospital Board of Directors.
His continuing interest in hospitality led in the ’70s to the nearly simultaneous development of the Stanford Court Hotel and the Deer Valley Resort. Stanford Court Hotel was continuously awarded the prestigious Mobile Five Star rating. A new standard for the ski industry was set at Deer Valley when Stern achieved his dream of combining the sport of skiing with the service, food and amenities of a five-star hotel. Deer Valley Resort is frequently honored by the readers of SKI magazine with the rating of No. 1 ski resort in North America.
In the field of education, he served on the visitors committee of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and on the boards of Tulane University and the University of Chicago.
In 1986, Stern relocated to San Juan Island, Wash., where he served as president of the board of the San Juan Community Theatre and contributed to numerous community endeavors.
In 2007, he retired from his position as chairman of the board of Royal Street Corp.
In addition to his wife of 61 years, Pauline (Polly), Stern is survived by his daughter, Sandra McIver, sons Eric, Monte and Lessing, seven grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
A private memorial service will be held for the family, and a public celebration of Stern’s life will be planned at a later date in Park City, Utah. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in his name to any of the following:
UW Medicine, Box 358045, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105; with a memo reference in the check “Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in memory of Edgar B. Stern, Jr.”
Alzheimer’s Association,12721 30th Ave., NE, Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98215; with a memo reference in the check “In memory of Edgar B. Stern, Jr.”
The United States Ski Team, P.O. Box 100, Park City, UT 84060; with memo reference on the check “In memory of Edgar B. Stern, Jr.”
Or donate to the charity of your choice in Edgar Stern’s name.
The family respectfully requests that they be given private time to grieve. Please direct all expressions of sympathy to: Royal Street Corp., 7620 Royal Street East, Suite 205, P.O. Box 3179, Park City, UT 84060-3179, or e-mail email@example.com.