Highly-regarded economist Jack Kyser dies at 76

DOWNEY - Jack Kyser, widely regarded as the dean of economists for Southern California and a longtime Downey resident, has died.He died Monday of undetermined causes at his home in Downey. He was 76. Born in Huntington Park on April 30, 1934, the Downey High School graduate earned his BS in industrial design (1955) and MBA (1968) degrees from USC. Downey High has enshrined him in its Hall of Fame. Although he did not pursue economics as a professional discipline, Kyser had a gift for presenting lucid analyses of economic developments and complex economic issues for much of his professional life, earning him the sobriquet of economic guru for the region. Kyser was a frequent presence on TV and in the printed media and was much sought after as a speaker on economic matters. Joining the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) in 1991, he built its economics department virtually from scratch. Because of its impact and his contributions to the county, the department was renamed the Kyser Center for Economic Research in his honor. Bill Allen, LAEDC president and CEO, stated: "We at LAEDC are absolutely committed to carrying on his legacy at the Kyser Center." Supervisor Don Knabe, a close personal friend for more than 25 years who acknowledged benefiting often from Kyser's clear-eyed counsel, had this to say: "I am shocked to learn of the passing of Jack Kyser, one of the premier economists in Southern California…[He] will be missed, as an advisor, and most especially as a friend and resident of the 4th District. My thoughts and prayers go to the Kyser family in this difficult time." Kyser retired just this past June. He was affiliated with the Southern California Association of Governments as economic adviser at the time of his death. Never parsimonious with his economic prognostications, he graced the Patriot's pages with his forthright views on everything from trade, tourism, technology, infrastructure, the entertainment industry, etc. He was upbeat about future prospects, but cautioned in June when he announced his retirement that a rebound in the regional economy "may lag a little bit." He was known to be a habitué of Stox Restaurant, where he used to have his coffee and breakfast before work and meet with friends on the weekend. Service plans were still pending at press time.

********** Published: December 9, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 34

ObituariesEric Pierce