Cal Worthington. Anyone who grew up in Southern California grew up watching Cal and his dog Spot. TV almost made him an uncle to us.
The iconic California car dealer has passed away at the age of 92.
Cal was best known for his TV ads which proclaimed "Cal Worthington and his dog Spot", only, it was never a dog. It was a tiger or a lion or a bear or an elephant...anything but a dog!
Worthington, who estimated that he sold a million cars of various makes during a 65-year career that made him an icon of Southern California auto culture, died Sunday while watching football at his ranch in Orland, north of Sacramento, said his attorney, Larry Miles. He was 92. The cause has not been determined.
Worthington grew up in a family of nine children and dropped out of school at the age of 13. His first job was as a water boy on a road construction crew for 15 cents an hour. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at age 15.
A little known fact about Cal is that he joined the Air Force at age 21 to fly B-17s in WWII. He was discharged after the war as a captain. Worthington was awarded the Air Medal five times, and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was presented to him by General Jimmy Doolittle.
According to a profile published in the Sacramento Bee in 1990, Worthington's car dealership grossed $316.8 million in 1988.
Rest in peace, sir. And thank you for your service to our country!
Cal with his many "dogs spot"
|Cal Worthington checks over a small herd of cattle.|
|Cal Worthington drives his all terrain vehicle - a gift from his family - |
which he used to check out his olive and almond trees on his ranch.
|Cal Worthington is contrasted by a 'W' etched into a glass |
door at his ranch in Orland, Calif.