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February 23, 2015

Obituary: Henry Segerstrom, Who Put Orange County on Arts Map

Henry T. Segerstrom, a Southern California real-estate mogul whose property deals and cultural philanthropy remade Orange County from a Los Angeles bedroom community into a business and arts hub in its own right, died Friday at age 91 after a brief illness, the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register report.

The scion of a farming family, Mr. Segerstrom developed bean fields into South Coast Plaza, which opened in 1967 and is now one of the country’s biggest and highest-grossing retail centers. From the late 1970s on he shepherded the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, for which his family donated land and $50-million. The venue, renamed the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in 2011, is viewed as pivotal to the county’s transformation into a cultural destination.