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Delbert E. Webb

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Delbert E. Webb

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:19 pm

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Delbert E. Webb (May 17, 1899 – July 4, 1974) was an American construction magnate, real estate developer and sports-team owner who is significant for founding and developing the retirement community of Sun City, Arizona. He was born in Fresno, California, and dropped out of high school to become a carpenter's apprentice. At the age of 28, he suffered typhoid fever, and as a result moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to recover. In 1928, he began his namesake company which was a construction contractor. He received many military contracts during World War II, including the construction of the Poston War Relocation Center near Parker, Arizona. Poston interned over 17,000 Japanese-Americans and at the time was the third largest “city” in Arizona.

He was associated with Howard Hughes and golfed with Hughes, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Robert and Barry Goldwater.

A lifelong baseball fan, in 1945 Del Webb and partners Dan Topping and Larry MacPhail purchased the New York Yankees team in Major League Baseball for US$2.8 million. After buying out MacPhail in October 1947, Webb and Topping would remain owners of the Yankees until selling the club to CBS during the 1964 season.

In 1948, in Tucson, Arizona, Webb was contracted to build 600 houses and a shopping center called Pueblo Gardens. This was a prelude to Sun City, Arizona, which was launched January 1, 1960, with five models, a shopping center, recreation center and golf course. The opening weekend drew 100,000 people, ten times more than expected, and resulted in a Time magazine cover story.

Webb also developed a chain of motor hotels under the “Hiway House” name, and built the Las Vegas Flamingo hotel for Bugsy Siegel. He later opened his own casinos, the Sahara and The Mint. Del Webb Middle School, in Henderson, Nevada, opened in 2005.

Webb was elected to the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2000.[1]

Webb died at age 75 in Rochester, Minnesota, following surgery for lung cancer, less than two months after Topping’s death

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