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Errett Lobban Cord: Wikis


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Errett Lobban Cord on the cover of Time Magazine, January 18, 1932.

Errett Lobban "E. L." Cord (20 July 1894 - 2 January 1974) was a leader in United States transport during the early and middle 20th century.

Cord founded the Cord Corporation in 1929 as a holding company for over 150 companies he controlled, mostly in the field of transportation. The corporation controlled the Auburn Automobile Company, which built the Auburn Automobile and the Cord Automobile; Lycoming Engines; Duesenberg Inc.; New York Shipbuilding; Checker Cab; Stinson Aircraft Company; and American Airways (later American Airlines), amongst other holdings.

Born in Warrensburg, Missouri, Cord had been a race car driver, mechanic and car salesman before he was offered the opportunity to manage the dying Auburn Automobile Company in 1924. By 1928 he controlled Auburn, which by 1931 was the 13th largest seller of autos in the United States. In 1937 he sold the Cord Corporation to the Aviation Corporation and retired to Los Angeles to earn even more millions in real estate. Cord owned several of the first radio and television stations in California and later Nevada, where he moved in the 1940s. In the call letters of his Los Angeles radio station, KFAC, the A.C. stands for Auburn Cord.

During the 1940s he filled in for a Nevada state legislator who died in the middle of his term and again rose to fame as a politician in his later life. In 1958 he was asked to run for governor of Nevada, but he refused and never explained why. He died in Reno, Nevada from cancer in 1974, aged 79.

An excellent collection of his autos of interest is in Auburn, Indiana (1600 S. Wayne St) at the Auburn *Cord* Duesenberg Museum.


E. L. Cord served as the inspiration for Gram Parsons' song, "The New Soft Shoe".

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