Deane Dana, former Fourth District Los Angeles County Supervisor, died of a heart attack Thursday, April 21st, at Torrance Memorial Hospital. He was 78.
Dana represented Venice, Marina del Rey, Westchester and Playa del Rey on the Board of Supervisors for 16 years.
He served as Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors chairman three times and was president of the Coliseum Commission and the Southern California Regional Airport Authority.
Prior to being elected supervisor, Dana spent 27 years with Pacific Telephone Company and served in the U.S. Air Force.
He held a mechanical engineering degree from Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey.
“It is a very sad day in the Fourth District and the entire County of Los Angeles,” said Don Knabe, who succeeded Dana as Fourth District Supervisor in 1996.
“Our hearts and prayers are with Deane’s wife Doris and the entire Dana family.
“Deane has always held a special place in my heart and it was my honor to serve as his chief of staff for 15 years,” said Knabe.
Dana and his wife Doris had been active in Republican politics before he ran for the supervisorial position in 1980. The couple had been actively looking for someone to oppose Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who had been appointed to the Fourth Supervisorial District seat by Governor Jerry Brown.
Dana surprised many by announcing he would seek the seat himself and launched a vigorous campaign.
After Dana was elected in 1980, he was considered one of the three pro-business supervisors who dominated the Board of Supervisors.
He actively pursued regulatory reforms that retained and recruited jobs in the county.
His supporters credit Dana with having a leading role in creating anti-gang programs, transportation improvements, shelter programs and funding for homeless families and single women and in meeting long-term solid waste disposal needs countywide.
Dana was also considered a strong advocate of privatization in county government and pursued the contracting of those county services that can be done at less cost by the private sector.
In 2002, a new park in San Pedro was named the Deane Dana Friendship Park and Nature Center.
Dana is survived by his wife Doris, their four children and five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 29th at Deane Dana Friendship Park and Nature Center, 1805 W. Ninth St., San Pedro.
Condolences can be sent to
Mrs. Deane Dana, c/o Supervisor Don Knabe, 500 W. Temple St., Room 822, Los Angeles 90012.