Charles S. Howard
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|Charles Stewart Howard|
February 28, 1877|
June 6, 1950 (aged 73)|
San Francisco, California
|Resting place||Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, California|
|Residence||San Francisco & Willits, California|
Automobile dealer / distributor|
Thoroughbred racehorse owner
Fannie May Smith|
Lindsay C. Howard|
Charles Howard, Jr.
Robert Stewart Howard
Frank R. Howard
Robert Stewart Howard|
Lucy Ellen Outram
Howard was dubbed one of the most successful Buick salesmen of all time. He lost his son to a car accident in 1926 at an early age and later bought the soon-to-be-famous horse Seabiscuit. According to Laura Hillenbrand's biography of Seabiscuit, Howard's early car dealership in San Francisco was given a boost by the hand of fate; on the day of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, he was one of the few individuals who had operational vehicles in the city, and was thus able to help the rescue effort significantly.
In 1921, long before he bought Seabiscuit, Charles Howard purchased the 16,000-acre (6,475 ha) Ridgewood Ranch at Willits in Mendocino County. His 15-year-old son, Frankie, died there in 1926 after a truck accident on the property (the elder Howard established the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital as a memorial to his son). Used as a secondary residence, by the 1930s Howard had converted part of the ranch into a thoroughbred horse breeding and training center. Although Seabiscuit was the most famous resident at Ridgewood Ranch, Charles Howard owned many horses in his secondary career as a Thoroughbred owner including Kayak II (also Kajak) and Hall of Fame colt Noor, the first of only two horses to defeat two U.S. Triple Crown champions.
Charles Howard died of a heart attack in 1950 and was buried in the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California. Ridgewood Ranch was sold by his heirs, with some of the horses sent to his son Lindsay's Binglin Stable in Moorpark, California.