Doug Manchester

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Doug Manchester
United States Ambassador to the Bahamas
Assuming office
PresidentDonald Trump
SucceedingJames Herren
(Charge d'affaires)
Personal details
Douglas Frederick Manchester

(1942-06-03) June 3, 1942 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationSan Diego State University
WebsiteOfficial website
*Pending Senate confirmation

Douglas Frederick "Doug" Manchester (born June 3, 1942) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the former chairman of Manchester Financial Group, past chairman and publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, and nominee to become United States Ambassador to the Bahamas.[1][2] Manchester, who prefers to be called "Papa Doug",[3] has built some of the tallest hotels and office buildings in San Diego, including the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina and the Manchester Grand Hyatt, and is credited as a driving force behind the development of the San Diego Convention Center.[3] Manchester also built the triple 5-star Grand Del Mar Resort & Spa, which sold to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2015, and he maintains a minority ownership.[4] In addition, Manchester built the Torrey Executive Centre, Manchester Financial Building, Whitetail Lodge and Golf Club, and is currently building the Fairmont Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, California, Manchester grew up in Coronado, California and the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, where his father managed an apartment building. He attended La Jolla High School where he played football. He then went to San Diego State University, where he was a member of Sigma Chi and worked as a campus representative for an insurance company.[6] He graduated in 1965 with a B.S. in Business.

Business activities[edit]

After graduating from college, Manchester went into real estate. He founded the Manchester Financial Group in 1970. Eventually he became known for developing large, upscale projects. In the 1980s, Manchester built a 27-story office tower called the Columbia Centre, now known as the First National Bank Center, and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina.[7][8] In the 1990s, he constructed the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel San Diego.[9] He subsequently sold both hotels to Host Hotels & Resorts.[10] He also built The Fairmont Grand Del Mar luxury resort.[11] The resort was sold to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and investor Richard Blum in 2015.[11]

In addition, he founded two banks, the La Jolla Bank and Trust Company (1973) and La Jolla Pacific Savings Bank (1984).[12] Manchester is currently building a 595-foot-tall, 1,066 room Fairmont Austin Hotel, in Austin, Texas and the Manchester Pacific Gateway, located on the waterfront in downtown San Diego.[5][13]

His activities have helped to revitalize the San Diego downtown waterfront.[13] Manchester was a major influence in persuading the city of San Diego to build the San Diego Convention Center.[5] Manchester and his company, Manchester Financial Group, also played a major role in transforming Navy Field and San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter into tourist destinations.[14]

In 2011, Manchester bought The San Diego Union-Tribune from Platinum Equity.[15] In 2012, he bought the North County Times and merged it and its subsidiary, The Californian, into the Union-Tribune.[16] In November 2013, he bought eight local weeklies in the San Diego region, which continue to be published as separate papers.[17] In 2015, Manchester sold The San Diego Union-Tribune to the Tribune Publishing Company.[18]

As of 2017, Manchester was chairman of Landmark Construction Company of San Diego; Torrey Executive Centre; M Resorts, Inc.; Manchester Fifth Avenue Financial LP; Cloverleaf Media, LLC; Manchester Foxhill LLC; Manchester Pacific Gateway, LLC; La Jolla Reserve, LLC; Manchester Grand Hotels, LP; The Grand Del Mar, LLC; Manchester 484 Prospect, LLC; and Torrey Hotel Enterprises, Ltd. He was manager of 101 MPG, LLC; MLIM Holdings, LLC, and Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC. He also had major holdings in Brookfield Asset Management, Disney, Apple, Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart, Ford, tronc, and Pfizer. He is the sole owner of M Resorts, Inc., M Investments, LLC, Manchester Lyford Ltd, and Summit Apogee Investments.[19] The Washington Post has noted that Manchester “has a hand in dozens of other businesses, including biotechnology, mortgage receivables, and television and movie productions.”[20]

It was reported in May 2018 that Manchester was “about to install his latest and largest implant on San Diego yet,” namely the Pacific Gateway project, “a massive redevelopment of the Navy Complex at the foot of Broadway in downtown San Diego.” Lori Weisberg at the San Diego Union-Tribune described it as “the single largest and costliest project in downtown San Diego history.” Covering 3 million square feet and eight blocks of urban oceanfront, the project will include a 17-story Navy headquarters; three office towers, respectively 29, eight, and six stories high; a retail “paseo”; an 1100-room convention hotel; a 260-room luxury boutique hotel; a museum; a park; and a pedestrian walk along the entire length of the site.[21]

Political activities[edit]

Manchester is "an outspoken supporter of conservative causes".[22] He donates to Republican candidates at both the local and national level, and once described Donald Rumsfeld as his hero.[6] On buying the Union-Tribune he stated his intention of using the newspaper to promote conservative causes, and the paper's editorial page took on a strongly conservative tone,[23] including the use of front-page wraparound sections to promote development projects and political candidates.[24][25] The New York Times noted that Manchester seems to be using the paper as a "brochure for his special interests", citing San Diego as "a situation where moneyed interests buy papers and use them to prosecute a political and commercial agenda."[26]

In 2008 he donated $125,000 to support signature gathering for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.[27] When the amendment qualified for the ballot as California Proposition 8 he also donated to the campaign in favor of it. Manchester explained his position by saying, "While I respect everyone's choice of partner, my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church leads me to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman."[27] His prominent support for the initiative, which was narrowly approved by voters in November 2008 but was ultimately ruled unconstitutional, led to calls by gay-rights groups for a boycott of Manchester's hotels.[28] At his August 2017 Senate hearing about his nomination for an ambassadorship, he said that he now regrets supporting the initiative and believes that same-sex marriage should be legal.[29] His earlier opposition to same-sex marriage, he declared, had been “a huge mistake.”[30]

Manchester was an early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, donating $50,000 to a Trump-aligned super PAC in 2015,[31] and was a Trump delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.[32] He and his wife each donated $454,800 to Trump's 2016 campaign.[33] Two weeks after Trump's inauguration, Manchester said that “for the first time, a true capitalist is in the White House, an incredibly smart man with a big heart and an amazing family.”[34]

In May 2017 Trump nominated Manchester to become the United States ambassador to The Bahamas, where he owns a house.[35][29] It was reported in June 2017 that if Manchester was confirmed as ambassador, he would “surrender day-to-day control of his real estate and investment empire,” “receive only passive investment income,” and resign as chairman of several of his firms. On April 4, 2018, the Bahamas Press reported that Trump no longer planned to appoint Manchester as ambassador to the Bahamas. Instead, the post would go to William “Doug” Douglass. On June 18, 2018, however, Darren Henfield, the foreign minister of The Bahamas, said that Manchester was still in the running for the ambassadorship.[19][36][33]


Manchester has been a prominent philanthropist in San Diego. He donated $5 million each to San Diego State University and Wake Forest University[37] Additional multimillion-dollar donations have gone to the University of San Diego and The Bishop's School. When he contributed to San Diego State, the university changed the name of its Centennial Hall to Manchester Hall. It was the first time the university had changed a building name to honor an alumnus.[38]

He sponsors the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in San Diego County and contributes money to the Preuss School, Monarch School, Polinsky Children's Center, Southern California Boys and Girls Club, Scripps Memorial Hospital and San Diego Diocesan Ministries.[37][39][40] He also co-founded the San Diego Crime Commission and San Diego Port Tenants Association.[38]

Manchester donated funds to build the maternity wing at Scripps Memorial Hospital and helped build the Cathedral Catholic High School football stadium. He is the founding chair of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way and gives money to St. Vincent de Paul, the National Conference of Christians and Jews and Billy Graham Crusade.[39]

He is a former trustee of the University of San Diego and of Wake Forest University. He has served on the board of trustees for the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute[41] and the San Diego Symphony.

Personal life[edit]

In January 1965 he married Elizabeth "Betsy" Manchester, whom he met when both were students at San Diego State; they have five children and thirteen grandchildren. They filed for separation in 2009 and their divorce was finalized in 2013.[42] He and Geniya Derzhavina were married in December 2013;[43] they have three children.[44] During their four decades together, according to the Washington Post, they “lived an opulent lifestyle that included multiple homes, one an $18 million mansion on the Pacific coast, as well as regular use of private jets and extensive travel....The couple separated in 2009.”[20]


  • May 31, 2012 (Manchester's 70th birthday) was declared to be "Papa Doug Manchester Day" in San Diego County by the county Board of Supervisors.[45]
  • In November 2013 the Nice Guys, a local philanthropic organization, named him "Nice Guy of the Year".[37]
  • Multiple buildings and facilities are named for him at Wake Forest University (Manchester Plaza, Manchester Hall),[46] the University of San Diego (Douglas F. Manchester Executive Conference Center, Manchester Family Child Development Center, Manchester Village Apartments),[47][48] and The Bishop's School (Manchester Library & Learning Center).[49] Manchester Stadium, home field for Cathedral Catholic High School, is also named for him.[50]
  • Manchester has played himself in three TV movies: The Saint, TalHotBlond, and The Sweeter Side of Life.[51]


  1. ^ "Manchester Financial Group". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  2. ^ Union-Tribune, San Diego. "$85M deal to combine U-T, LA Times". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  3. ^ a b Light, La Jolla. "10 QUESTIONS: Doug Manchester always wants to be startin' something". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  4. ^ "Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  5. ^ a b c Times, Del Mar. "Doug Manchester adds to portfolio with 1,035-room Fairmont Austin hotel". Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  6. ^ a b Davies, Jennifer (September 27, 2005). "Maverick with muscle: Manchester's combative nature overshadows the developer's softer side". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  7. ^ Source, San Diego (2012-11-28). "Columbia Center in downtown SD sold". The Daily Transcript. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  8. ^ Weisberg, Lori. "Manchester inks Austin hotel contract". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  9. ^ Showley, Roger. "Port approves sale of Manchester Hyatt for $570 million". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  10. ^ "Port Approves Sale Of Manchester Grand Hyatt". 10News. 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  11. ^ a b "Manchester Sells Majority Stake in Grand Del Mar Resort". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  12. ^ " > News > Business -- Manchester seeks to launch community bank". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  13. ^ a b "» On Top of Downtown". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  14. ^ "He Covers the Waterfront". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  15. ^ Aguilera, Elizabeth. "Platinum Equity to sell U-T to Doug Manchester". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  16. ^ "U-T Buys North County Times and Californian | San Diego Business Journal". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  17. ^ Horn, Jonathan. "U-T buys 8 local community newspapers". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  18. ^ "U-T San Diego Sold to Owner of Los Angeles Times - Times of San Diego". Times of San Diego. 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  19. ^ a b Potter, Mat; Deep inside Doug Manchester’s money machine; San Diego Reader; June 27, 2017; [1]
  20. ^ a b O'Harrow, Robert; Trump ambassador nominee had unsettling management style, women say ; Washington Post; February 17, 2018; [2]
  21. ^ Gormlie, Frank; Papa Doug Manchester Is Not Done With San Diego Yet – Not by a Long Shot – His Massive Waterfront Project Will Drastically Alter City Skyline; Ocean Beach Rag; May 23, 2018; [3]
  22. ^ Cohen, Noam; Vega, Tanzina (November 17, 2011). "San Diego Union-Tribune Sold to Hotelier for More Than $100 Million". New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  23. ^ "San Diego Media Baron Expands Business to Promote Conservatism". The Blaze. October 22, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  24. ^ Lewis, Scott (September 11, 2012). "The Two Faces of Papa Doug". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  25. ^ "Editorial: Think big — New vision needed for downtown waterfront". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 22, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  26. ^ Carr, David (June 10, 2012). "Newspaper as Business Pulpit". New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  27. ^ a b Cathcart, Rebecca (July 17, 2008). "Donation to Same-Sex Marriage Foes Brings Boycott Calls". New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  28. ^ Hernandez, Barbara (September 15, 2008). "Politics + Economics = Boycott at Hyatt Hotel". CBS News. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  29. ^ a b Stewart, Joshua (August 3, 2017). "Manchester tells senators he regrets contribution to campaign against same-sex marriage". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  30. ^ Coombs, Seth; Ambassador “Papa Doug” Manchester sets sail to the Bahamas; San Diego City Beat; August 9, 2017; [4]
  31. ^ Swan, Jonathan (May 15, 2016). "Where Republican donors stand on Donald Trump". The Hill. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  32. ^ Mason, Melanie (May 31, 2016). "Donald Trump's California delegates include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Darrell Issa". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  33. ^ a b Knowles, Kendeno; ‘Papa Doug’ still contender for ambassador; EyeWitness News; June 18, 2018; [5]
  34. ^ Ambassador of the U.S. to the Bahamas: Who is Doug Manchester?; AllGov; June 19, 2017; [6]
  35. ^ Stewart, Joshua (May 15, 2017). "Trump nominates Doug Manchester for Bahamas ambassador". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  36. ^ Bauder, Don; Papa Doug won’t get Bahamas job; San Diego Reader; April 13, 2018; [7]
  37. ^ a b c "Manchester honored at Nice Guys gala". U-T San Diego. November 2, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  38. ^ a b "San Diego State University Receives $5 Million Gift From Doug and Betsy Manchester: Donation Sets Record for Largest Alumni Couple Gift in University History". California State University System. November 11, 2005. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  39. ^ a b "Philanthropy". Papa Doug Manchester. Doug Manchester. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  40. ^ "Philanthropy". Manchester Financial Group. San Diego, California. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  41. ^ "Biography". Manchester Financial Group. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  42. ^ Davis, Rob (January 20, 2012). "Doug Manchester: San Diego's Cheerleader in Chief". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  43. ^ Potter, Matt (December 30, 2013). "A cool extra million for Papa Doug's ex". San Diego Reader. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  44. ^ "Manchesters Donate $1 Million to Sharp's Mary Birch Hospital - Times of San Diego". Times of San Diego. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  45. ^ "Papa Doug Manchester Day". Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  46. ^ Cox, Kevin (October 11, 2005). "Manchesters make $5 million gift to WFU". Wake Forest University News Release. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  47. ^ "Manchester Conference Center". University of San Diego. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  48. ^ "Campus Map". University of San Diego. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  49. ^ DeRobertis, Shelli; Sherman, Pat (August 17, 2012). "Bishop's School to dedicate new library on Aug. 22". La Jolla Light. La Jolla, California. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  50. ^ "Manchester Stadium at Cathedral Catholic High school". ABC 10 news. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  51. ^ Papa Doug Manchester; IMDB;