Eugene Selvage was born in Eureka, California on August 26, 1896. He was the son of Thomas H. Selvage, a Republican California State Senator and Luna M. Shattuck Selvage. In 1917, Eugene enlisted in the United States Naval Aviation Corps, was commissioned a naval aviator, with the rank of ensign, and continued in the service until August 1919. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, he practiced law after his service in the war. Eugene married Jeanne Sexsmith and they had two children, Marilyn Jeanne and Jeannette Lorraine. He is survived by his five grandchildren Jeanne Wise, Dan and Tom Avila, and Geoff and James Hancock.
Selvage was an avid sportsman, and achieved amateur standing in skeet-shooting and golfing. He also owned Lucky Livestock Company and Lucky Hereford Ranch in Gilroy, California.
Lucky Lager Brewing Company
Selvage was the founder and owner of the General Brewing Company, which produced Lucky Lager. The General Brewing Company was incorporated in California in 1933 and headquartered in San Francisco. General Brewing became the Lucky Lager Brewing Company in 1948 and began building and acquiring new breweries throughout the Western States. Under Selvage's leadership as owner and CEO, Lucky Lager achieved phenomenal growth in the 1950s, and for more than a decade Lucky Lager beer was the sales leader in the entire West. In 1961, Selvage retired as CEO, but was retained to serve as Chairman of the Board.
Selvage served as President of the California Brewers Association.
Lucky International Open
Selvage was a founder of the Lucky International Open. An avid golfer and fan, Selvage believed that the San Francisco Bay Area should play a major role in professional golf. He sponsored the Lucky International Open via his company throughout the 1960s, until the tournament disbanded in 1969.
Selvage was close friends and an early sponsor of Masters Champion George Archer. In fact, Archer received his nickname "Golfing Cowboy" as a result of a summer job in his youth spent at Selvage's Lucky Hereford Ranch.
- "Eugene Selvage Retires As President of Lucky Lager." Humboldt Standard 3 March 1961: Pg. 9
- "Brewers Re-Elect Selvage President." Humboldt Standard 13 February 1953: Pg. 2
- "Acher Makes His Bow." Time Magazine 25 April 1969
- Herskowitz, Mickey. "Home On The Range Or The Greens: George Archer is a rookie golfer who - for press purposes - likes to be called the Golfing Cowboy" Sports Illustrated 13 April 1964 or http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1075856/index.htm