Jonathan Club

Coordinates: 34°03′05″N 118°15′31″W / 34.051517°N 118.258498°W / 34.051517; -118.258498
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Cornerstone, 2011

Jonathan Club is a social club with two California locations—one in Downtown Los Angeles and the other abutting the beach in Santa Monica.[1] The club is routinely ranked as one of the top clubs in the world by Platinum Clubs of America.[2]


The club has two founding dates set in stone at the entrance to its Downtown Los Angeles building — 1894 (when it was a political club) and 1895 (when it segued into a non-political social club and was chartered by State of California). The club bases its anniversaries on the June 8, 1895 date.[3]

Membership in the club is by invitation only.[4] For much of its history, the club was accused of discrimination. In 1965, the club was charged with "anti-Negro" and "anti-Jew" bias and a complaint was raised that the membership dues of Mayor Sam Yorty were being paid by city taxpayers to support such discrimination. Yorty told a news conference he knew nothing about such a circumstance.[5] In 1975, the club did not admit women as members. Women guests were "limited to certain floors, dining rooms and entrances", though later policy changes allowed women to "use the main elevator and lobby" at the club.[6] It voted to admit women in 1987, and today has more than 650 female members.[7][8]

The club today[edit]

The club provides dining, events, and athletic and wellness programs for members.[9] Jonathan Club partners with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and provides volunteers and funding to civic organization L.A. Works to combat homelessness.[10][11]

Past and present members[edit]

Prominent members include:[12]

  • John D. Bicknell, founder of law firm that became Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Herman Wolf Hellman, founder of Farmers & Merchants Bank; real estate investor
  • Henry Huntington, railroad builder; land developer; rare art and book collector
  • James Boon Lankershim, land developer
  • John D. Spreckels, sugar and steamship entrepreneur
  • Meredith Pinxton Snyder, banker; Los Angeles police chief, city councilman and mayor (three times)
  • Peter Janss, developed East Los Angeles communities; philanthropist
  • Edward Laurence Doheny, oilman
  • Maurice Newmark, family built merchandise and grocery business into largest firm in Los Angeles
  • Harry Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times
  • Mericos Hector Whittier, oil industry pioneer; land developer
  • William Wrigley Jr., chewing gum magnate
  • A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of Italy (later Bank of America)
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs, adventure and science fiction author
  • Robert A. Millikan, experimental physicist; recipient of the Nobel Prize; longtime president of California Institute of Technology
  • Admiral C.C. Bloch, commander of 14th Naval District during Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor
  • George Pepperdine, founded Western Auto Supply; philanthropist; endowed George Pepperdine College (later Pepperdine University)
  • Jesse Louis Lasky, created first permanent feature film company in what would become Hollywood; a founder of Paramount Pictures
  • Tom Mix, early Western movie star
  • Gordon Bernie Kaufman, prominent architect
  • Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, career U.S. Naval officer who perished aboard USS Arizona in 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor; posthumously received Medal of Honor
  • Earl Warren, governor of California; chief justice of U.S. Supreme Court
  • Buster Keaton, silent screen star
  • Hal Roach, comedy writer, director and producer; created Hal Roach Studios
  • Harold Lloyd, comedy movie star in silents and talkies; founded own studio
  • Edmund G. Brown, lawyer and politician; governor of California
  • Paul Gray Hoffman, automobile executive; president of Ford Foundation; received Medal of Freedom for work as first administrator of Marshall Plan after WWII
  • John A. McCone, industrialist; head of Atomic Energy Commission; director of CIA; headed McCone Commission to investigate causes of 1965 Watts riots and propose cures to avoid future outbreaks
  • Ronald Reagan, movie actor; governor of California; president of the United States
  • Arnold O. Beckman, prolific chemist and inventor; industrialist; funded first transistor company and fueled creation of Silicon Valley; philanthropist, including to Caltech where he studied and taught
  • Peter O’Malley, owner and president of Los Angeles Dodgers


In 1924, the Club opened its present location at 545 S. Figueroa Street, one block west of the Los Angeles Public Library.[13]

Since 1927, the club has had a beach location in Santa Monica, in a building designed by architect Gene Verge, Sr.[14]


  1. ^ Michael Ventre, Los Angeles Confidential magazine, Clubs/Lifestyle section, June 6, 2012
  2. ^ "Platinum Clubs of America published by Club Leaders Forum". Archived from the original on 2020-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  3. ^ Nat Read, The Jonathan Club Story, first edition 2005, second edition 2015. Also at Los Angeles Public Library, Huntington Library Archived 2018-10-11 at the Wayback Machine, USC Special Collections LibraryUCLA Special Collections Library.
  4. ^ JDevorah Lev-Tov, The Robb Report: An Invite-Only Los Angeles Beach Club Gets a Stylish, Thoroughly Unstuffy New Look, May 9, 2018
  5. ^ Richard Bergholz, "Yorty Hits Roosevelt on Campaign Spending," Los Angeles Times, March 11, 1965, page 11 Library card required
  6. ^ Barry Siegel, "Pressures Mount Against Discrimination," Los Angeles Times, December 6, 1976, page F-1 Library card required
  7. ^ Kenneth Reich, Jonathan Club’s Members Vote 4 to 1 to Admit Women, Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1987
  8. ^ Tiffany Hsu, Dressing Up Downtown, Los Angeles Times Business section, April 19, 2013
  9. ^ Discover Los Angeles
  10. ^ Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation announcement, Feb 24, 2017 announcement, Feb 24 2017
  11. ^ LA Works
  12. ^ Grafton Tanquary, Notable Jonathans & Jonathan Heritage, 2017. At Huntington Library Archived 2018-10-11 at the Wayback Machine, USC Special Collections Library, Los Angeles Public LibraryUCLA Special Collections Library. Also, member names are hot-linked to Wikipedia bios.
  13. ^ Southwest Builder and Contractor (July 11, 1924)
  14. ^ The City of Beverly Hills: Historic Resources Inventory (1985-1986)

External links[edit]

34°03′05″N 118°15′31″W / 34.051517°N 118.258498°W / 34.051517; -118.258498