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Monday, Aug 8, 2022
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Sports Promoter Al Franken Dies

Al Franken, longtime Los Angeles sports promoter, died Wednesday at the age of 96. 

He died at his home in the Westwood area of Los Angeles from acute myeloid leukemia that was discovered recently, his son Don Franken told the Associated Press.

Al Franken was known for his co-founding of the Los Angeles Invitational Indoor Track and Field Meet in 1960, hosted at the Memorial Sports Arena in Exposition Park. The elite indoor track meet was sponsored by Sunkist Growers Inc. from 1970 to 1995, taking the name of the donor and becoming known as the Sunkist Invitational. 

Under the banners of Franken Enterprises, which he founded in 1952, and World Class Sports, founded in 1982, Al Franken — and, eventually, his son, Don — developed a reputation through his public relations firms specializing in sports and entertainment. 

Over his career, Franken managed public relations for the Los Angeles Open golf tournament and the Lakers basketball team, as well as handling publicity for multiple film festivals and auto shows.

Through much of his career, Franken was based in the San Fernando Valley and later, Santa Clarita, Don Franken said.

Al Franken is survived by his son and daughter.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.
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