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Saturday, Mar 2, 2024

B. Wayne Hughes, Public Storage Co-Founder, Dies at 87

B. Wayne Hughes, the entrepreneur behind three publicly traded companies in the Valley region, has died at age 87.Glendale-based Public Storage announced Wednesday the passing of its co-founder and chairman emeritus. American Homes 4 Rent Inc. in Calabasas, another Hughes company, also issued a tribute to its founder and former chairman.Hughes and partner Kenneth Volk Jr. founded Public Storage in 1972. The company has grown into the world leader in self-storage, with equity interests in more than 3,000 properties covering 200 million square feet.“Wayne was my mentor in every sense of the word,” said Public Storage Chairman Ron Havner in a statement. “His practical, no-nonsense approach to business and natural ability to ‘think outside the box’ were the keys to Public Storage’s success. He continually pushed us to innovate, so we made lots of mistakes, but we learned, kept growing and improved the business.”According to a company statement, Hughes embodied the American dream as the classic entrepreneur who started with nothing and built a dynasty of companies.Hughes’ other companies included PS Business Parks Inc. in Glendale; Spendthrift Farm, a racehorse breeding facility in Kentucky; and American Commercial Equities, a real estate company with properties in California and Hawaii.“He was iconoclastic,” Havner said.“On behalf of the over 5,000 employees of Public Storage, I want to acknowledge Wayne’s invaluable contributions to the company’s success,” Chief Executive Joseph Russell said in a statement. “His legacy at Public Storage lives on through our culture of integrity and our commitment to our customers, our employees and the communities we serve. We send our deepest condolences to Wayne’s entire family, including his daughter Tamara Hughes Gustavson, who serves on our board, and his son B. Wayne Hughes Jr., who is a former board trustee.”

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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