Billionaire businessman and horse owner Wayne Hughes has died – .

Billionaire businessman and horse owner Wayne Hughes has died – .

LOS ANGELES – B. Wayne Hughes, founder and chairman of Public Storage whose passion for horse racing culminated with an Authentic victory in the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, passed away on Wednesday. He was 87 years old.

Hughes died at his home at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., According to an announcement posted on the farm’s website. No cause of death was provided.

He purchased the historic 700-acre farm in 2004 and relocated from Southern California to restore its name and lands, returning Spendthrift to its prominence as a commercial ranching operation.

Last year Authentic won the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 length in Hughes’ 50th year as a thoroughbred owner. The 3-year-old colt was trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who achieved his record-breaking sixth victory in the race.

Baffert first met Hughes when he arrived in Santa Anita from Arizona and transitioned from training quarterhorses to full-time thoroughbreds in 1991.

“I had a cowboy hat on and he would invite me to lunch with him and five other coaches,” Baffert told The Associated Press. “I listened to the stories and got to know him when I had a horse. I never thought I would train for him. “

Last year, Hughes partnered with an upstart online ownership group called, which offered anyone paying $ 206 a micro-share stake in Authentic. More than 5,300 people have subscribed.

“Buying a little interest would tie them to the game,” Hall of Fame coach Richard Mandella told the AP. “He thought it would make dedicated fans, not just occasional fans. “

Wearing Hughes’ purple and orange colors, Authentic won the BC Classic, and Hughes traveled to Keeneland to accept the trophy in a crowded winner’s circle. The colt also won the Eclipse award as horse of the year.

“He will be truly missed because he has had such an impact on the industry,” Baffert said. “He wanted to rejuvenate the sport.

Other notable horses for Hughes included Action This Day, the 2003 BC Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion; and Beholder, one of three females in history to be a four-time Eclipse champion. She has won three Breeders’ Cup races, among her 11 category 1 wins. She stands at Spendthrift like a brood mare.

“He was very lucky and he knew it,” said Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who previously rode Beholder. “He’s done so much for horse racing, and horses too. “

Mandella, who coached Beholder his entire career, recalled Hughes’ equanimity in a sport where losses far outweigh wins.

“When things were bad he sucked it up,” Mandella said, “and we moved on to the next mission. “

Born Bradley Wayne Hughes on September 28, 1933 in Gotebo, Oklahoma, he was the son of a sharecropper. He moved to Southern California as a child and was introduced to horse racing by his father who first took him to Santa Anita at the age of 11.

Known all his life by his middle name, Hughes built his well-known work ethic from an early age, publishing journals as a teenager to help pay for tuition at the University of Southern California, where he graduated in 1957. He was inducted into the school’s Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2012 and has been a major donor. He also served in the Navy.

Hughes was the founder and president of Public Storage, one of the largest self-storage companies in the United States. He was president and co-CEO before retiring in 2002, when he devoted himself full time to running.

“He was the first billionaire I ever met and you never would have known,” Baffert said. “He was successful, but he never gave up. He had so much energy. “

Hughes established and funded the Parker Hughes Cancer Center in Minnesota, named after his youngest son who died in 1998.

He is survived by his wife Patricia, his son Wayne Jr. and his daughter Tamara Gustavson. He was predeceased by parents William and Blanche.


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