ORLAND >> Renowned car salesman Cal Worthington, who owned a car dealership in Long Beach as well several others throughout the country, died Sunday.
Worthington, 92, passed at about 3:30 p.m. at his Big W Ranch between Orland and Artois of natural causes.
The businessman gained fame and fortune throughout his career that dated back to the 1950s.
Commercials for his car dealerships included his “dog” Spot, with animals ranging from tigers to elephants, and his sing-along slogan “Go see Cal.”
Worthington owned Cal Worthington Ford at 2950 Bellflower Blvd. in Long Beach.
He flew 29 missions as a bomber pilot during World War II over Europe serving as lead pilot over some of the first American attacks on Berlin. He was awarded five Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross, according to Larry Miles, a spokesman for Worthington's family.
At one point, Worthington, a former Oklahoma dust-bowl refugee, owned over 23 dealerships in five states, according to Miles.
Worthington moved to his ranch 37 years ago where cattle, olive and almonds are grown. For the past six years he has been involved in the Splendor in the Valley fundraiser, including hosting the event at his home. A highlight was the auction of fishing trip in Alaska, where Worthington accompanied the auction winners in his private jet.
Worthington is survived by his children Rod Worthington (Eileen), Barbara Worthington, Calvin Worthington, Courtney Worthington Shepherd (Rick), Susan Skellenger (Ed), and Coldren Worthington, and his grand-children Neil, Nickolaus, Naomi, and Rodney (Rod); Konrad, Kai, and Elsa (Courtney); and Sierra and Wyatt (Susan).