Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
LDS Home Developer Remembered
(LeRoy Cluff Major; Tract Housing King)
Los Angeles Times 1Jul00 P2
By Myrna Oliver: Times Staff Writer
YORBA LINDA, CALIFORNIA -- LeRoy Cluff "L.C." Major,
creator of more than a million tract homes across the United States, died Sunday at
his home in Yorba Linda, California at the age of 85. He was
dubbed by Time magazine as America's "tractioneer". His
company L.C. Major & Associates designed convalescent homes and senior housing as
well as millions of family residences.
His was a novel idea that worked. He stared with two-bedroom,
one-bath bungalows in the late 1940's. He offered builders and
developers master planning, market research, cost analysis, home design,
architectural renderings, color coordination, model home furnishings,
landscaping, merchandising, promotion and financial counseling.
"All of these factors must be considered and decided upon before
a foundation is laid," Major said in 1961, adding, "if
the builder is to produce a saleable house which is profitable to build and meets the
total housing needs of the potential homeowner."
Major is credited with being the first to train building marketer
Sandy Goodkin who pioneered coordinating colors, landscape driveways
and home merchandising. Major was not an architect, merely the son of an
architect, yet rivaled contemporary architects like Berry Berkus, Ted Hales and
"Nobody has designed houses for more people than L.C. Major,
" a 1992 article in Professional Builder and Remodeler magazine stated.
"He is thegrand old man of for-sale housing in the United States. He and
his associates have designed more houses for more builders than any other
single company -- and thus designed homes for more people than anyone in
Major was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day saints. He participated in builder's organizations and donated
his time to coaching community youth sports. He is survived by his family.