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Art Astor Passing Away: An Appreciation from the Mayor and City of Cerritos

By Cerritos Mayor George Ray

With great sadness I learned that Art Astor, a renowned collector and great friend to the City of Cerritos, passed away this week. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Astor throughout the years, working together on the proposed museum/learning center in the City.

Before the City came to know Mr. Astor as the great entrepreneur and collector that he was, he was a longtime friend of the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, purchasing more than 1,000 tickets to attend numerous performances since the theater’s opening in the early ‘90s. As his relationship with the City grew, it paved the way for his eventual generous donations to the City – an impressive collection of vintage cars; 1920’s era radios, Victrolas and record players; telephones; phonographs; televisions; an antique model train collection; and a model car collection. These items of Americana will become part of a wonderful learning center for the children of our community. It gave Mr. Astor great pride to be able to share his valuable educational resources with our youngsters.

Mr. Astor was much more than a collector. He was also a veteran war hero who, during World War II, survived 30 missions over Europe as a B-29 tailgunner. He later became the owner of the Astor Broadcast Group, a successful family of Southern California radio stations, including KSPA-AM and KIK-FM. His achievements throughout his career and life are to be held in great regard.

The City of Cerritos will be forever grateful to Mr. Astor for his friendship and generosity to the City. It was a pleasure to know him, and it is the City’s hope to be able to continue his legacy with something equally as valuable and enriching as the life that he lived. The City of Cerritos offers its heartfelt condolences to Mr. Astor’s family and to all others who were close to him.