A Family Affair:
Michael Cavanaugh

Michael Cavanaugh was born in 1928. Michael's well-to-do family moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles when he was 6. For most of his childhood he lived in Echo Park, where he met his lifelong friends Vincent Scarlotti and Richard Marinelli. From an early age he was ambitious, working in his father's bank and eventually parlaying his family's money into a vast financial empire.

Michael married his first wife, Maureen Ryan, in 1950. Maureen died in 1960 giving birth to their daughter Mary. He re-married a few years later to Amanda Marshall, a Boston debutante; their son Garrett was born in 1967 but the couple divorced in 1975.

After a whirlwind romance in 1977, Michael married his third and much younger wife Karen Bowling. His youngest daughter Quinne was born late that same year. Two years ago Karen abruptly left Michael, much to his shock. Though still married, the two have been separated since. Soon after this change Michael began to regularly consult Gabriel Manning for spiritual advice.

Now 70 years old, Michael Cavanaugh is one of the wealthiest men in Los Angeles and has far-flung business interests. He is the sole owner of the Athena Capital Investment Group (incorporated in the 1960s), a giant infrastructure and capital-projects development conglomerate, responsible for many of the noteworthy development projects in Los Angeles and San Diego, including office buildings, freeways, bridges, and recent subway projects. He invests heavily in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach shipping and transportation facilities and a few of the local petroleum refineries. He sits on the boards of several corporations, mostly banks and non-profit organizations.

Cavanaugh has been a prodigious investor in Hollywood film-making almost since the industry began. His primary company, Peregrine Productions, is a small but reputable production house, known for producing wholesome, family-oriented films. He also has sizable interests in several of the major studios, including United Artists, the original Columbia TriStar, and Samuel Goldwyn.

In the mid-seventies Cavanaugh expanded into Hollywood, where he owns the Admiralty hotel/casino and has substantial investments in the New York New York, Tropicana, and Treasure Island hotels. Most of these properties are managed remotely by subsidiary corporations.

Cavanaugh is also a noted philanthropist, a major donor to numerous causes, especially those sponsored by the Catholic Church. He is the primary or sole benefactor of several buildings, gardens, galleries, and churches in Southern California.

A prominent figure in Los Angeles and California politics, Cavanaugh is a major contributor to the California Democratic Party. He has been the target of a number of media and government investigations alleging improper campaign donations, bribery, insider trading, and even racketeering, but has never actually been indicted.

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opdated on 9/17/98