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Obituaries

Stan Herman, 67; Real Estate Broker Created a Home for Backgammon

January 17, 2002|MYRNA OLIVER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Stan Herman, a Westside real estate broker who with Hugh Hefner founded the Pips Club, featuring their favorite board game, backgammon, has died. He was 67.

Herman, who established Stan Herman & Associates in Beverly Hills 43 years ago, died Saturday of leukemia in his suburban Santa Barbara home.

He became a fan of backgammon in the early 1970s and started the Stan Herman Invitational Backgammon Tournament, staged annually at the original Bistro Restaurant in Beverly Hills.

After meeting over a friendly game, Herman and Hefner in 1973 created the Pips discotheque and backgammon club.

Its name is the term for the 24 points on a backgammon board.

The private Westside club charged annual dues of as much as $1,000, plus $20 or so in monthly fees, and featured a dining room, a disco and a backgammon room with custom-made tables and mirrored walls.

Established at the height of the local craze for backgammon-a game made popular in Monte Carlo in the late 1960s-Pips was operated as a nonprofit club, giving any profits to charity.

Herman was born in Los Angeles and served in the Army during the Korean War. He worked as a lifeguard at a Las Vegas swimming pool and sold used cars before settling into the real estate business in the mid-1950s.

He soon was driving a Rolls-Royce and weekending at his beach house in Malibu. He specialized in expensive homes and bought and sold them for foreign royalty, entertainment executives and stars, and businessmen.

'With inflation rates worldwide running from a low 10% a year to 300% or more in countries like Argentina, it doesn't make any sense to bury the money in a Swiss bank," Herman told The Times in 1976, explaining why Southern California real estate was so attractive to foreign buyers. "This is the safest country in the world for their money.'

Among the properties he handled was the former ICM headquarters building at 8899 Beverly Blvd., which he and Pierre Cossette acquired for $5 million in 1981. It is now valued at $20 million.

Herman is survived by his wife, Sheila, son Ryan and daughter Sabrina.

Private services are planned. The family has asked that memorial donations be sent to the attention of Dr. F. Kass at the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, 300 W. Pueblo St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.STAN HERMAN

The Pips Club, which he started with Hugh Hefner, had a disco as well as a backgammon room.

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