Joseph N. Mitchell, former president of Beneficial Standard Life Insurance Co. and Beneficial Standard Corp. holding company, Los Angeles community leader and major fundraiser for causes including the Music Center, United Way and Jewish charities, has died. He was 82.
Mitchell died Tuesday at his home in Beverly Hills of Parkinson's disease, said his son, Jonathan.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Mitchell moved to Los Angeles with his family as a child and studied at UCLA before dropping out to serve in the Army in Europe during World War II.
Returning to Los Angeles in 1946, he joined the company his father, Edward D. Mitchell, started in 1940 to sell low-cost disability insurance. The Mitchells built the small insurance firm into Beneficial Standard Corp., a financial services holding company that is active in life and casualty insurance, marketing, real estate and mortgage loans.
"I started in the mailroom, I believe, and then went through all the departments of the company," Joseph Mitchell told The Times in 1984, when the company was sold to CalFed. His father died a year later.