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Insights into a mystery man

July 28, 2006

Re "A Denver Billionaire's Invisible Hand," July 23

It was about time that Los Angeles' new superhero, Philip Anschutz, was introduced to the public. Underneath his anonymous, mysterious personality is a person who loves jogging and biking with his friends more than I do. My first meeting with Anschutz took place in the mayor's office. I and others begged him to ignore sites for a new sports arena in Inglewood, Orange County, Carson and other places that were considered more desirable for attracting sports fans. Thus began a magnificent love affair between Anschutz and Los Angeles.

Anschutz has invested -- and continues to invest -- billions of dollars in Los Angeles and surrounding communities. These investments have been catalysts for many billions more, including athletes' salaries, quality building jobs, subcontractors, restaurants -- let alone taxes paid by all of them.

Los Angeles' economy relies on attracting more giants like Anschutz. Thanks to one man, Los Angeles has the Staples Center, the LA Live development and the Home Depot sports complex in Carson -- as well as investments in railroads, pipelines, movie theaters and film production. Not bad!

RICHARD J. RIORDAN

Former Los Angeles Mayor

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