Well Known California Economist Dies in Surfing Accident

Lee K. Harrington, a towering figure among those who observe and track the Southern California economy, died in a surfing accident Friday off the Santa Barbara Coast.

Harrington worked at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) for over 20 years and most recently had been leading the Southern California Leadership Council.

The death of Harrington, believed to be in his 60s, shocked coworkers.  Bill Allen, current president of LAEDC told NBCLA “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague, friend and mentor, Lee Harrington.  We mourn the loss of a great leader, a dedicated public servant and a giving and decent human being.

"For the past five years, Lee led our Southern California Leadership Council, an organization dedicated to making the region a better place for the more than 20 million people who live and work here.  He worked closely with former Governors Davis, Deukmejian and Wilson as well as Governor Brown to improve the business climate and create a better quality of life for everyone who calls Los Angeles County and Southern California home.   Lee also led our organization, the LAEDC, for more than ten years.  His accomplishments as CEO are too many to enumerate, but he took the LAEDC to new levels of effectiveness and prominence, and in doing so, helped create and save more than 100,000 jobs for the people and communities of Los Angeles County. His life of public service and his legacy of civic responsibility are testaments to his love and passion for Los Angeles.  Lee was taken too abruptly from us while he was still in the prime of his life.  He will be deeply missed by everyone at the LAEDC family,” Allen said.

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