For many years, John M. “Jack” Lawson was one of Glendale’s most prominent players. He took over the reins of the family business when his father passed away in 1944 and left a huge operation that included industrial and commercial properties, investments and apartment buildings.
Jack Lawson was involved in many local philanthropic and social groups, was elected to Glendale City Council, served as mayor and later headed Valley National Bank.
Born in 1904 to John W. and Margaret Lawson, he came to Glendale at the age of 3, attending local schools and Occidental College. After graduating in 1925, he began working as a clerk for the Southern California Telephone Co.
He met a young woman named Helen O’Keefe in 1932. Her father was a friend of Leslie Brand’s family from back in Missouri, and O’Keefe had come to Glendale to visit the Brands. While here, she was introduced to Lawson, and they married the next year.