Southwest citrus industry giant Perricone dies

July 15, 2011 - 9:44 AM

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Sam Perricone, a Southwest citrus industry leader who was one of the largest independent growers for the Sunkist cooperative, has died in California at 91.

Daughter Lucy Perricone tells the Los Angeles Times that her father died of heart failure July 8 at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach. He was a resident of Sunset Beach.

Perricone owned or was a partner in dozens of agriculture-related businesses. He owned orange groves and packing houses in California and Arizona and was a partner in a company that grows Cuties brand mandarins.

He was one of the first exporters of citrus to the Asian market.

Perricone oversaw management of the Sunkist Citrus House on Main Street in Disneyland, as well as a second location in the amusement park's Adventureland.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com