Bart Lytton

Bart Lytton was my mother’s cousin, whose business whose business represented 20% of the savings and loan industry before it crashed with the Southern California real estate market after the Kennedy assassination moved the center of real estate speculation from California to Texas.  Before that, he was a communist party Hollywood screenwriter.

In 1960, when he was the largest donor to the Democratic Party in California, and had given Kennedy $200,000 in cash, he invited me to California to see how he operated, especially during the Democratic convention.  For a few days I hobnobbed with senators and governors.  Because they assumed I was his son, I was free to speak my mind to them.

I got a call this morning from Richard Harris Smith, who is writing a biography of Bart.  Richard also probably wrote the Wikipedia entry on Bart, which is very informative.  Richard was telling me things about my family that I never knew.

In any case, I am looking forward to reading Richard’s book.


8 comments so far

  1. Mark Speizer on

    I am a cousin of Bart Lytton (my mother is a first cousin). In addition I worked for Bart at Lytton Financial starting in 1962, working for two other cousins there. I have Bart’s corporate portrait, by JAC of Hollywood, in my home. I live in Calif. Please email me if you are interested in talking with me.
    Best Wishes,
    Mark Speizer

  2. swinship on

    Among his patronage of the arts, Bart was considered a champion of saving Irving Gill’s Dodge house in the late 1960’s. I’m a USC grad student who will be making a presentation about the ultimate demolition of the Dodge House, and would be very interested in knowing the proper pronunciation of his name– is it “Lie-ton” or “Litten as in Kitten”?

    The book should be very interesting as well. I look forward to it!
    S. Winship

  3. mperelman on

    “Litten as in Kitten”?

    • swinship on

      Just trying to determine if the y is a Long or short sound…so I’d appreciate some guidance on how to say it! Thanks,

  4. Judifer Yellich on

    My father, George Yellich, a mortgage & investment banker in Beverly Hills, was Assistant V.P. of Lytton Savings on Sunset at Crescent Heights during the ’60’s. I’ve been trying to find out more information about Bart Lytton and Lytton Savings at that time. I do remember the Art gallery/museum in the basement, and Schwab’s Pharmacy across the street on Sunset.
    Thanks for any information you might have.
    Judifer Yellich

    • mperelman on

      Richard H. Smith is writing the biography. From talking with him, it should be an interesting read.

  5. Judifer Yellich on

    Thanks. I’ve wondered why no one wrote about Bart Lytton before, since he was such an interesting character and huge presence in L.A. in the 50’s & 60’s. I look forward to reading the book. I’ll let my father know, also.

  6. Kathie Hersch on

    My grandfather, David Berney, painted portraits of Mr & Mrs Lytton in the late 1950s. Would love to find out where these are currently located and have them photographed. I have reference pix. Thank you. –Kathie

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