Patrick J. Frawley Jr.; Business Magnate
Patrick J. Frawley Jr., business magnate who turned his own bout with alcoholism into a chain of treatment centers for alcohol, drug and tobacco addiction, has died. He was 75.
Frawley, former chairman and chief executive officer of such companies as Paper Mate Pen Co. and Technicolor Inc., died Tuesday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica after lung surgery.
A devout Catholic, the multimillionaire also published the weekly newspapers National Catholic Register and Catholic Twin Circle for two decades. He sold the publications three years ago.
The most recent facet of Frawley’s career was his Schick Shadel Hospitals, which had three hospitals and three clinics in California, Washington and Texas, espousing aversion therapy to deal with alcoholism, drug addiction and smoking.
“My entire focus is on the hospitals because it’s a life and death matter,” he told The Times in 1989, when he sold other business interests. “People were dying. What would you do?”
Starting in the import-export business in San Francisco in the 1940s, Frawley acquired his first company when he took over a ballpoint pen parts manufacturer that defaulted on its loan. The company became Paper Mate, which he sold to Gillette in 1955 for $15.5 million.
From 1958 to 1970, Frawley was chairman and chief executive of Schick Safety Razor Co. Concurrently, from 1961 to 1970, he was chairman of Technicolor, which makes film prints.
At Schick, Frawley earned a reputation for tempestuousness. Russell Adams, in his book “King C. Gillette, the Man and His Wonderful Shaving Device,” described Frawley as “a temperamental individualist whose erratic traits were magnified by a drinking problem.”
During that period, Frawley came to grips with his alcoholism and sought treatment at Shadel Hospital in Seattle. He was so impressed with its negative reinforcement program that he bought the hospital.
In 1970, Frawley sold the Schick razor blade business to Warner-Lambert, but kept the hospital, renaming it Schick Shadel.
Among his real estate investments was the former Beverly Hills home of Bing Crosby. He sold it in 1984 for $10.2 million to television producer Aaron Spelling, who tore it down to build his 56,500-square-foot mansion.
Born in Leon, Nicaragua, Frawley grew up in California and learned business from his British father in Central America. The younger Frawley served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and then settled in California, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1958.
He was active in several Catholic organizations as a knight of Malta, St. Gregory, Sylvester and the Order of St. Brigitte. He served on the boards of the University of Santa Clara, Marymount College and Pepperdine University.
Survivors include his wife, Gerardine, and seven children, Frances Swanson of Tulsa, Okla.; Dr. P. Joseph Frawley, Santa Barbara; Mary Louise Frawley, Eileen Callahan and Michael Frawley, all of Los Angeles; Joan Desmond, Menlo Park; and Barbara Ross, New York City. He is also survived by four sisters, Mary Thompson, Louise Valle, Irene Routson and Joan Frawley, all of Los Angeles, and 20 grandchildren. Two daughters preceded him in death.
The family has requested that any memorial donations be made to the Daughters of Charity Foundation, 2131 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90057, or to Retinitis Pigmentosa International in Woodland Hills.