Alvin Toffel, 69; Led Museum, Ran McCloskey Political Races

From a Times Staff Writer

Alvin E. Toffel, a former president of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and national campaign manager for Rep. Paul N. “Pete” McCloskey’s antiwar run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1972, has died. He was 69.

Toffel died Sunday of a stroke while vacationing in Las Vegas with his wife, singer Neile McQueen Adams, according to publicist Warren Cowan.

The Los Angeles native graduated from UCLA in 1957 and served in the Air Force from 1958 to 1963. He was a consultant in the White House during President Nixon’s first term.

Disenchanted with some of Nixon’s domestic policies, as well as with the Vietnam War, Toffel left the White House in the early 1970s to work for McCloskey, the California congressman who was challenging Nixon in the 1972 election. Toffel soon became national campaign manager. He later ran two of McCloskey’s campaigns for Congress in Northern California.

“He was idealistic, practical and hard-headed,” McCloskey told The Times on Tuesday.


Toffel began working for Simon -- a California industrialist who was a leading financial backer of the McCloskey campaign -- in 1972 as a personal, business and government consultant.

Toffel led the Norton Simon from 1977 to 1980, where he ran virtually all aspects of the institution short of actual artistic entrepreneurship, which Simon himself handled.

In the last 25 years, Toffel had been engaged in a variety of business ventures, including management consulting, portfolio management, venture capital, and thoroughbred horse breeding and racing.

In addition to his wife of 25 years, he is survived by three daughters: Stephanie Goldberg, Elizabeth Coker and Michelle Toffel; and three granddaughters.

A memorial service is scheduled for noon Friday at the Pierce Bros. Westwood Village Memorial Park, 1218 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Boys Republic, 3493 Grand Ave., Chino Hills, CA 91709.