Loren Grey, 91; son of writer Zane Grey was educational psychologist

Times Staff Writer

Loren Grey, a former longtime professor at Cal State Northridge and the keeper of the flame for his famous father, bestselling western-author Zane Grey, has died. He was 91.

A longtime Woodland Hills resident, Grey died Feb. 2 of age-related complications at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, said his daughter Jo Grey.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Feb. 23, 2007 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday February 23, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Loren Grey obituary: The obituary of Loren Grey, the son of author Zane Grey, in the Feb. 16 California section said Grey retired from Cal State Northridge in 1985 after 23 years. In fact, he retired in 1984 after 25 years.

Growing up as one of Zane Grey’s three children (two boys and a girl), Loren Grey said in various interviews that he got along well with his father, who also was a noted outdoorsman who set records as a deep-sea fisherman. His father taught him to fish and took him on fishing trips to Oregon and the South Pacific.


But dealing with the oversized image of a man who was constantly fawned over as the American West’s greatest storyteller, Loren Grey later found, was not easy.

“He was rich and famous and had beautiful women, and I felt like I didn’t have anything,” he told The Times in 1986 when he was 70. “I hated him for it.”

Grey, however, learned to overcome the feeling that he had to compete with his father by carving out a career as a professor of educational psychology at Cal State Northridge, where he retired in 1985 after 23 years.

Grey wrote a number of books in his field, including “Discipline Without Fear: Child Training During the Early School Years” (1974) and “Alfred Adler, the Forgotten Prophet: A Vision for the 21st Century,” a 1998 book that examines the ideas of the noted Austrian psychologist.

Over the years, Grey also came to embrace the written legacy of his father, whose books and stories have been turned into more than 100 movies and whose name adorned the popular TV anthology series “Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater” in the 1950s and early 1960s.

As president of Zane Grey Inc. the last three decades, he served as the overseer of the trademarked Zane Grey name and earned part of his income through the licensing of Zane Grey books, audiotapes, old movies on DVD, T-shirts, fishing tackle and fishing memorabilia.


Grey wrote “Zane Grey: A Photographic Odyssey,” a 1985 coffee-table book that chronicles his father’s travels and adventures. The name Loren Zane Grey also appeared as the author of a series of ghost-written western novels based on Lassiter, the hero in Zane Grey’s “Riders of the Purple Sage.”

Born in Middletown, N.Y., on Nov. 20, 1915, Grey moved with his family to California a few years later. Grey was 23 when his father died in 1939.

At the time, Grey was majoring in English at USC and spending his summers operating a charter boat out of Avalon on Catalina Island, where the family had a second home. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in educational psychology at USC.

In addition to his daughter Jo, he is survived by two other daughters, Jerilyn Grey and Susan Wallace; a grandson; and a great-grandson.