Orange County, Inc is a story about the remarkable emergence of a county that grew from a small agricultural region after WWII with a population of barely 100,000 people into one of the nation’s leading economies with a population of 3.2 million and still growing at a rapid pace. In this book we have featured the people that made this extraordinary place develop and attempted to share with readers the challenges they faced, the enormous risks they took and their personal journey in creating and building their enterprise.
Our sources were from many interviews, the author’s vast personal experience, from vintage newspaper articles, public records and the archives of UC Irvine, Chapman University, Cal State Fullerton, and local historical societies. We are certain that there are many errors in this book and apologize for any facts that are not correct. We have done our best to accurately and fairly present the information contained herein. It was impossible to cover all the important companies that have been founded and built in the county, so we have selected about 200 representative ones to profile in a range of industries. We have also made mention of many more in the context of describing the history of select industries. An impressive chronology of the founding of companies in the county is also provided, tracing back to its earliest years.
Orange County’s emergence into an economic powerhouse is a fascinating one. In writing this book, I was intrigued by the common attributes of the entrepreneurs that created winning companies in this region. I also found it interesting to observe the parallels in their pathways from start-up to success. It was rarely a straight line. The men and women behind these companies are extraordinary people and I have strived to tell about their personal journeys alongside the corporate ones.