Charles E. Toberman

Charles Edward Toberman (February 23, 1880 – November 10, 1981) was a real estate developer and stenographer who was known as "Mr. Hollywood" and the "Father of Hollywood"[1] for his role in developing Hollywood and many of its landmarks, including the Hollywood Bowl, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, El Capitan Theatre,[2] the Roosevelt Hotel, the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Masonic Temple.[3]

Charles Edward Toberman
Born(1880-02-23)February 23, 1880
Seymour, Texas, United States
DiedNovember 10, 1981(1981-11-10) (aged 101)
Hollywood, California, United States
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
OccupationReal estate developer
Spouse(s)Josephine Washburn Bullock


The Charles Toberman Estate — 1847 Camino Palmero, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Toberman was born on February 23, 1880, in Seymour, Texas, to Philip and Lucy Ann Toberman; his uncle was Los Angeles mayor James R. Toberman.[4] He attended the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas for three years and Metropolitan Business College at Dallas for one year.[5]

Toberman began his career as a stenographer, working in Dallas and Wichita Falls, Texas, before moving to Los Angeles in 1902. He returned to Wichita Falls and ran a hardware store before returning to Los Angeles, where he held a variety of positions including City Treasurer of Hollywood. He worked in real estate from 1907 on, incorporating the C.E. Toberman Company in 1912.[5] Mr. Toberman placed fifty-three Hollywood subdivisions on the market, formed more than thirty companies and organizations, built twenty-nine commercial buildings in Hollywood, including the world-famous Chinese Theater and was affiliated with forty-nine clubs, civic, and fraternal organizations up until retirement Toberman managed all of his real estate holdings from his office in the heart of Hollywood. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, Toberman developed many notable buildings and neighborhoods in Hollywood, including notable theatres with showman Sid Grauman.[2] In 1924, he built a Spanish-style mansion known as the C.E. Toberman Estate. He co-founded the Black-Foxe Military Institute in 1928.

Personal lifeEdit

Toberman married Josephine Washburn Bullock on June 25, 1902. The couple had three children: Jeanette, Homer (died 1992),[6] and Catherine. Charles Toberman died in November 1981.[7]


  1. ^ Wallace, David (1990-12-30). "They Won't Let 'Sleeping Dogs' Lie". Los Angeles Times. The primary location for "Sleeping Dogs" is a huge Mediterranean-style, 22-room house complete with outdoor and indoor swimming pools built at the top of Camino Palmero in 1928 by C.E. Toberman, architect of many of Hollywood's golden age landmarks (including Sid Grauman's Egyptian and Chinese theaters) and often called the "father of Hollywood" because of his development of the Hollywood Hills area.
  2. ^ a b Lord, Rosemary (2002). Los Angeles: Then and Now. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press. pp. 90–91. ISBN 1-57145-794-1.
  3. ^ DeWolfe, Evelyn (1981-11-29). "C.E. Toberman, Hollywood Developer, Dies". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Rasmussen, Cecilia (2008-02-17). "Hidden Hollywood sign uncovers history". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b McGroarty, John Steven (1921). Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea. American Historical Society. pp. 409–10.
  6. ^ "Homer Toberman; Executive Headed Pioneer Family's Development Firm". Los Angeles Times. 1992-04-23. p. 26.
  7. ^ "Mr. Hollywood dead at 101". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. 1981-11-21. p. 2. Retrieved 2014-08-21.

Further readingEdit

  • Koopal, Grace G (1970). Free Enterprise: Foundation of America's Greatness. Los Angeles: Anderson, Ritchie & Simon. p. 302. OCLC 3425103.

External linksEdit