Cal Worthington Dies; Car Dealer, TV Fixture Was 92

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Cal Worthington, who built a fortune from a series of West Coast auto dealerships and became a TV fixture with his ads, has died at the age of 92.

"Go See Cal" passed away Sunday after watching football with family at his Big W Ranch in Orland, Calif., north of Sacramento, according to reports.

The cause of death has not been determined.

Cal W.

The Oklahoma native, who was a decorated bomber pilot during World War II, founded his very first car dealership in the late 1940s in Southern California.

He quickly took advantage of TV advertising.

As his business empire grew to other western states and Alaska, he starred in a series of TV and radio spots that featured him in his big white cowboy hat.

Also omnipresent? His "dog" Spot, which would turn out to be animals ranging from tigers to elephants, snakes to pigs, and hippos to mountain lions.

Viewers frequently saw the affable salesman trying to stand on his head, including a stint atop the upper wing of a biplane that turned him on his head.

All of it was set to a speedy banjo tune with the refrain, "Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal." At one point, Worthington owned more than 23 dealerships.


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