UPDATE 11:10am | Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has released the following statement on Kyser's passing:
“I am shocked to learn of the passing of Jack Kyser, one of the premier economists in Southern California and a close personal friend for over 25 years. Jack was a highly-respected authority on economic information and you could always count on him for an honest, upfront assessment of fiscal and business conditions in this region. Jack will be missed, as an adviser, and most especially as a friend and resident of the 4th District. My thoughts and prayers go to the Kyser family in this difficult time.”
9:28am | Southern California has lost one of its most visible and respected economic advisors, as chief economist of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. Jack Kyser has passed away at the age of 76.
Kyser was a significant voice in the media and economic industries for decades, appearing in thousands of newspaper articles and twice in the Long Beach Post. He retired from the LAEDC in June, but had battled health issues for about two years. The cause of death is unclear.
"Today I share in the sadness of many as we learned of the passing of Jack Kyser," reads a joint statement from Southern California Association of Governments president Larry McCallon and executive director Hasan Ikhrata. "He was a consummate professional, remarkable scholar and a dear friend."
In a 2009 interview with Long Beach Post real estate columnist Don Jergler, Kyser predicted that jobs would not improve even as the local economy did. Jergler wrote that he has rarely known Kyser to be wrong, but that he hoped this would be an exception. It wasn't.
"Southern California has lost a true champion in Jack," the statement continues. "His passion, integrity, knowledge and devotion to the study of economics have aided in the development of countlesspublic and private sector contributions. Jack’s unique ability to work across sectors and engage diverse groups of stakeholders will be admired and will surely be a part of his continued legacy."
The Los Angeles Times has written a comprehensive biography of Kyser, which you can read here.
Disclosure: Shaun Lumachi is under contract with the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.