Obituaries: Patrick J. Frawley Jnr

PATRICK J. FRAWLEY Jnr was a high-school dropout who went on to make his fortune from pens that would not leak and razors that did not rust, with the companies Paper Mate and Schick, then devoted himself to anti-Communist causes and made it his business to combat alcohol and drug addiction.

An independent-minded entrepreneur who saw opportunity where others saw difficulty, Frawley may have inherited his entrepreneurial zeal from his father, who was an Irish-born professor of literature; he went to Nicaragua for his health and variously became a banker, import-exporter and dealer in heavy equipment.

At the age of 18, just two years after dropping out of school in San Francisco, and returning to Nicaragua to work with his father, Frawley junior had learnt how to wheel and deal so well that he arranged for the sale of $300,000 worth of tyres to the Panamanian government.

He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and, at the end of the war, married a Canadian and settled in San Francisco. There he became engaged in a series of small-time business ventures that eventually landed him in possession of a failed manufacturer of parts for ball-point pens. Taking advantage of an improved new ink, Frawley turned the company into Paper Mate.

By extolling the Paper Mate pen's leak-proof properties, the company became a runaway success and in 1955, aged 32, Frawley sold it to Gillette for $15.1m.

New opportunity presented itself in the form of Eversharp Inc, makers of Schick razors, and Technicolor Inc, a Los Angeles-based film processing company. Although the latter company, which developed film-cartridge systems, failed, Schick's introduction of stainless-steel razor blades made it an industry giant.

Following Fidel Castro's Communist takeover of a Schick plant in Cuba in 1958, Frawley discovered that he was not simply an apolitical businessman, but an idealist. He became a stalwart of the American right, financing an array of conservative organisations. Once, when ABC News broadcast a documentary in which Alger Hiss attacked Richard Nixon, Frawley tried to cancel $3m worth of scheduled Schick advertising. However, the network declined to let him out of the contract.

A man of obsessive enthusiasms, Frawley found the source of his next crusade closer to home, in his own alcoholism. While attending the Shadel Hospital in Seattle to treat his drinking problem, he became so enamoured of its negative- reinforcement therapy programme that he bought the hospital for Schick, and renamed it Schick Shadel.

After he sold Schick to Warner Lambert in 1970, he retained the hospital for himself. He expanded it into a flourishing chain of treatment centres until a squeeze on medical insurance in the late 1980s forced a sharp retrenchment.

But Frawley was also doing well with his personal property investments. In the 1950s he had moved into Bing Crosby's old house on South Mapleton Drive in Los Angeles and in 1984 sold the house to the television producer Aaron Spelling for $10.25m. Four years later, he sold a smaller place across the street for $11m.

Patrick J. Frawley, businessman: born Len, Nicaragua 1923; married (two sons, five daughters); died Santa Monica, California 3 November 1998.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman as Doctor Who and Clara behind the scenes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cheery but half-baked canine caper: 'Pudsey the dog: The movie'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce leads the MTV VMA Awards 2014 nominations with eight

music
Arts and Entertainment
Live from your living room: Go People perform at a private home in Covent Garden

theatre
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor