Jeff Hyland, the Los Angeles real estate titan who helped usher in an era of celebrity brokers and made the city’s grand historic estates shine, died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 75 years old.

Hyland and his business partner Rick Hilton opened the luxury real estate agency Hilton & Hyland in 1993. The company, credited with billions of dollars in residential real estate sales since its inception, announced the “devastating” news about its co-founder and president on Thursday in an Instagram post.

The post quoted Hyland’s wife, painter Lori Hyland. “As some of you may know, Jeff has been privately battling cancer for a year,” she said. “I am grateful to all of you for sharing your wishes and prayers during Jeff’s illness. Your support and kindness touched me deeply, and I know you mourn with me now.

Hilton, the grandson of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, husband of Kathy Hilton and father of Paris and Nicky Hilton, also released a statement. “Thirty years ago Jeff and I started this journey,” he wrote. “Throughout a great partnership and deep friendship was forged, and Hilton & Hyland became a force in the industry. Jeff was a legend. His knowledge of real estate and architecture was second to none.

Hyland, who grew up in the Little Holmby area of ​​Los Angeles, was behind the sales of dozens of mega-properties in the area over the past decades. In 2019, he was one of the listing agents who sold the $150 million Chartwell estate, also known as beverly hillbillies house due to his appearance on the CBS show, to Lachlan Murdoch; at the time, it broke the record for the most expensive residential property ever sold in California.

Hyland was also one of the agents who sold Spelling Manor in 2011 to Petra Ecclestone for $85 million; the property was recently relisted by its current owner for $165 million, with the company’s Hyland and Drew Fenton serving as agents.

Other sales that have caught the eye over the years include a $21 million penthouse bought by The Weeknd; the famous Enchanted Hill property recently purchased by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt for $65 million; the former home of soap opera creator Lee Phillip Bell, bought by LeBron James for $36.8 million; and a Bel Air mansion bought by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for $43 million.

However, Hyland was not one to brag in the media about his big sales. One of his deep passions was to be an architectural historian of the city in which he grew up. Beverly Hills Estates in 1984 and a follow-up book with Rizzoli in 2008, the 400-page Beverly Hills Legendary Estateswhich highlighted 45 mansions built by architects such as Paul R. Williams, Gordon Kaufmann, Wallace Neff and Roland Coate.

“There are only a handful of these Class A domains left,” Hyland said. The Hollywood Reporter in 2020.

Indeed, his second book included a section recalling many notable Los Angeles residences that were demolished, including Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford’s Pickfair and Rudolph Valentino’s Falcon Lair.

“Jeff was the real deal,” says Bret Parsons, real estate agent and architectural historian Compass THR. “He believed in very thorough research into these great homes that we are losing every day. He had a personal quest to preserve their history. He loved Los Angeles and he loved good architects. Architects tell the story of a city.

The son of Dick Hyland, a screenwriter (Kilroy was here) who went on to found a literary agency (where filmmaker Roger Corman worked early in his career), Hyland had intimate knowledge of the areas he would later write about. “Between my parents, their friends, and my friends, I was in and out of so many of these homes as a kid,” Hyland once said. Art and Livingnoting that he “grew up three blocks from the Kaufmann-designed Bing Crosby estate”, which was demolished to become Spelling Manor.

Hyland, who attended United States International University in San Diego, earning a degree in business administration, earned his real estate license in 1975 when he was in his twenties, starting work for Coldwell Banker. His first client, according to a 2014 Los Angeles Times profile, was producer Dino De Laurentiis, a recommendation he got through his father.

He then became a founding member of Christie’s International Real Estate; the founder of the internet platform Forbes Global Properties (in 2020); chairman of the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors; chairman of the Los Angeles County Real Estate Board; and state director of the California Association of Realtors.

Hyland’s own real estate, according to Dirt, includes a 40-acre estate in Agoura Hills, an equestrian estate in Topanga Canyon, a Manhattan pied-à-terre and a Hollywood Regency-inspired mid-century home in Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Areas.

Hilton & Hyland agents include Fenton, Brett Lawyer, Jonah Wilson and former Linda May million dollar list star Chad Rogers and Rick Hilton’s son, Barron N. Hilton.

“I don’t know a single person in the industry who was so active and involved in politics, construction, zoning and security. He really cared about the city,” said Rayni Williams, co-founder of real estate brokerage Beverly Hills Estates and former agent at Hilton & Hyland. The Beverly Hills Courier. “Jeff Hyland has been a mentor to so many and a father figure to even more. This is a very sad and huge loss for our community.

Six years ago, Hyland told the Los Angeles Time that one of the cornerstones of building his business was integrity: “At the end of the day, it’s your reputation that counts. »