Bruce Mulhearn

Bruce Mulhearn

Bruce Mulhearn, who started out in a small office in Bellflower 52 years ago and became a dominant figure in the Southern California real estate industry, died Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Mulhearn, 80, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, died at his home in Bay Harbor from complications from a pulmonary lung disease which he has struggled with for 11 years, according to Tim Rush, senior vice president of the firm.

“Bruce was a lion, an icon, in the real estate business,” Rush said. “Everybody knew him.”

Mulhearn and his wife, Tomazina, started their own real estate firm, Bruce Mulhearn Realty, in Bellflower in 1967. That evolved into Mulhearn Gallery of Homes, Prudential California Realty and, finally, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California, which has become one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the state.

The group, based in Cerritos, has grown to 22 branch offices with more than 800 sales associates and subsidiary companies involved in the realty brokerage business throughout Southern California. Berkshire Hathaway is a worldwide holding company based in Omaha, Nebraska, with Warren Buffett as its chairman and CEO.

Rush said that Mulhearn was viewed as “one of the most profound thinkers and analysts in the real estate profession. He is recognized nationally for his contributions as one of the foremost instructors in the industry.”

Jerry LeGris, former office co-manager at Berkshire Hathaway California and current broker associate, called Mulhearn “a great man. This is so sad.”

British Roots

Mulhearn was born on Oct. 13, 1938, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. He is a graduate of the University of Durham in England. After a variety of jobs in England and Australia, he came to the United States in 1958 and obtained his real estate license in 1960 and started his own firm in 1967. In an interview a few years ago, Mulhearn said that he and his associates “have literally helped thousands of clients buying and selling their homes and income property.”

He emphasized strong customer service.

“We are passionate about becoming the unrivaled industry leader by achieving superior results for our customers,” he said.

The author of two books — “Hunger, Hustles & Hustle” and “What’s It All About? It’s All About People” — Mulhearn always preached the importance of personal relationships with customers.

Survivors include his wife, Tomazina; three children; 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Services are pending.

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