Harrison Gray Otis (1837-1917) is a long way from where he was born, Medina County, Ohio – but the newsboy works for him, as Otis was once the publisher of the Los Angeles Times. He's green bonze now, but he was a colorful fellow – part of the Republican National Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln, and he fought in the Union army during the Civil War in William McKinley's regiment, the 23rd Ohio Infantry. After the war he kicked around in the newspaper business, ending up out here, where he eventually bought a half-interest in the Times, and immediately named himself president and editor-in-chief. In 1898, when the Spanish-American War broke out, he asked McKinley, who had somehow or other become president, to name him Assistant Secretary of War. That didn't work, so Otis volunteered for the Army got a command – the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, VIII Corps, during the Philippine-American War. Drat.
But he is this city – he was part of the San Fernando Syndicate, those investors who bought land out in the San Fernando Valley, of course based on inside knowledge that the new aqueduct would soon irrigate it and they'd all get rich. They did. And of course he used the Times to frighten everyone, reporting there was a severe drought when there wasn't one. But that got out the votes – the 1905 bond issue that funded the aqueduct passed easily. All this was long ago, when the Times was quite right-wing, and of course anti-union. His home was one of three buildings that were targeted in the 1910 Los Angeles Times bombing.
Every city needs its colorful characters. He was buried in Hollywood. It figures. This statuary is at Wilshire and Park Place, the edge of MacArthur Park.