SEMA eNews Vol. 11, No. 36, September 4, 2008

ED JUSTICE SR., MOTORSPORTS PIONEER AND ENTREPRENEUR, DEAD AT 87

Ed Justice Sr., the last of three brothers who founded Justice Brothers Inc., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of car-care additives, lubricants and cleaners, has died. He was 87. As reported by DragRaceCentral.com, Justice died August 30 of complications due to kidney failure in Arcadia, California, said son Ed Justice, Jr.

With $2,500 profit from a race car they built in their garage, Justice and his brothers Zeke and Gus started Justice Brothers Inc. in Southern California. They are credited as having invented the first transmission stop-leak and several other innovative products in their field.

Before founding the company, Justice and brother Zeke worked for legendary Indianapolis race car builder Frank Kurtis in Glendale, California, where they built and fabricated race cars for the biggest names in racing at the time. After starting Justice Brothers, they went on to win the 1950 Indy 500 sponsoring Kurtis' entry.

"My dad and his brothers were stereotypical Midwesterners who came to California to find a better life—and they did" said Ed Justice Jr. "The big reason for their move to California was because it was the center of hot rodding and Indianapolis-style racing, with most of the top car builders located there. They knew they had to be part of this."

After moving to Jacksonville, Florida, they got involved with stock car racing and helped start NASCAR by becoming one of the first sponsors. Cars they were involved with won the 1950 Southern 500 and the original Daytona Beach stock car races. Justice was inducted into the West Coast NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2008.

Justice, who also served as a member of the 8th Air Force in World War II, was known as the most visible of the three brothers, leading to appearances in live broadcast television commercials in Jacksonville at the very beginnings of the medium. Justice and the company became part of the landscape across the United States and, in particular, a television icon in Southern California. Every commercial was ended with what was to become the well-known phrase, "Tell them Ed Justice sent you."

"Ed Justice Sr. built his family business through hard work, creativity and passion," said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "Throughout his career, Ed's talents earned him the highest levels of success. His achievements on the race track and in business serve as an inspiration to our industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Justice family during this time of loss."

Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 11, at 11:00 a.m., at the Sky Rose Chapel, Rose Hills, Whittier, California. A celebration of Justice Sr.’s life will follow at the Justice Brothers Racing Museum in Duarte, California.

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