Owner Clifford Grum Dies at 82

Clifford Grum, a prominent businessman and Thoroughbred owner, died Dec. 19 in Lufkin, Texas under the card of Hospice of the Pines. He was 82.

Grum once served as publisher of Fortune magazine and was an executive vice president of Time Inc. Grum served as a board member and then chairman of First Bank and Trust East Texas in Diboll, Texas until his death. He was a former member of national boards including Time Inc., Tupperware Brands, Cooper Industries, Guaranty Federal, Premark International, and Trinity Industries.

“He was just a wonderful human being,” said Dr. J. David Richardson, a member of The Jockey Club and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. “He loved horses and loved racing. The last time I saw him was at Churchill Downs around the end of the meet. He was game to the end.

As an owner, Grum’s horses raced in the name of his first wife, Janelle, and later Mary. His only graded stakes win came in 1998 with Relic Reward in Oaklawn Park’s Exxex Handicap (gr. III). Mary Grum’s Athena won last year’s Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes at Laurel Park and this year’s Roxelana Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Grum was a serious buyer at the Louisiana yearling sales. In 2006 he made Louisiana sales history at the Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana Annual Yearling Sale, breaking the $100,000 mark for not just one, but two yearlings; a filly by Salt Lake out of Kathie’s Sister and colt by Grand Slam out of Lady’s Kiss.

Known to be a generous man, Grum was involved with Louisiana Downs’ Backside Benevelonce Fund, Inc., and was instrumental in getting the chapel built at the Bossier City track.

Grum had a long association with trainer Cecil Borel, and upon Borel’s retirement in 2014, Crum’s trainer had been Helen Pitts.