Guilford Glazer was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1921. He studied engineering at George Washington University and metallurgy at the University of Louisville. During WWII he served in the U.S. Naval Forces and was placed on inactive duty as chief warrant officer at the end of the war in September 1945. After returning from service, Guilford took over his father’s small business and renamed it Glazer Steel Corp. He then launched a major expansion in steel production and real estate development throughout the United States.
Glazer Steel Corporation, with main plants in Knoxville, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana, quickly became a major steel fabricator of bridges, dams, industrial plants, and other structures throughout the world. They participated in rehabilitating post-war France by supplying many crucial needs of the French government and built multiple buildings for Kaiser Aluminum operations. They also fabricated steel structures for many types of industry and other uses throughout the United States and abroad, in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.
While still the Chairman of Glazer Steel Corporation, Guilford entered the real estate development business in Knoxville, Tennessee and immediately expanded into other cities. Through this, he developed the first high-rise apartment building in Knoxville which adjoined the University of Tennessee campus. His company was also selected by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to develop a large mall as the shopping area for the residents of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and nearby cities.
After developing and acquiring numerous buildings in the southeast and a few northern cities, he moved his main office and residence to Beverly Hills, California, in 1960. From there he continued developments as far east as Boston and Philadelphia and north to Chicago and Cincinnati.
From the Beverly Hills executive offices Guilford and his organization developed, owned, and operated a major mall—Del Amo Fashion Center (the second largest mall in the United States)—multiple office buildings, industrial buildings, and multi-use projects throughout the nation. The Glazer organization maintained offices in Torrance, California; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. At its peak, the Glazer organization owned and operated approximately nine million square feet of office, industrial, and retail buildings.
Guilford served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the First Interstate Bank, the largest bank based in Los Angeles; it has since merged with Wells Fargo Bank. He also served on several other boards and remains active with charitable entities both domestic and foreign. He is politically active as an independent.
Guilford has been associated with RAND for many years and has served on the RAND Board involved with the Middle East. Separate from the above, he has engaged RAND to do specific studies on American-Israel matters and international matters relating to Israel. RAND teams have recently worked on Middle East peace plans for Glazer and several studies have been released. The recent major study for Palestine and Israel is known as the “ARC” Plan, which was welcomed by the disputing parties, Israel and Palestine, as well as the EU nations. More studies including other Middle East nations are currently underway.
Guilford is married to Diane Pregerson Glazer and together they have raised two children, Emerson and Erika. and are proud grandparents to five. The entire family resides in Beverly Hills where they continue to be actively involved in charitable giving through Eleemosynary-Charity operations, which are conducted on a substantial level by the Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation, supervised by James Krasne, a longtime Glazer associate. Emerson and Erika have their own charitable funds.
Diane Pregerson Glazer’s Russian-Jewish parents immigrated to America to escape religious persecution a reality that has heavily influenced her life. Her father Abraham Pregerson fought in the US Army during WWI, where he was severely wounded and highly decorated. After the war he settled in Los Angeles, where Diane was born.
Diane’s parents stressed the necessity of acquiring an education. At her graduation from high school she was class valedictorian. From there, she entered UCLA, majored in political science and international relations, graduated with honors and earned a Phi Beta Kappa key. She was accepted into USC.’s School of Law, earned a law degree and passed the California Bar Exam. At the time, very few women were admitted into law schools and even fewer legal positions were available to them. However Diane was hired as a lawyer for Columbia Pictures, where she remained for many years until her marriage to Guilford Glazer.
After leaving Columbia Pictures, Diane was asked to host a TV program titled The Diane Glazer Show, on which she interviewed more than 500 world leaders including, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Vice President Al Gore; prominent US senators and congressional representatives; 10 Israeli prime ministers; leaders from Arab and Muslim countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iran; as well as leaders from African countries and dignitaries from Japan and China. She also interviewed several movie stars and one king through the program.
A longtime member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Diane meets and introduces many of the council’s guest speakers, along with her husband.