Arthur Lane McFadden JD ?66

Arthur Lane McFadden JD ’66

04/19/2021

Arthur Lane McFadden JD ’66 died March 23, 2021, at his home in Portland. He was 86.

Arthur was born in Portland May 3, 1934, to Art McFadden and Mary Goldblatt, who were successful racehorse owners and trainers in the Midwest and West. He would take his first steps at Churchill Downs. Arthur’s paternal grandfather, Julian McFadden, had founded a farm in Corvallis, Oregon, in 1912 and hosted match races there, earning the McFaddens the title “First Family of Oregon horse racing.” Julian also served as an Oregon state legislator and became the state’s first racing commissioner. After the death of his father, Arthur and his two siblings were raised by his mother’s parents, splitting time between Tule Lake, California, and Corvallis. 

Arthur graduated from Tule Lake High School before attending Santa Clara University. He went into military service during the Korean War and later as a member of the U.S. Army’s Honor Guard was stationed at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was a guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After his service, Arthur returned to Oregon where he followed in his grandfather Julian’s footsteps by attending law school. He practiced in Portland.

Arthur had a multifaceted career in the racing industry. He was manager of Portland Meadows in the 1970s and also was race announcer at Salem, Grants Pass, Tillamook, and Portland Meadows. He served as acting manager at Les Bois Park in Boise, Idaho, which his family said he named. McFadden was later president of MEC Oregon Racing, which was owned by the former Magna Entertainment Corp. that operated Portland Meadows and Multnomah Greyhound Park from July 2001 through December 2004. He brought to the role extensive experience with Oregon racing and state politics as a lobbyist for the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association. McFadden was instrumental in helping build up revenue at Portland Meadows and rectified environmental problems he inherited when MEC took over the racetrack. In 1987, he reopened the historic Rialto Poolroom and off-track betting parlor in downtown Portland operating it until he retired in 2017. He also served on the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association board. 

McFadden was predeceased by his parents, older brother Julian McFadden, and younger sister Kathryn Jane Brandis. Survivors include his sons Christopher, Brian, and Timothy; daughter Jennifer (Gigi); grandchildren Brett, Holley, Thomas, and Land; and several nieces and nephews.