Many of the events that came to pass in the Nineteen Sixties began with individuals who were born towards the close of the Nineteenth Century. Herbert W. Armstrong first drew breath in the year 1892, and according to press reports, the beginning of life for Boliver B. O'Rear occurred five years later. He died aged 61 in 1958, and this would place the year of his birth in 1897.
What we know so far about the life and work of Boliver B. O'Rear, has been pieced together from contemporary reports published about his life. The Notice published left, appeared in 'The Los Angeles Times', where he died after a lengthy illness. Below, a clipping containing some details of his life:
While we found many similar local newspaper reports about Boliver, his wife and children, it is his obituary that is most interesting because it states that his funeral took place in Jasper, Alabama at a local Baptist Church, which according to Armstrong's definition was a denomination teaching a false religious message. But more than this, there is the reference to his employer which before Armstrong was the United States Internal Revenue Service; a Federal Agency collecting taxes for the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C. It is also worth noting that no mention is made of anything to do with his work for Herbert W. Armstrong!
The clipping also says that at night Boliver B. O'Rear studied law to get his degree from the National University of Law in Washington, D.C., which is where he was first admitted to to the bar as an attorney. In 1923, this item [right] says that he had not been back to Jasper, Alabama in over two years.
This next news item is also from his home town. It says that in 1926, he left the IRS and returned to Jasper, Alabama where he was admitted to the bar of that State and hung out his shingle to practice law. There are several social news items about the O'Rear family in Jasper, but even the local newspaper is not confident in providing dates as the clipping to the left makes clear.
We do know from his Obituary shown above, that he did not stay in Jasper, Alabama, but that he returned to D.C. to practice law. He then got married to a woman from Pennsylvania.
These details are important because Bolivar B. O'Rear was instrumental in turning an obscure local minister from Oregon, into a worldwide broadcaster who had relocated next to Hollywood in Pasadena, California. That is where Herbert W. Armstrong began buy a millionaire's residence and other properties once owned by the rich and powerful as part of his new Ambassador College campus.
In 1953, this article [left] appeared in the local Jasper newspaper. It reflects a somewhat detached view by Bolivar O'Rear to his home in Los Angeles, and a somewhat strange transfer from the nation's capital by something other than a direct relocation.
Other articles in the local press about the O'Rear children, report that they have academic aspirations that do not include anything to do with Herbert W. Armstrong, who is never mentioned in these stories. (At least not the ones we have come across so far.)
There is also a connection between the O'Rear family and the Armstrong family with regards to service in the U.S. military, and specifically in Korea. Herbert's second son Garner Ted did not follow in his brother David's footsteps when he joined his father's enterprise. Instead, Garner Ted joined the U.S. Navy on May 17, 1948, and spent nine months with the U.S. Seventh Fleet. He served on board the aircraft carrier USS Antietam [below, right] when it sailed in 1951 from Pearl Harbor for North Korea, during that War.
After leaving the Navy on May 5, 1952, Garner Ted returned to California, but again, instead of joining the rest of his family with their Church and College enterprise, he tried, unsuccessfully, to begin a career as a singer in adjoining Hollywood. It was only then that he took another look at what his father and brother were doing under the watchful eyes of Boliver O'Rear.
During the Nineteen Forties and Nineteen Fifties, Boliver B. O'Rear, a former IRS employee turned private lawyer and financial advisor, and member of the Baptist Church, not only advised Armstrong regarding his media and real estate contracts, but he also monitored Armstrong's money as an auditor, and all of this took place before Stanley Robert Rader assumed that same responsibility.
This brings us back to the article in the 'American Lawyer' magazine. It says that Rader first met Armstrong in 1956, which is two years before O'Rear died. Since Rader was at that time working for media man Milton Scott, he was obviously bringing contact work to Armstrong, and that legal paperwork would have to be approved by O'Rear. So there is a very good possibility that Rader also knew O'Rear. This article [right] also mentions that Bolivar O'Rear is living and working in Los Angeles, California, but in none of these articles is Herbert W. Armstrong ever mentioned.
Tomorrow, how 'The Work' of Herbert W. Armstrong began to acquire curious links to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assets in various parts of the world, during the tenure of Bolivar B. O'Rear.
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