First Families of the American West: The Firestone Family

A. Brooks Firestone ’54 is a businessman and politician who helped transform the Central Coast of California into one of the most respected and award-winning wine producing regions in the world. Brooks graduated from Columbia University and went to work in the family business, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, where he served as director of the British branch for four years. In 1972, Brooks left the tire industry. At the same time Brooks’ late father, Leonard, a businessman with a farmer's heart, bought 500 acres near Los Olivos to plant a vineyard and he asked Brooks to review the project; Brooks planted the first large-scale vineyard in the former cattle country to establish Firestone Vineyards. The Los Angeles Times called Firestone “the man who finally put southern California on the world wine map.” Brooks also represented the 35th District in the California State Assembly for two terms (1994–1998) and most recently served as Santa Barbara County's 3rd District supervisor.
Kimball Firestone ’51 is also an entrepreneur. He bought a yogurt and sandwich shop in Frederick, VA, in 1993, and it gave him a taste for the food service business. Five years later, he bought a tavern in Frederick’s Historic District and renamed it Firestone’s Culinary Tavern – the Tavern is Zagat rated and is a multi-year winner of the Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence. In addition, he owns Firestone’s Market on Market, a source for gourmet foods, wine, and gift baskets. Kim also worked for the Firestone Tire Company serving as Vice President of Government Affairs. He received his BA and MBA from Stanford University.

Brooks and Kim are the sons of Leonard Kimball Firestone, a former United States Ambassador to Belgium, board member of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and longtime friend of former Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. Leonard Firestone was the last of six children of Harvey S. Firestone, who founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires, in 1900. The company was acquired by the Bridgestone Corporation in 1988.

At Webb, Brooks was involved in drama and music, track and field, the Debate Society and participated on Peccary trips; Kim was an Honor Committeeman, and was also active in drama and sports.

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