Lou Gerlinger, former owner of The Log, has died

Gerlinger continued to write for The Log, up through this issue; he was 98.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY—Lou Gerlinger, who owned The Log while it was based in San Diego in the 1970s and 1980s, has died. A family member confirmed he died on April 9. He was 98. We at The Log will run a tribute to Gerlinger in our May 1-14 issue.

This writer and Gerlinger had been in contact a few times between April 6 and April 8. Gerlinger, in an email to this writer on April 6, said he was in good health.

“Hope you all are doing OK during these terrible times. Rosemarie (my close friend of many years) and me are doing well so far. Plenty of necessary supplies and no symptoms of the virus,” Gerlinger wrote to this writer on April 6.

Gerlinger oversaw The Log when it was a rag based out of the Red Sails Inn at San Diego’s Shelter Island. He bought The Log from William Roberts in 1975 and managed the publication until 1990, when Independent News Corporation acquired the publication. The newspaper expanded from its San Diego roots in 1978 and 1979, as The Log started covering recreational boating in Orange County and Los Angeles under Gerlinger’s leadership.

Gerlinger, in 1983, explained The Log’s mission and vision.

The Log provides the reader factual news of the boating community and gives advertisers an opportunity to reach the majority of boaters in the Southern California community,”Gerlinger said in July 1983. “Our goal is to keep people of the waterfront community, whether they are yachtsmen, fishermen or merchants, informed of the events pertinent to them.”

The Log became a twice-a-month publication under Gerlinger’s leadership.

Gerlinger continued to write for The Log after selling the publication to Independent News Corporation. Two stories in this very issue were authored by Gerlinger – both in the sailing section. Gerlinger’s stories were published in The Log under “Log News Service.” In recent years he enjoyed writing about sailing news, be it a SailGP race, America’s Cup announcement or a news update on record-breaking standup paddleboard excursions.

This writer had several email exchanges with Gerlinger during the final three days of his life – he had pitched three stories for this issue, two of which were approved for publication. The third story was pitched on April 8 at 10:54 p.m. – Gerlinger asked if he could write an update on Pilgrim, the sunken tall ship at Dana Point Harbor. The pitch was rejected, as this writer already wrote a story on the Pilgrim’s sinking for this issue. It had been standard practice in our interactions – Gerlinger would, every so often, pitch a story already written by another member of The Log team, and this writer would inform him as such.

Gerlinger spent the final years of his life in retirement, living in the small mountain community of Alpine (located in Eastern San Diego County, near El Capitan Lake).

A full feature on Gerlinger’s life and involvement with The Log will be featured in our May 1-14 issue. Do you have any memories or stories of Gerlinger to share with us? If so, please email this writer at parimal@thelog.com.

We appreciate all Gerlinger did for The Log and the boating community in general. Please join us in sending condolences to his friends and family.


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2 thoughts on “Lou Gerlinger, former owner of The Log, has died

  • April 16, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    I was Lou’s advertising salesperson from 1980 to 1989. He was an interesting character, always wanted to make the Log a good newspaper. Always looked for stories that would tell truth to power. I will miss him.

  • May 14, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    Lou Gerlinger was my mentor and friend when I worked at The Log from 1998-2005. Because I am also a college English teacher, he often called me for advice on grammar, and it was obvious he was always striving for perfection in his writing. We kept in touch over the years after I moved back to my home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and his last Christmas card to us made me sure that he would live to be 100. I admired Lou for his honesty, integrity, intelligence, and commitment to excellence. He accomplished so much during his lifetime, and many will miss him.



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