Thoroughbred owner and Chicago native Sidney Port, part owner of two-time Stars and Stripes Turf (gr. IIIT) winner Ballingarry, died June 11 in Chicago at the age of 96.
Founder of Des Plaines-based Lawson Products, he was a generous philanthropist, successful entrepreneur, avid sportsman and a longtime supporter of Arlington Park.
Born March 11, 1911, at his parent’s Antlers Hotel at 229 North Clark Street in Chicago, Mr. Port earned a law degree at DePaul University during the Great Depression, worked in his father-in-law’s auto parts distribution business, and eventually started his own business repairing machine parts. In 1970, he took Lawson Products public, and last year it generated $518 million in revenue.
He became one of the top racehorse owners at Arlington Park. In addition to Ballingarry, an Irish-bred horse that captured back-to-back renewal’s of Arlington’s Stars and Stripes Turf in 2003-04, he raced his Sidney L. Port Trust’s Toasted at Arlington to win the Arlington Classic (gr. III) and finish third in the American Derby (gr. II), both in 2004.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. June 14 at North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Road in Glencoe. Internment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in his honor be made to the charity of the giver’s choice.