Charles Alden Black

Charles Alden Black (March 6, 1919 – August 4, 2005) was a California businessman known for his work in aquaculture and oceanography as well as his marriage to Shirley Temple Black.[1]

Charles Alden Black
Born(1919-03-06)March 6, 1919
DiedAugust 4, 2005(2005-08-04) (aged 86)
Alma mater
Shirley Temple (m. 1950)
Children3, including Lori Black

Early life and education

Black was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1919. Black graduated from Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and Stanford University (class of 1940). His father, James Byers Black, was president of PG&E. After attending Harvard Business School for one year, Black entered the Navy in 1941.


He served in the Navy during World War II as an intelligence officer in the South Pacific. He again served during the Korean War as an intelligence officer.[2] After World War II he received his MBA from Stanford in 1946. Then in the late 1950s he lived in Hawaii, working as an executive for Castle & Cooke and Dole Pineapple companies. By the end of the Korean War, he was a lieutenant commander.

Black was an executive at the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International) from 1952 to 1957 and with Ampex Corp from 1957 to 1965.[3][4] In the 1960s, Black gravitated to what would become the bulk of his life's work—aquaculture and oceanography. He co-founded a hatchery for oysters and abalone and later created Mardela Corp., a fishery and hatchery company headquartered in Burlingame, California, which conducted ventures such as catfish and salmon farming. He later served as a consultant on maritime issues and served as a regent for Santa Clara University.


He was married to the legendary former child actress and diplomat Shirley Temple from December 16, 1950, until his death. He died from myelodysplastic syndrome on August 4, 2005, at his home in Woodside, California, at the age of 86. They had a son, Charles Alden Black Jr., and two daughters, Susan and Lori Black.


  1. Dawicki, Shelley (2005-08-10). "In Memoriam: Charles A. Black". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  2. "The Spy Who Loved Her". Class Notes. Stanford University. Nov–Dec 2005. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  3. Pinkham, Katherine (1955-09-11). "Shirley Has Quiet Life; Enjoys The New Do-lt-yourself Craze". The News and Courier. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  4. Ronald, Reagan (1984-01-26). "Appointment of Charles A. Black as a Member of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
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