Architect of San Bernardino International Airport dies at 82
Former Redlands Mayor Swen Larson, 82, one of the principal architects of the conversion of Norton Air Force Base into San Bernardino International Airport, died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia at Redlands Community Hospital, city officials said.
Larson's long political career in Redlands began with a nearly decade-long service as a planning commissioner starting in 1976. He later served as a city council member and beginning in 1993 began serving the first of two terms as city mayor. During his tenure with the city, Larson was key in negotiations to purchase 1,300 acres of the Norton base from the Air Force. He later served as the first president of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority.
San Bernardino International Airport services no passenger airlines, operating as a general aviation and cargo airport.
Born in Sweden, Larson immigrated to the United States at the age of 3 and grew up in Chicago. The Army stationed him at Norton Air Base during World War II, and he later moved to the area, living in Redlands for more than 60 years.