Introduction…Rumor has it that the first U.S. self-storage property was built by Art Linkletter, the author, radio and TV personality of the 1930s to the 1960s. What we do know for sure is that the second career for Linkletter, who lived until he was 92, was that of a successful builder.
One of his first properties looked liked 100 attached garages which he called self-storage. In addition he built houses and office/retail in the Santa Monica, California area. The above Youtube video features Linkletter Self-Storage in Long Beach, California.
“We (Art Linkletter Enterprise) had a mobile storage company with 750 steel containers stacked five high that we would put on people’s properties for temporary storage,” the elder Linkletter said, “but we sold that company in December.” It was formed in 1985.
In his 50’s, Linkletter traveled 250,000 miles a year, making appearances at ground breakings and openings for clients and speaking often as part of his crusade against drug abuse, which began in 1969 following his daughter Diane’s drug-related death.
In conclusion… Evidence that Art Linkletter was the first builder of self-storage properties in the U.S.could not be found, but it can be argued that he was one of the pioneers in the industry.