Superfan Pellerin Passes Away

    November 21, 1998

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Giles Pellerin, Southern California's most loyal fan, died during the Trojans' 34-17 loss to UCLA at the Rose Bowl, a school spokesman said Saturday. He was 91.

    Pellerin was attending his 797th consecutive Trojans game with his 87-year-old brother, Oliver, when he complained of feeling ill, sports information director Tim Tessalone said.

    A retired telephone company executive and longtime resident of Pasadena who had watched every USC game in person, both home and away, since the start of the 1926 season, Pellerin died of cardiac arrest at 2:45 p.m. -- during UCLA's eighth straight victory over the Trojans.

    According to Tessalone, Pellerin had been in failing health, and asked his brother, who was attending his 600th straight USC game, to take him home because he didn't feel well.

    Pellerin went into cardiac arrest in the Rose Bowl parking lot. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but failed, and he was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital, Tessalone said.

    The USC-UCLA series began in 1929, so Pellerin attended each of the 68 games played so far, as well as all 69 USC-Notre Dame games. That streak will end next Saturday night when the Fighting Irish and Trojans meet at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

    Also, Pellerin attended each of the 28 Rose Bowl games in which the Trojans have played.

    The first football game Pellerin ever watched in person was the 1923 Rose Bowl when he was a student at Huntington Park, Calif., High. USC beat Penn State 14-3 that day.

    Pellerin traveled more than 650,000 miles and spent over $85,000 over the years as USC's "Super Fan," Tessalone said. Pellerin's biography has been printed in the Trojans' press guide for years.

    Pellerin will be cremated as he requested, and entombed next to his late wife, Jessie, Tessalone said, adding that there was no immediate announcement as to a memorial service.

    In lieu of flowers Tessalone said the family requested donations be made to the USC athletic department in Pellerin's name.