Jon Cook, the former president and CEO of Prudential California Realty, passed away earlier this month. He was in his early 50s.

Cook had stepped down from his positions at Prudential California Realty — which has 58 offices spanning from San Diego, Calif., to just south of San Luis Obispo, Calif. — in October 2011 for health reasons.

Since 2008, when he assumed the CEO position at San Diego-based Prudential California Realty, the largest member of the Prudential Real Estate network, Cook helped stabilize the company’s multibillion-dollar real estate business in the wake of the market’s extreme subprime lending turmoil.

Cook jumped into real estate at age 20. He was known for his business acumen, but also as a family man, early riser and occasional surfer who strove for balance in his life. "I try to turn (work) off at around 7 or 8 o’clock at night and not pick up email or phone messages until the next morning," he said in a magazine profile published in September 2010.

"Through the years I have known Jon, what he has continued to demonstrate — which I think is the trait of a good leader — is how steady and solid he is in his thinking," said Ronald Peltier, Chairman and CEO of Prudential’s parent company, HomeServices of America, in that profile article. The profile was written by Roger Cruzen and published in California Real Estate Magazine, the official magazine of the California Association of Realtors.

Peltier told Inman News this week, "Jon was a true gentleman, visionary leader, a caring individual, extremely selfless, and cared about the people underneath him greatly. We’re going to miss him dearly."

Before his latest position, which the Orange County native assumed in 2008, Cook served as Prudential California Realty’s executive vice president and general manager.

Just prior to joining Prudential, he served as president of the California Title Co. for five years. Before that, he was a vice president and regional manager at Coldwell Banker.

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