Frederick Henry Ball Biography

Frederick Henry Ball, an American movie studio executive, was best known as the brother of the iconic actress and model Lucille Ball. Despite not pursuing an acting career like his sister, he played a significant role as a member of the Board of Directors of Desilu Productions, the studio co-owned by Lucille. Additionally, he ventured into managing hotels and restaurants alongside his wife Zo in his later years. With a notable lineage that traced back to George Washington and Edmund Rice, Ball’s upbringing was shaped by his grandparents after his father’s passing. As an adult, he gained recognition for his association with his famous sister and enjoyed a fulfilling marriage with four children. Ball passed away in February 2007, leaving behind a loving family that included seven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Fred Ball
  • Died At Age: 91
  • Family:
    • Father: Henry Durrell Ball
    • Mother: Desiree Evelyn Hunt
    • Siblings: Lucille Ball
    • Children: April Jackson, Geoffrey Ball, Melissa LeBritton, Pamela Ball Von Pinnon
  • Died on: February 5, 2007
  • Place of Death: Cottonwood, Arizona, United States
  • Cause of Death: Natural Causes
  • City: Jamestown, New York
  • U.S. State: New York


In the 1930s, Fred Ball moved to California to join his sister. He initially started with the job of a page boy at a nightclub called ‘Cafe Trocadero’. He then went on to serve as the band road manager for actor cum musician Desi Arnaz. In 1951, his sister and Desi purchased Desilu Productions and Ball joined its Board of Directors.

After managing the administration at Desilu, Ball did not pursue an acting career unlike his sister. However, he continued to administer hotels and restaurants including the Palm Desert Hotel. In his later years, he, along with his wife, operated a motel in Cottonwood. Ball was also a real estate broker and agent who self-managed and maintained his holdings in mobile home parks and motels.

Family & Personal Life

Fred Ball was born on July 17, 1915, in Jamestown, New York, U.S.A to Henry Durrell Ball, a lineman and Désirée Evelyn Hunt, a concert pianist. He and his sister Lucy were related to George Washington through their father. Other ancestors included Edmund Rice who founded the town Sudbury in Massachusetts and William Sprague who helped discover Charlestown, Massachusetts.

While his mother was pregnant with him, his father contracted typhoid and died. Three years later, his mother married salesman Edward Peterson, following which Ball and his sister were raised by their grandparents.

As a young man, he married a lady called Zo and had four children.

A Tragedy that Divided the Family

Ball’s grandfather, Fred Hunt, who was an eccentric socialist and worked in the furniture industry, once gave him a gun as a birthday gift. In 1927, a neighbourhood kid named Warner Erikson was accidentally shot with the gun and was paralyzed; he died five years later. Ball’s grandfather became embroiled in a court case regarding the boy’s death and was forced to sell his home and declare bankruptcy. After this incident, the family split up and never lived together again. Ball’s grandfather eventually died in 1944.


On February 5, 2007, Fred Ball died in Cottonwood, Arizona, due to natural causes, at the age of 91. He was cremated and buried in the Hunt family plot at the Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown where his parents, sister, and grandparents are buried. Ball was survived by his wife, four kids, Melissa LeBritton, Pamela Ball Von Pinnon, Geoffrey Ball and April Jackson, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His wife Zo breathed her last in May 2013, at the age of 93.

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