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Charles Rickershauser Jr. dies at 86; lawyer led Pacific Stock Exchange

Charles Rickershauser Jr. dies at 86; lawyer led Pacific Stock Exchange
Charles Rickershauser Jr., shown in 1986, became the Pacific Stock Exchange's first full-time chairman in 1979. He died Wednesday in Santa Barbara. (Los Angeles Times)

Charles Rickershauser Jr., a lawyer who headed the Pacific Stock Exchange and was a close ally of the late Gov. Pat Brown, died Wednesday in an assisted living facility in Santa Barbara. He was 86.

He died of natural causes, having suffered from dementia for several years, said his wife, Robin.

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Rickershauser's career was mostly in corporate law, but he also delved into politics.

In 1966, when he was Brown's Southern California campaign chairman during the governor's bid for a third term, Rickershauser sarcastically asked if Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty, Brown's challenger in the primary, was "developing a foreign policy" for the city during his trips abroad.

And he called Republican Ronald Reagan — who went on to win the election — "a candidate of the extreme right."

Rickershauser was born in Los Angeles on June 23, 1928. He graduated from Hollywood High School and went on to UCLA, where he graduated first in his class from the law school in 1957. He then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

In 1965 he became a name partner in the law firm Munger, Tolles, Hills & Rickershauser. He helped start the firm's corporate practice, which eventually became one of the most powerful in the world. One of Rickershauser's clients was the then-little-known company Buffett Partnership, headed by Warren Buffett.

Rickershauser became the first full-time chairman of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1979 and oversaw an expansion of the exchange's facilities in Los Angeles and San Francisco. After six years at the stock exchange, he returned to corporate law practice.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Janet Rickershauser of Boston; and a sister, Mary Frances Blackstone of Denver.

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