Charles T. Manatt, who founded one of the biggest and most influential law firms in Los Angeles and then became a political power as chairman of the state and national Democratic parties, died Friday night. He was 75.
Manatt died at Kindred Hospital in Richmond, Va., of complications from a stroke suffered after surgery in November, according to his daughter, Michele A. Manatt.
Manatt assumed a thankless task as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, taking over just when the Reagan era was dawning.
Democrats were beaten politically and psychologically when he took the job in early 1981. Manatt later recalled how he arrived at the party's rented Washington...