Charles Manatt, lawyer and top Democrat was 75

Chuck Manatt was co-founder in Los Angeles of the law firm now called Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and served as national (and California) chairman of the Democratic Party and co-chair of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign for president. Manatt died Friday night at a Richmond, Va., hospital of complications from a stroke suffered after surgery in November. "We were friends for 30 years, and saw firsthand how he used his energy, intellect, and common sense to help restore the Democratic Party after 1980, to make America more prosperous and just, and to make friends for our nation around the world," Clinton said Saturday in a statement.

Manatt had been at O'Melveny & Myers about a year when he and Tom Phelps started their law firm in 1965, with offices near the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

Mayor Villaraigosa: "Chuck was an excellent lawyer, an engaged citizen, an avid mentor, and a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. His story isinextricably linked with decades of politics, and the joys and heartbreaks that go along with a life lead in such an exciting and dynamic field. He was a true pillar of every community in which he lived--from Iowa, to Washington, DC, to Los Angeles--and I know his loss is felt by many."

Obits: NYT, LAT/Barabak, LAT reaction, Washington Post, Politico

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