Charles T. Manatt, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, who helped guide the party to financial success in the 1980s, died Friday at a Richmond, Va., hospital, according to media reports. He was 75.
Manatt was a lawyer and businessman from California who founded the First Los Angeles Bank, founded a consulting firm and invested in agriculture, according to The Washington Post.
In political circles he is best remembered for leading the DNC from 1981 to 1985. At a time when Ronald Reagan's dominated the political scene, Manatt build the Democratic Party up: clearing its debt, building its donor lists, and establishing a Capitol Hill headquarters furnished with state-of-the-art equipment.
“The party was knocked to its knees, knocked to its back after the 1980 elections,” said Terry McAuliffe, who served as DNC chairman from 2001 to 2005, according to the Post. “Chuck stepped up to the plate and helped bring financial stability to the party.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi remembered Manatt as a friend and a fellow lover of California in a statement released on Saturday.
"Chuck was successful at every aspect of his life: he was a respected lawyer and businessman, a public servant, and a political power broker. But he was most proud of his family: his wife, Kathleen, his children Michele, Timothy, and Daniel, and his three grandchildren. I hope it is a comfort to them that so many people grieve their loss and are praying for them at this sad time," Pelosi said.