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Stuart Buchalter, longtime community leader in Los Angeles and former managing partner of the firm founded by his father, Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger, died Tuesday. He was 66. Buchalter collapsed suddenly during a meeting in New York of Warnaco Inc.’s board of directors and died of an aneurysm, said Buchalter, Nemer President Rick Cohen. Buchalter was the non-executive chairman of the board of Warnaco, a post he had held since November 2001. Buchalter, who was an of counsel, joined his father’s firm after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1962. He quickly rose among the firm’s leadership, acting as the firm’s managing partner for several years during the 1970s and helping increase the firm’s size and influence, Cohen said. A voracious reader, Buchalter established himself as an expert in his own field of corporate law but also could advise his colleagues of developments in all areas of law, Cohen said. “He was the brightest guy I’ve ever met,” Cohen said. “He always seemed to know more about everything than anyone else around him.” Buchalter, who had been Cohen’s mentor, was also known for his charisma and his eccentricities, most notably his colorful neckties, Cohen said. In addition to his law practice, Buchalter was active in the arts, serving as a member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and on the board of trustees of the Otis College of Art and Design. He was also a longtime volunteer for the Jewish Community Foundation in Los Angeles. Buchalter is survived by his wife, Gail, four children and two grandchildren. A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at University Synagogue in Los Angeles. The family has asked that instead of sending flowers, well wishers should make donations to the Gail and Stuart Buchalter Library Endowment Fund for Contemporary Art at UC-Berkeley, the Otis College of Art and Design, or the Jewish Community Foundation.

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