Thomas P. Phelan, a onetime statistical clerk who melded the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets into a single Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and then became its first president, died Thursday.
Claude Wundrow, his son-in-law, said Phelan was 87 when he died in San Rafael. He had moved to Northern California from Orange County last year because of ill health and to be near his children and grandchildren.
Son of Irish immigrants who settled in the Whittier area of Los Angeles, Phelan graduated from UCLA in 1929, earning the university's professional achievement award in finance in 1964, and went to work at the old Los Angeles Curb Exchange that same year as a $75-a-month clerk. The Curb Exchange was the forerunner of the Los Angeles Exchange.
He worked in every department of the trading floor and was made assistant secretary in 1936.
He left finance for airplane production during World War II, as an assistant vice president at Vultee Aircraft. He returned to the Los Angeles exchange in 1947 as executive vice president and secretary.