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OBITUARIES / Passings / William Hayden Ahmanson

Longtime trustee of foundation

October 17, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

William Hayden Ahmanson, 83, a former chairman of Home Savings & Loan and longtime trustee of the Ahmanson Foundation, died Tuesday of complications related to emphysema at his Malibu home, his family announced.

He was named chairman of Home Savings in 1969, several months after the death of Howard F. Ahmanson, the company's founder and his uncle. For years it was the nation's largest savings and loan.

In 1969, he also was named chief executive of H.F. Ahmanson & Co., which his uncle founded in the 1920s. It was the parent company of Home Savings and other financial and insurance companies.

Ahmanson reduced his role with the companies in 1984 but remained chairman of H.F. Ahmanson Co. through 1986.

At his death, Ahmanson was vice president of the Ahmanson Foundation, which has funded cultural projects in the arts and humanities in Los Angeles for decades. His brother Robert, who was the foundation's longtime president, died last year at 80.

Ahmanson was born Oct. 12, 1925, in Omaha. His father was president of National American Insurance Co. of Omaha.

He moved to Los Angeles to work with his uncle and earned a bachelor's degree in business and finance from UCLA in 1950.

He is survived by his wife, Carol, eight children and 12 grandchildren.

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