William J. Charlton, Jr.

William J. Charlton, Jr.

September 19, 1931 ~ November 18, 2022


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William J. Charlton, Jr. of Vero Beach, Florida and Nantucket, Massachusetts died November 18, 2022. He was 91 years old.

Mr. Charlton was born on Staten Island, New York to Agnes Keating Charlton and William J. Charlton Sr., managing partner of John Muir & Co. Mr. Charlton Sr. had traced his ancestry to the Rev. Richard Charlton DD, rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Staten Island from 1740 until 1774. The Reverend was the grandfather of Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first American saint.

Mr. Charlton enlisted in the Air Force as a teenager at the beginning of the Korean War. He served 4 years, two of them with a long-range bomber wing on Guam and Japan, earning the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Metal.

In 1955 he met Barbara Hillick, the love of his life. They were married in 1957.

After the war, Mr. Charlton utilized the G.I. Bill to pursue a finance degree by taking night classes at Pace University and NYU Graduate School. He worked as a clerk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the day. In 1959 he took a job at Cowen & Company as an analyst/broker. He became a partner in 1966, working as a floor broker on the American Stock Exchange and eventually as a broker in the bond room of the New York Stock Exchange. He was running the firm’s high yield and convertible bond desk when listed option trading started on the American Stock Exchange in 1976. He went back to the AMEX floor to run the firm’s fledgling options specialist book. Cowen subsequently decided to exit the business giving Mr. Charlton the option to take it over which he did; founding Charlton Specialist Partners in 1976, one of the largest options specialists books on the floor. Firm growth was accomplished through acquisition and by the ability to handle large, unruly trading crowds which led to further product allocation. The firm prospered during the crash of 1987, enabling it to expand by acquiring an options specialist book on the New York Stock Exchange. It also set up trading operations on option exchanges in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.

Mr. Charlton believed that our political system, flawed by a lack of term limits and the socialism that was introduced in the early 1930’s would lead to political corruption and eventually result inunmanageable debt and currency debasement. With that in mind, he co-founded a COMEX member firm to trade gold and silver. In addition, he was a founding member of C&C Trading,LLC, a proprietary trading firm focused on ETF market making.

He was a summer resident of Nantucket and lived in Vero Beach in the winter. On Nantucket he was a Trustee of the Nantucket Atheneum, Treasurer/Trustee of the Sconset Beach PreservationFund and Treasurer/Trustee of the Sconset Trust. During his tenure at the Sconset Trust he wasable to guide it to positive returns during the financial crisis of 2008. He was also a lead fundraiser for the Sankaty Head Lighthouse relocation.

An avid golfer, he shot a 76 at age 84 beating his age by eight strokes. He was a member of Nantucket Golf Club, Sankaty Head Golf Club, Plainfield Country Club, Quail Valley and Orchid Island golf clubs. At Plainfield he scored a rare double, winning the mixed-doubles tennis championship with his wife, Barbara, and the member-guest golf tournament with one of his sons.

His wife, Barbara, of 55 years died in 2012. He leaves two sons; William III (Donna) of New Vernon, NJ, Matthew (Donna Rinaldo) of Bridgewater, NJ, two daughters; Elizabeth Whitworth and Amanda Charlton Cilo (Jason) both of Manhattan, six grandchildren; William IV (Stephanie), Vanessa, Matthew, Maria, Michael, and Elodie, one great-grandson William V, and a sister Roberta Smith of Scotch Plains, NJ.

Donations can be made in his name to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, NY.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.



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Brian Burns - Friend

November 28, 2022, 12:55 pm

William Charlton was one of the best Specialist’s on the Amex floor. He was bright, fair extremely good at running the EF HUTTON book on the Amex floor ! May he rest in peace and may he be playing some wonderful rounds of golf !

Jann Moylan

December 13, 2022, 2:54 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. What a kind man. I will miss seeing him walk around his street. Prayers to the family.

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