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Remembering Raymond K. Mason

Smith Hulsey & Busey honors the memory of Jacksonville business icon, friend and client of the firm, Raymond Knight Mason, who passed away this month at age 92. Mason founded The Charter Company, one of the most significant corporations in Jacksonville history, and became a national and international figure in the corporate world.

Charter was a springboard for many prominent Jacksonville business people, including Jim Winston, Jack Uible, Russell Newton, Bruce Bower, Howard Serkin and Steve Wilson, among others. Smith Hulsey & Busey was the general counsel for Charter, and the company was instrumental in the development of Smith Hulsey’s national and international practice.

Mason built The Charter Company from a small mortgage company into a diversified Fortune 500 company from 1974 to 1985 with acquisitions in the oil and gas, insurance and communications businesses. At its peak in 1984, Charter had more than 180 subsidiaries and was 61 st on Fortune’s list of the 100 largest companies in the United States.

Mason and his wife hosted leading public figures at his former home in Epping Forest, including President Gerald Ford, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, the Shah of Iran, Bob Hope and Andy Warhol.

“We are indebted to Raymond for his lasting contributions to the Jacksonville business community,” said firm chairman Steve Busey. “He made an indelible mark that will be evident for generations to come, and his presence is missed. We offer our deep condolences to his family.”

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