Stanley M. Gortikov, president of the Recording Industry Assn. of America for 16 years, died of natural causes June 24 in Los Angeles. He was 85.
Before heading the RIAA, Gortikov was an exec at Capitol Records, where he oversaw the recording careers of the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and the Beach Boys.
Gortikov was a member of the board of directors of the Black Music Assn. While at RIAA, he spearheaded early efforts to promote African-Americans, who were dramatically underrepresented in executive positions in record companies, to positions of authority in the industry.
After serving as prexy of the RIAA, he was chairman for two years.
A Los Angeles native, Gortikov graduated from USC and then served in World War II.
Before entering the record industry, he worked in advertising as a copywriter and executive.
Upon his retirement in 1991, he served as a volunteer with the Executive Service Corps.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, three children, two stepchildren and seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren.