Longtime Northern California racing steward Charlie Dougherty died March 25 at his home in Burlingame, Calif., because of congestive heart failure. He was 85.
Dougherty was a steward at all the major Northern California meetings from 1973-91. In all, Dougherty was involved in racing for 59 years--46 years as an official and 13 years as an owner.
Born in San Francisco, Dougherty attended Bay Meadows when the track opened in 1934. He served in the U.S. Navy before attending the University of Oregon. He got his start in racing in 1946 at Portland Meadows working in the racing office.
Dougherty first worked as a steward at Centennial Race Track in Colorado in 1954. His first steward job in California came at Ferndale in 1957. Dougherty became a full time steward in 1978.
Dougherty's survivors include a son, Charlie Dougherty Jr., and daughters Marilyn and Joan. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, c/o Chaplain David Corrales, 1725 Maryland St., Redwood City, CA, 94061, or to the Bronco Bench Foundation, c/o Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, 95053.