SEC Mourns Passing of Former Commissioner A. A. Sommer, Jr.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC, January 17, 2002 The Securities and Exchange Commission today released the following statement:
We are deeply saddened at the passing of former Commissioner A.A. Sommer, Jr.
Al Sommer was a giant. Sworn in on August 6, 1973, he served with Chairman Ray Garrett, Jr. and Commissioners Irv Pollack, John Evans and Philip Loomis. Extremely thoughtful, knowledgeable, and hard-working, Commissioner Sommer was instrumental in the SEC's decision to eliminate fixed commissions rates, one of the major events in securities regulation in the last 30 years.
But Al Sommer did more than bring investors competitive rates. He typified integrity. By word and example, he exhorted colleagues, and especially lawyers, to exercise sound professional judgment. After Al left the Commission in 1976, he continued to be influential as a leader of the securities bar. He was the person that the Commission and the public could always look to as the honest broker on any issue. For these reasons and others, Al was chosen to be Chairman of the Public Oversight Board for the accounting profession. Over the course of his illustrious career, he served in many other positions with unique verve and constant excellence.
Samuel Johnson once said of Edmund Burke that if a person should have no more exposure to Burke than sharing a shed with him to get out of the rain, he would afterwards say, "This is an extraordinary man." That is also an accurate description of Al Sommer. He was an extraordinary man.