CHICAGO (AP) _ Richard W. Simmons, former chairman of the Midwest Stock Exchange and a founding partner in the Chicago investment firm Blunt, Ellis & Simmons, is dead at 84.

Simmons, who was chairman of the Midwest exchange in 1969 and 1970, died Tuesday at suburban Lake Forest Hospital of undisclosed causes.

The prestige of the Midwest Stock Exchange during Simmons' term as chairman is underscored by the fact that a seat at the Chicago market sold for $70,000 then, a price that was not exceeded until 1987, a staff member said.

A St. Louis native and graduate of Yale University, Simmons co-founded his investment and brokerage firm in 1948. It is now known as Blunt, Ellis & Loewi.

Simmons, of suburban Lake Bluff, is survived by his wife, Charlotte; a sister; two daughters; two stepsons; a stepdaughter; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.