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John Gutfreund
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    (September 14, 1929-March 9, 2016)
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    Bond trader at Salomon Brothers
    Managing Partner at Salomon Brothers (1978-84)
    CEO of Salomon Brothers (1984-91)
    Featured prominently in the book ‘Liar’s Poker’
    Last name pronounced ‘good-friend’
    He got hired at Salomon Brothers partly because his father belonged to the same country club as Percy Salomon, one of the founding brothers.
    He smoked cigars.
    He spoke with an affected British accent.
    For his 60th birthday party, his wife bought two seats on the Concorde to fly a baker and the birthday cake to Paris.
    After discovering that a Salomon Brothers’ trader had violated US Treasury regulations controlling bond purchases, he failed to inform the feds for four months.
    As a result, he was forced out with Warren Buffett replacing him as interim CEO.
    In settling government charges against him, he paid a $100,000 fine and agreed to never run a securities firm again.
    He spent $5 million in legal fees demanding that Salomon Brothers pay him $15 million in options and pension benefits.
    He rejected an settlement offer from Salomon Brothers of $8.5 million
    An arbitration panel awarded him nothing, ruling that he had deceived the company’s board of directors and thus had been legitimately fired with cause.
    He complained to ‘Liar’s Poker’ author Michael Lewis, ‘Your fucking book destroyed my career and it made yours.’
    He served with the Army in the Korean War.
    Under his guidance, Salomon Brothers became the leading dealer in Treasury bonds and one of Wall Street’s largest securities firms.
    He was dubbed ‘the King of Wall Street’ by Business Week.
    He was honored by the United Jewish Appeal for his charitable contributions.
    He occasionally prepared meals and washed dishes at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

Credit: C. Fishel

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