Matthew Burke, 28, was an assistant equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. He was a graduate of Xavier High School in Manhattan and Fordham University. Matt resided in Manhattan and spent much of his time with family and friends in Breezy Point, New York.
Matt is survived by his parents, John ("Jay") and Alice; his older brothers, John and Paul; his older sister, Alicia; his younger sister, Anne Marie; his younger brothers, Kevin and Terrence; his girlfriend, Kara Maurer; and countless friends.
At Xavier, he played rugby and was the starting quarterback of the school's football team in 1991. According to friends, Matt threw the most touchdown passes in the city that year, a feat matched by the number of interceptions he threw.
At Fordham University, Matt supplemented his studies by tending bar. After graduation, he continued to tend bar in New York City at Sutton Place, Rathbone's, and other establishments.
"When Matt was behind the bar, he had a way of picking up the energy level of the whole place," said John Henley. "He was always in a good mood and had a way of making sure that you were too."
Matt had an outgoing personality, contagious energy and an upbeat attitude that earned him many friends. He did not lose touch with old friends from high school and college but continued to add those he met at work or elsewhere to his ever-expanding group of friends. He was always looking for opportunities to bring his friends together.
"Matt looked for opportunities to get together with friends for a drink, a meal or a party," said Henley. "Once you were together, you had no choice but to have a good time. Matt didn't do anything halfway and wouldn't tolerate anything less than full participation in the celebration at hand."
Matt had been with Cantor Fitzgerald since 1996, working in offices in New York, Connecticut and California.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, September 29, at St. Thomas More Church, 20425 Rockaway Point Boulevard, Breezy Point, New York 11697.
Life Story from Legacy.com
Man With Connections
A Matthew Burke was the kind of bartender who sensed the mood in the room, grabbed hold of it, then dialed up the energy level until everyone was part of the party. His memory for customers' names was encyclopedic, but no matter how crowded the bar and no matter how frenzied he was, he would always aim a smile toward the customers he did not know.
A blond 6-footer, he regaled patrons with sports lore and tales of his career as a quarterback at Xavier High School in Manhattan, "when he threw the most touchdowns in the league that year, and also threw the most interceptions," said a friend, Brendan McCormick.
Mr. Burke worked at the Lantern, at Rathbone's, at Sutton Place and other bars, and his tips went toward paying for his degree at Fordham University. "It was so natural, then, for him to become a broker, because he had so many connections and he made people feel good about themselves," Mr. McCormick said. And that is why, on the morning of Sept. 11, at the age of 28, Mr. Burke was working hard at Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 104th floor of 1 World Trade Center.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 27, 2001.