George Patrick McLaughlin

World Trade Center

Psst, It's a Secret

George Patrick McLaughlin grew up as the middle child and only boy among four sisters. He was the peacemaker, the practical joker, the one who could never keep a secret. "Mom, I'm not supposed to tell you this," he would say if a surprise party was being planned. "But we're having a birthday cake."

His college major was girls, said his mother, Dorothy McLaughlin. When he had a graduation party in Ocean City, N.J., where the family goes for the summer, a family friend remarked that he had never seen such a mixed group, all getting along. "He's the core of many of his friends," Mrs. McLaughlin said. "He likes to keep people happy."

Last Sunday, Mr. McLaughlin, 36, and his sisters celebrated their parents' 40th anniversary by going to Mass in Somers, N.J., where they were married. Afterward, Mrs. McLaughlin remembered, "His father told him he should get a girl like me. And I told him he always had one. He looked at me and said, 'What do you mean?' And I said, 'You've got me.' And he smiled and hugged me. And he went home."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 16, 2001.

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