Craig Staub came from humble beginnings and worked his way all the way up by himself. He was always very disciplined and motivated. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and Boston University on scholarship, where he graduated summa cum laude. Then, he worked 14-hour days, constantly setting goals for himself and reaching them. At 30, he had accomplished so much more than even he had expected.
In a very short period of time, he learned and became respected in some very difficult financial areas (like arbitrage and asset management). He became a senior vice president for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, Inc. and was responsible for investing the company's money.
He did a lot of analysis in his investing. He worked for a hedge fund for 4 years so he had worked both on the buy side and sell side and used all of that knowledge to make the best decisions possible. He never jumped into any investment. He was thoroughly prepped on it first. He was also not out for himself alone. He wanted the firm to do well. If the firm did well, then he did well, so he would share his information with others, which in the financial world was quite rare! He was eventually asked by the company to do live interviews every Tuesday and Thursday mornings for WebFN. He gave financial sector updates and his last interview was Tuesday morning at 8:35 am on September 11th.
Craig was a very private person. He never let anyone, but me, see him upset. He was fun-loving Craig for everyone else all of the time. He made everyone feel comfortable immediately upon meeting him. He could meet you on any level. Everyone loved him and wanted to spend time with him. He had a zillion friends. Everyone came to him for advice--friends, family and associates. Always surrounded by people...the center of attention at all times. Many couldn't make it to his memorial and yet there were still over 500 people in attendance. One friend, a lawyer, compared him to Warren Buffet, which to Craig would be the highest compliment.
He was so loving. In the winter, he knew how cold I would get at night so he would lay on my side of the bed and warm it up before I got in. Then, he would hug me really tight until I was warm!
When Craig was young he loved to be a jokester and he never quite grew out of that stage. But he never let his play get in the way of top grades in school. Learning was always most important. As a child he loved sports, karate, difficult mind games and puzzles, and spending time with his friends. Those same friends are still around today. His friendships were strong and long lasting. His best friend Adrian has been by his side since they were five years old.
Everyone knew that not only did he work hard but he played hard too! His personal time was his de-stress time! He loved to LAUGH (his laugh was famous among all our friends and family – he would throw his head way back), karaoke in our home and make everyone karaoke with him, dance, drink wine and Jack Daniels, play golf, play video games, cook, go out to dinner at different restaurants alone or with our many friends, host parties, travel all over Europe, etc. He lived life to the fullest. He had no regrets.
Even though he lived in the city all his life, he loved to be outdoors. Since we moved into our new house, he sat in our backyard reading all of the time. He was so excited to own land and have a yard.
We traveled all over the world all of the time. Craig loved to visit new places. We traveled to Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Greece, Hawaii, many Carribbean islands by land and sea, and all around the United States. Older married couples have commented that we packed more into 7 years than they had in more than 20.
He was CONSTANTLY reading (Fortune, Barrons, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal plus Greek mythology, astrology, etc.) He loved to learn new things, and therefore, always had new hobbies he created for himself (i.e. telescope, Nintendo, computers, making videos).
We built our house from scratch, and he videotaped the entire building process. He was excited to own something so beautiful. It showed himself all that he had accomplished so early in his life. We wanted to buy a house we could fit our whole family in. We were planning on having 3 or 4 kids.
He was just starting to learn how to build and fix things and my father was teaching him. Every time Craig did something in the house (hang something or fix something), he was so proud of himself! He showed everyone what he had accomplished when they came to visit. He loved to be involved with everything. He helped pick out every piece of furniture and accessory in the entire house. We even bickered over the kitchen garbage can! I loved that he was so involved in our life.
Craig was very excited to be a father. He was all ready with our camcorder and digital camera. We designed the baby's room together and picked out the names. We read our baby book every night before we went to bed. It was a day-to-day guide to your baby's development in utero; bonding for us and the baby.
Juliette Craig W. Staub came into this world on Craig’s birthday, September 22. She looks just like him – gorgeous blue eyes, perfect nose, fair complexion, and beautiful lips. It warms my heart to look at her and see Craig, looking back at me. And when she came into this world on his birthday, I knew that it was meant to always be a happy day, a special day. On that day, it will be a celebration of her life and of Craig's life – always.
Though I don't know what those last moments were like for Craig, I can only imagine from what I know about him that he was not only trying to get home to his family but helping others to get home, too. In 1993, when the World Trade Center was bombed, he was helping everyone in his company rip shirts to wet and hold over their mouths and stuffing towels by the doors to stop smoke from coming in. He was always helpful to everyone, respectful, polite, and kind. God only takes the best. And that he was.
Tribute submitted by Stacey Staub.