Love to Fill a Doorway
When Steven M. Hagis Jr. was 2, the family pediatrician told his parents that if they doubled his height at the time ‹ 3 feet 4 inches ‹ they could figure out how tall he would eventually be. So they braced for a giant son. As it turned out, Mr. Hagis, who was 31 and a vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald, grew to 6 feet 10 inches.
Naturally, he was drawn to basketball ‹ and coaches were drawn to him. More than 60 colleges tried to recruit him, said his father, Steven Hagis, but he wound up at Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he and another very tall teammate were known as the "twin towers."
He seriously injured his knee during his sophomore year and stopped playing, focusing on a degree in finance. He wound up as a trader.
After graduating from college, Mr. Hagis met his wife, Gloria (she is 5 feet 3 inches tall), while he was working as a bouncer at a sports bar. As she was leaving, Mr. Hagis said, "Where are you going?" ‹ the first line in what became a three-hour conversation.
She interrupted the conversation about 90 minutes through, called her mother and said, "I'm going to marry this man," recalled Mrs. Hagis.
When she got home that night she told her mother that she had forgotten what he looked like, except that he was as tall as their front doorway. "Go stand in the doorway," her mother said.
So she did, and they both decided that she could live with a foot-and-a-half difference.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 30, 2001.