Bonds: Financial and Family
Tom Burke was the quintessential Wall Street man.
He broke into the bond business this way: It was 1985 and he was fresh out of Holy Cross. Nobody wanted him. Undeterred, he put on his suit every day and attended training courses at Liberty Brokerage ‹ uninvited. Impressed, the company hired him after three months.
Eventually, Mr. Burke, 38, became a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, heading the government bond desk. He lived with his wife and children in Bedford Hills, N.Y.
He had a big personality. He knew how to hold his drink and when to hold his cards. He was the kind of person you wanted to be seated next to at a dinner party.
That was the Wall Street man. There was also the private man.
"He was successful, but that's not what made him happiest," said his sister, Nancy Salter. "It was his family."
That was the part the young guns did not see, the part not learned in college. Tom Burke's mother always had a happy birthday. Tom Burke's family never wondered where Daddy was. Tom Burke's friends never lay sick, alone.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 31, 2001.