Brian Thomas Cummins, 38, of Manasquan, New Jersey, was an equity market maker and partner with Cantor Fitzgerald who worked on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. He was born on January 6th, 1963, in Somerville, New Jersey, the fourth son of 6 boys. We grew up in Belle Mead, New Jersey, a small town outside of Princeton, New Jersey. We had a remarkably close family and as brothers we still remain the closest friends, speaking with each other every day and seeing each other almost weekly.
Brian was truly a unique individual – everyone who met him was impacted by him. You knew when you met him that he was not the average guy on the street. From the time he was little, he showed a remarkable talent in school and in the way he absorbed everything around him. He was a natural math whiz. He won state math awards starting in 5th grade. He had sharp, quick, alert eyes that took you in with every conversation. He could immediately grasp situations for what they were. He had fun.
He went on to college at the University of Colorado, and then on to Rutgers for his MBA. He surfed, loved skiing, and loved going out. He always showed up to work early or on time though. He worked harder than most people ever will and earned every success the hard way. He was committed to whatever he got involved in. After college and during grad school, he started a highly successful waterfront seafood restaurant, which he gave up after his MBA was earned to go on to start as an assistant for DLJ.
He worked on the floor of the NYSE before moving on to Cantor Fitzgerald in 1993, where he survived the first terrorist attack. He started as an assistant trader and earned his way up the ladder, becoming an equity market maker and partner at the firm. His colleagues and bosses would all probably say the same thing about Brian – he was driven to succeed. I believe he enjoyed the process of accomplishing and shunned the idea of his own success and replaced it with the desire to do better. He was one of the sharpest guys I've ever met. He prodded and pushed you to do well and was the first to help you out the second you needed it. He was my big brother. Some people might say he burnt the candle at both ends – and we're glad he did.
He was a Roman Catholic and believed in God. He worked on the 104th floor of World Trade Center No. 1. Firemen recovered his body on October 30, 2001, and he was buried at Madonna Cemetery in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Saturday, November 3, 2001, next to his brother Patrick. He is survived by his parents, Martin & Maureen Cummins of Manasquan; his four brothers and their wives, Martin and Karen Cummins, Michael and Catherine Cummins, John and Kathleen Cummins, and Brendan and Kathleen Cummins; as well as nine nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers, checks can be sent to the Brian Cummins Memorial Scholarship for the Blind, c/o Brendan Cummins, 6 Ferris Drive, Old Greenwich, CT 06870.
Tribute submitted by Brendan Cummins.
A Math Whiz Early On
Brian Thomas Cummins was the fourth of six boys who remained close all their lives. His four surviving brothers are married but Brian was not. He was a surfer, skier and he loved to go out.
"Some people might say he burnt the candle at both ends — and we're glad he did," said his brother Brendan.
Mr. Cummins, 38, who lived in Manasquan, N.J., was a market maker and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was born in New Jersey and was known as a math whiz, winning state prizes beginning in the fifth grade. He attended the University of Colorado and then started a seafood restaurant, the Lobster Trap, in Belmar, N.J.
After he got his M.B.A. from Rutgers, he gave up the restaurant and went to Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Then he joined Cantor Fitzgerald, where he started as an assistant trader.
"His colleagues and bosses would all probably say the same thing about Brian — he was driven to succeed," his brother Brendan said. "I believe he enjoyed the process of accomplishing and shunned the idea of his own success and replaced it with the desire to do better. He was one of the sharpest guys I've ever met."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 1, 2001.