An Inquisitive Mechanic
John A. Cooper Jr. was only 5 when he started removing the backs of the transistor radios in the apartment in Williamsburg with a screwdriver. He was looking for something. "He wanted to see where the man was talking from," said his mother, Clowdia Cooper, "and he'd put it back together but it wouldn't work then. And the clocks!"
Mr. Cooper, 40, grew up an avid athlete, playing football around Brooklyn. He met Cathy DeCicco in the late 1980's, when they worked for the same company. Their first date was in the rowdy section of a New York Rangers' hockey game at Madison Square Garden, where he had season tickets.
By the time they married in 1993, she was also hooked on the Rangers. She had a son, Jeffrey, three days after going to a game; another son, Adam, followed in June 2001. Mr. Cooper worked for SunGard Trading Systems in Jersey City. He sold computer software, and was visiting Sandler O'Neill in 1 World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Lately, little Jeffrey has been tinkering with the radios around his family's Bayonne home.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 10, 2002.