Making Sense of Life
The Friday before the World Trade Center attack, John Patrick Gallagher, an electricity trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, played hooky from work so he could treat his wife, Francine, and 2- month-old son, James Jordan, to a day at the Bronx Zoo.
"He was so proud of his big boy," recalled Mrs. Gallagher. Later that evening, at dinner with his brother and friends, he told them about the jaunt. "Isn't that what dads are supposed to do with their families on a beautiful September day?" he asked.
Mr. Gallagher, 31, stood 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed around 270 pounds, but he had an extraordinary grace about him, his wife said. He never took anything for granted, perhaps because he lost his mother when he was 1 and his father six years later. He was born in the Bronx but he and his wife loved to travel. In 1999, Mr. Gallagher asked his future wife to marry him on a trip to Ireland. "He made my life make sense," Mrs. Gallagher said. "It's hard to make sense of things now that he's gone."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 31, 2001.