A Knack for Languages
Victor Wald performed ably as a stockbroker, his wife, Rebecca, recalled, but he seemed miscast in the role. "I think he missed his calling," she said. "If he had to do his life over again, he would not be a stockbroker. He would have an academic job."
Long bedridden with rheumatic fever as a child, Mr. Wald came to love reading and books. His Upper West Side apartment was stuffed with them, Mrs. Wald said, especially histories and Judaica. He had an uncanny mastery of foreign languages, opera librettos, sports statistics. After college, he tried to write a book about religion.
"He really had a passion for the Jewish religion," Mrs. Wald said. "He knew more than the rabbis did."
But there were two young daughters to raise, and so, to Wall Street. In 1992, Mr. Wald helped found a specialty investment bank, which later closed. Late in August, he took a job at Avalon Partners, which had just moved to new offices on the north tower's 84th floor. "He was working out of home for a while," Mrs. Wald said. "I said, 'Go! Go to your office. You'll get more done there.' "
He was buried on Nov. 23, what would have been his 50th birthday.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 28, 2001.