David S. Berry

David S. Berry
World Trade Center

A High Form of Wisdom

David S. Berry's three sons, Nile, 9, Reed, 7, and Alex, 5, have clear memories of basking in their father's full attention. When it was raining recently, Alex pointed to the water running down the gutters in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where the family lives, and said to his mother, Paula Berry, "Remember when we came home from the play and Daddy made those boats and floated them down the river?"

On another rainy day, Mr. Berry, 43, the director of research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, was playing with the boys at the family's summer house.

"It was raining stunningly hard, and all the kids, of course, were running around the house naked," Mrs. Berry said. "David was running with them. Water was just coming down in buckets, and they remembered how it was coming down the gutter, like a faucet. David was putting his head into the gutter."

"In playing with the children, there was no distraction," she said. "He was nowhere but right there in the moment, right there. He knew where to put his energy, and that's a form of wisdom."

"It was so elegant for him, like a fine math proof, simple and just right there, and very clear."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 27, 2002.

September 21, 2001

David S. Berry, Popular Financial Analyst, Is Dead at 43


David S. Berry, a financial analyst who helped explain the complexities of banking and finance to the public, died on Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center. He was 43 years old and lived in Brooklyn.

Mr. Berry was executive vice president and director for research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a brokerage firm that specializes in banking and financial services. It had offices on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center, the south tower.

In the moments after a hijacked airliner hit 1 World Trade Center, Mr. Berry called his mother, his father and his wife to tell them that he had not been hurt, said his mother, Nancy M. Berry. Then a hijacked jetliner hit his building. He was not heard from again.

As an expert in banking and finance, Mr. Berry was often called upon by news organizations, which relied on him for pithy assessments of market trends and developments that were free of the jargon and arcana of the business world.

In an article in The New York Times in October on the dot-com shakeout, he was quoted as saying that profitable businesses would emerge from the burst bubble of the new economy. "The technology is real," he said, "and it is having a real impact — but whether it will be wielded by start-ups with funny names is another question."

David Shelby Berry was born on May 31, 1958, in Oklahoma City and graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and physics. He also studied at the London School of Economics. Since joining Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in 1986, he rose to become a director and a member of the operating committee.

In addition to his mother, Nancy, of New York, Mr. Berry is survived by his wife, Paula Grant, an executive of Scholastic Inc.; three sons, Nile Philip, Reed Nicholas and Alexander Ashton; a father, Charles N. Berry Jr. of Oklahoma City; and two brothers, C. Nelson Berry III of Seattle and Michaels C. Berry of Bainbridge, Wash.

Editorial Obituary published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 21, 2001.

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