Larger Than Life
At 6 feet 7 inches tall, Francis Henry Brennan could fill any room. But it was not just his stature that set him apart. He was good-natured, funny and generous.
The oldest of six children, he was larger than life to his younger brothers, said one of them, Brian. He had a soft hook shot that catapulted him to a starring role on the St. Agnes High School basketball team in Rockville Centre, N.Y., in the late 1960's. Teammates nicknamed him Zelmo, for Zelmo Beatty, a popular basketball player of that era, Brian Brennan remembered.
Mr. Brennan, 50, who lived in Oak Beach, N.Y., with his wife, was a senior vice president and limited partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was a government securities broker for about 10 years. Before that, he owned several nightclubs on Long Island, among them Solomon Grundy's in Bay Shore.
Of all his successes, he was most proud of his affiliation with the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, an organization headed by Rusty Staub, the former Mets player and a longtime friend. The night before the attacks, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Staub met to review plans for a November benefit for the wives and children of dead firefighters and police officers.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 7, 2001.