Competitive and Gentle
Michael P. LaForte had an algebra grade on the cusp of C and B at Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey two decades ago. The teacher, who was also his golf coach, gave him a C. He was upset, but days later they were out together on the course again. Competitive yet easygoing: he always seemed to find the right balance.
Mr. LaForte's competitive spirit came out at Syracuse University, where he graduated in 1984; in his five years as a Marine Corps artillery officer; in a dozen years as a broker at Cantor Fitzgerald; and in his tenacious golf game.
His gentle, easygoing side was more apparent in his relationships with his deaf parents, Samuel and Nancy, who raised him with sign language, and his wife, Frances, and children, Andrea, 5, and Raymond, 4, who often went fishing with him on weekends.
Mr. LaForte turned 39 on Sept. 11. He usually took off on his birthday, but this year was at his desk on the 105th floor of the north tower. He had planned to leave early for Holmdel, N.J., and spend the evening with his children and pregnant wife. His third child, a son born on Nov. 14, was named Michael Patrick LaForte Jr.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 27, 2001.