COOK--Karen. Wall Street pioneer Karen Strauss Cook passed away peacefully at her home in New York on Wednesday morning, October 2, 2013. She was 61. Karen was born April 7, 1952 in Yonkers, New York to Anthony J. Strauss and Marion Hanney Strauss. Karen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Wheaton College in 1974. She received an MBA in 1979 from New York University, which she attended at night while working full-time at Goldman Sachs & Co. Karen's career in securities and investments spanned more than three decades. From 1975 until 1988, she worked as a trader in the Equities Division at Goldman Sachs & Co. Karen was the first woman hired in that division and the third female finance professional at Goldman Sachs. Beginning in 1995, Karen served as Chief Investment Officer at Steinhardt Partners where she managed their fund of funds. She retired in 2008. At Goldman Sachs, Karen was influential in developing new policies that would address family issues for working mothers. She also co-founded AlternaTrak, an executive placement firm for female finance professionals who sought part-time employment while caring for their families. Karen mentored countless young women through the 100 Women In Hedge Funds organization, from which she will receive the 2013 Leadership Award. Karen was actively involved in charitable organizations, serving on a number of Boards. She chaired the Investment Committees at the International Rescue Committee, The LiveStrong Foundation and Wheaton College. She was also a Board Member of The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. Karen was happily married to Everett R. Cook II for 33 years with whom she raised her two sons, Everett R. Cook III and Conor W. Cook, both of New York City. Karen most enjoyed spending time with her family in Millbrook, working in her garden, playing tennis and golf with friends, and adventuring abroad. In 2008, Karen was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare neurodegenerative disease. The Cook family would like to express their most sincere gratitude to all their friends and caregivers who supported Karen through her illness. Your gifts, thoughts, prayers, and time have been so deeply appreciated. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the CurePSP Foundation in memory of Karen Cook at: http://www.psp.org/donate/ A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Monday, October 7, 2013 at St. James Church at 865 Madison Avenue in New York.
Published in The New York Times on Oct. 6, 2013