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|Subject: David Granger, Held Seat on Stock Exchange|
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Date Posted: September 29, 2002 11:32:11 EDT
David Granger, who acquired a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1926 and occupied it for the next three-quarters of a century, died Friday at the Mary Manning Walsh Home in Manhattan. He was 99 years old.
Dapper in a suit and tie nearly every day of his adult life, he was active on the exchange for more years than anyone else in the Big Board's history, a spokesman said. He arrived at a time when the market was booming, witnessed Black Tuesday and the start of the Great Depression (he would later describe the atmosphere as "funereal"), and watched the market clamber back to new highs in the years that followed.
He was badly injured when a terrorist group set off a bomb at Fraunces Tavern in 1975; he had been having lunch with a friend at the Anglers' Club of New York upstairs. But he remained committed to the city, helping to raise money for various programs and serving on the board of the Museum of the City of New York and as a trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He believed fervently in the importance of markets, but was horrified, in recent years, to see the kind of greed and fraud that unfolded.
"David was an institution within this institution," Richard A. Grasso, the chairman of the exchange, said in a statement.
A graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale, Mr. Granger arrived on Wall Street when he was 23 years old. He had spent the previous year studying in England at Christ's College, Cambridge, attending the University of Caen during the summer and developing what would be a lifelong affection for France.
He joined his father's firm, Sulzbacher, Granger & Company, which later became Granger & Company and is now part of Ingalls & Snyder. For years his office stood at the top of Wall Street, looking down over Trinity Church. He was drawn to history, reading endlessly about England and France as well as the Civil War and other events in American history, said his son, David Mason Granger. And he was a sturdy optimist, always believing that things — in the world, and on the stock exchange — would get better.
He did well as a conservative investor, moving to Park Avenue before long, and spent $143,000 on his exchange seat, newspapers reported at the time. He joined the Union Club, the Knickerbocker Club and the Century Association.
He was a member of the four-man American bobsled team that brought home a silver medal from the 1928 Olympics at St. Moritz, Switzerland. He also served in the United States Army during World War II, retiring as a major when the war ended. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for helping to supply war planes to Britain, and became a director of the English-Speaking Union, which awards scholarships and sponsors educational programs worldwide.
In his nineties, he still dressed in business attire to go to the office. "He had the same expectation of himself that he always did," David Mason Granger said. "He was a remarkable individual in that he could take joy in any experience that he had."
A bachelor for years, he married in 1950. In addition to his son, of New Orleans, he is survived by his wife, Lee Mason Granger of New York; a stepson, Thomas Clyde; and three step-grandchildren.
Two years ago, his flagging health forced him to stop going to work. But he had already made his way into the record books. "To have been on the stock exchange as long as he was is testament to the fact that he never gave in, and never gave up," his son said.
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