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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bruce Wasserstein’s Westport Connection

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When he died suddenly on Wednesday at the age of 61, Bruce Wasserstein was best known for being the legendary Wall Street dealmaker. But according to Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff, his secret passion was Image
Bruce Wasserstein (l) and Gordon F. Joseloff: high school journalists. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“He had the bug early on,” said Joseloff, who went to high school with Wasserstein in the 1960s at the private McBurney School on Manhattan’s West Side.

“Bruce was an assistant editor at The McBurneian, our high school newspaper,” said Joseloff, who was the newspaper’s editor in chief. “He clearly became intrigued with newspapers and journalism at an early age.”

Joseloff, who grew up in Westport but moved to New York when his parents divorced in the sixth grade—while spending summers in Westport with his father—said he did not have much contact with Wasserstein after high school. Except for one time.

“I was the CBS News correspondent in Tokyo in the 1980s,” Joseloff said. “Bruce was in town and by that time was the billionaire dealmaker. Still we enjoyed a dinner together.

“I remember Bruce telling me about his career and clearly envying mine as a foreign correspondent. At one point he said to me: ‘Gordon, I made more money—but you had more fun.’”

Wasserstein, chief executive officer of Lazard Ltd., the 120-year-old investment firm, at his death still retained interests in the media. His media properties included New York magazine and financial publication The Deal.

Posted 10/15/09 at 11:49 AM


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