John Ellis, American school system administrator, writer. Recipient Massillon Young Man of Year award, 1965; named to Saturday Review Honor Roll, 1977. Elder local Presbyterian Church With United States Air Force, 1947-1949, 54-57. Member Rotary, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta Pi, Gamma Theta Upsilon.
Gutfreund grew up in a Jewish family in Scarsdale, a suburb of New York City. His father, Manuel Gutfreund, was the owner of a prosperous trucking company. His father belonged to the Century Country Club in Purchase, New York (which was at the time a center for the German Jewish establishment) where he often golfed with William (Billy) Salomon, the son of Percy Salomon, one of the three founding brothers of Salomon Brothers.
Bachelor of Science, Bowling Green State University, 1953. Master of Arts, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, 1958. Doctor of Education, Harvard University, 1964.
He was the CEO of Salomon Brothers Inc, an investment bank that gained notoriety in the 1980s. Gutfreund turned Salomon Brothers from a private partnership into a publicly traded corporation which started a trend in Wall Street for investment companies to go public. He became an icon for the excess that defined the 1980s culture in America.
In 1985, Business Week gave him the nickname "King of Wall Street". He considered teaching literature but instead joined the Army. In 1953, he was discharged.
At Billy Salomon's invitation, the young Gutfreund joined Salomon Brothers as a trainee in the statistical department. After several months, Gutfreund became a clerk in the municipal bond department, eventually becoming a trader. He rose quickly through the company and became a full partner at the age of thirty four.
In 1978, Billy Salomon named Gutfreund to succeed him as head of the firm, becoming the highest paid Wall Street executive at the time. When Gutfreund was CEO of Salomon Brothers, a major scandal took place regarding the way Treasury bond trading was done by Salomon. Paul Mozer, head of the Government Bond desk, was submitting bids in excess of what was allowed by the Treasury rules.
When this was discovered and brought to the attention of Gutfreund, he did not immediately suspend Mr. Mozer. The exposure of Mr. Mozer's repeated violations of U.S. government bond auction rules resulted in a significant scandal during which regulators and some politicians called on the firm to be stripped of its Primary Dealer status.
This action would have threatened the survival of the firm, then the largest participant in the U.S. government and mortgage bond trading markets. Warren Buffett, who through Berkshire Hathaway had recently acquired a $900 million preferred equity position in Salomon, actively intervened to protect his investment, including briefly serving as CEO of Salomon Brothers. As a result of the scandal, Gutfreund and other senior managers of Salomon were forced to resign in 1991.
He was also President of Gutfreund & Company, a New York-based financial consulting firm that specialized in advising corporations and financial institutions in the US, Europe and Asia. Gutfreund was featured prominently in the 1989 book Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis, a former employee of Salomon. Gutfreund would later tell Lewis that "Your fucking book destroyed my career, and it made yours."\r\nThe UJA-Federation of New York honored him for his charitable activities and contributions.
Author: Bonville Search, 2006.
Elder local Presbyterian Church With United States Air Force, 1947-1949, 54-57. Member Rotary, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta Pi, Gamma Theta Upsilon.
Married Carolyn Elizabeth Collier, December 29, 1951. Children: Linda Ellis Wieand, Jeanine Ellis Klausing, Jeanette Ellis Hale, John Edward.