Graduate, Academy World Trade, Vienna, 1925. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics and Finance, University Neuchatel, Switzerland, 1929.
In 1939 he came to New York to open Deak & Company, a foreign exchange business. During World World War II he worked for the Office of Strategic Services, serving in Egypt, Burma, Thailand and Malaya. In 1946 he returned to New York and resumed his business, subsequently acquiring Perera United States., Incorporated.
His business expanded into banking and dealing in gold coins and bullion.
His worldwide financial group, spanning both legitimate enterprises and fronts for Central Intelligence Agency operations, was shaken in the late "70s and early "80s by multiple scandals involving money laundering and criminal connections. In 1984, Deak & Company faced allegations from the President"s Commission on Organized Crime that they laundered money for Latin American drug traffickers, facilitated the Lockheed bribery scandals, and smuggled currency from the Philippines.
As a result, Deak & Company declared bankruptcy in December 1984 in order to reorganize. In 1985, the company was purchased by a Singapore lawyer for $52 million — the most valued asset was Deak"s Swiss bank.
In 1986, the foreign exchange and gold business was sold to Australia"s Martin Properties Limited.
(later renamed Deak Morgan) for $12 million. In the following year, the company was transferred to New Zealand based NZI and expanded its gold coin dealerships by one-third. At the same time, Deak Investor Services, Incorporated. changed its name to Deak International Goldline Limited.
On November 18, 1985, a mentally unstable and homeless woman, Lois Language, entered Deak"s office and shot and killed both Deak and his receptionist.
Language was arrested and tried in court.
She had claimed that she was a part owner of Deak & Company and said that she had suffered some injustice from the company. She was initially institutionalized at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center, but later sent to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.
Because of Deak"s work for the intelligence community and the company"s involvement with money laundering, some theories have been suggested that he was targeted for assassination.
Board directors American-Hungarian Foundation, Portuguese American Society Served to major Army of the United States, 1942-1946. Member American Bankers Association (chairman international commercial lending division 1974-1976), American Association of University Professors, New York City of C. and Industry (chairman export finance committee), British-American (former director), Danish chambers commerce, American Portuguese Cultural Society, Newcomen Society North America, Economic Research Round Table, Veterans of Office of Strategic Services (president 1974-1975) Clubs: Downtown Athletic (New York City), New York Athletic (New York City). Westchester Country, Touring de France (United States delegate).
Married Liselotte Maria Potter, December 21, 1939. 1 son, Robert Leslie.