Bruce Wasserstein

Bruce Wasserstein, who died Oct. 14 at 61, was one of the giants of modern investment banking. Beginning in the early 1980s, Wasserstein's dealmaking acumen turned mergers and acquisitions, then a rarity, into a powerful tool of corporate strategy.

He was an unlikely combination: an intellectual Wall Streeter. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Wasserstein enrolled at Harvard Law School at 19 and worked with Ralph Nader's "Raiders" before becoming a corporate lawyer. But it was as a banker--at First Boston, then at the boutique firm he founded, Wasserstein Perella, and finally as CEO of Lazard--that he made his mark....

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