Business & Finance: Never Say Die

On a winter night in Chicago, twelve years ago, the charred and battered body of Oilman Paul Ryan was pulled from the wreckage of an airliner. His skull and pelvis were fractured, his legs were shredded, the muscles of his eyes and ears were torn. His left hand was nearly ripped off, and his bladder was ruptured. Even when he surprised the doctors by living on and finally walking again, insurance companies listed him as 100% disabled.

In Manhattan last week, the 100% disability proved that he is still a good risk. Paul Ryan, 52, was ready to build the longest (1,605...

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