The Internet Is Calling

Web phone service is exploding. And maverick Jeffrey Citron lit the industry's fuse

Jeffrey Citron might have been prewired to be a telecom mogul. In 1987 he was a know-it-all high school kid in Staten Island, N.Y., restless and bored with his classes, when an economics teacher organized a stock-picking game. Citron was soon hooked. Just after the market crash of 1987, he bought stock in phone upstart MCI at a few dollars a share. It soared. "I don't know if I was smart or I got lucky, but it was one of the few stocks I picked that brought a profit," Citron recalls. After finishing high school, he skipped college and headed straight...

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