Ex-Wrestler/Morgan Stanley CEO Richard Fisher Dead at 68


Richard Fisher, 68, Chairman of Morgan Stanley in 1990’s
Published: December 17, 2004

Richard B. Fisher, a former chairman of the Morgan Stanley investment
bank, died yesterday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in
Manhattan. He was 68 and had homes in Manhattan and Waccabuc, N.Y.

The cause was complications of prostate cancer, his brother, David W.
Fisher, said.

Mr. Fisher was chairman of Morgan Stanley, which now has 51,000
employees in 600 offices around the world, for the six years ended in
1997. Before that, he was president for seven years.

As chairman, Mr. Fisher helped negotiate the $10.9 billion merger in
early 1997 that combined Morgan Stanley, then an elite investment firm
dealing mainly with institutions and major corporations, with Dean
Witter, Discover & Company, which had made its name selling stocks and
bonds to small investors.

He stepped down as chairman as the merger was completed in May 1997 and
increasingly devoted himself to the arts and education.

In 2000, Mr. Fisher gave $25 million to Bard College, a private liberal
arts in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., 90 miles north of New York City, to
help build a performing arts center. The structure, which bears his
name, was designed by Frank Gehry. In October, he and his wife, Jeanne
Donovan Fisher, gave $10 million to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

At his death, Mr. Fisher was chairman of the boards of Bard,
Rockefeller University and the Urban Institute and chairman of the
endowment trust of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Mr. Fisher was born in Philadelphia on July 21, 1936, the first of two
sons of an adhesives salesman for what is now the 3M Corporation. When
he was 8 he contracted polio; he used crutches for some years and
walked with a cane the rest of his life. He loved sports and won a spot
on the wrestling team of the William Penn Charter School, which he
attended on a scholarship. He was also a golfer.

Mr. Fisher graduated from Princeton in 1957 and from the Harvard
Business School in 1962.

He joined Morgan Stanley in 1962 in corporate finance and stayed with
the firm 35 years. He became its president in 1984.

When Mr. Fisher joined Morgan Stanley it had 110 employees and
concentrated on issuing stocks and bonds for corporations, foreign
governments and international agencies. Over the years, Morgan Stanley
added securities trading, research and money management for pension
funds, mutual funds and other institutional investors. The firm went
public in 1986. Mr. Fisher remained on the board until early 1999.

Besides his wife and brother, Mr. Fisher is survived by three children,
Richard Britton Fisher of Brooklyn; Catherine Curtis Fisher of
Monterey, Mass.; and Alexander Dylan Fisher of Cape Elizabeth, Me.

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