Michigan Remembers 9‑11

Gregory Richards 30, a University of Michigan graduate, who was a vice president of corporate development, e-Speed, an electronic subsidiary of Cantor Fitzgerald, at the World Trade Center.  Two of his friends and Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity brothers, Larry Polatsch and Scott Weingard, were also killed on September 11.  

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001

Gregory Richards just could not stay away from New York. He was born here, grew up in Greenwich Village and went to Stuyvesant High School.

When he went off to the University of Michigan, he longed to come home. When he went to Florida to work for a hedge fund, he wanted to come back.

Even after he left Cantor Fitzgerald, moved to Michigan in 1998 to live near his wife’s parents and started his own real estate investment business, he dreamed of concrete, skyscrapers, Central Park, the trading floor.

“He missed the pace of Wall Street; he missed the camaraderie of being around the guys all the time,” said his wife, Erin. “He was a true city kid. All the things that made people crazy about New York, he liked.”

So Mr. Richards, 30, returned to the city in 2000 and rejoined Cantor Fitzgerald, this time working for eSpeed, its electronic subsidiary. He now had a son, Asher, 2, and could run in Central Park on a weekend morning and meet Asher and his wife at the playground.

Mrs. Richards, who is spending time with her parents in Michigan, said she will also return to New York. But the city, she said, will be empty without her husband. “He had New York’s cocky charisma about him,” she said. “He was cool.”