Michigan Remembers 9‑11

Todd Ouida, 25; a graduate of the University of Michigan, worked as a trader for Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center. On his application to U-M, he wrote, “I discovered no matter how big the person is on the outside (for I am only 5’5″ tall) that the size of the heart is always going to be more important.”

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 11, 2001

Whether he was mischievously finagling another stroke at golf or beaming over his infant niece, Todd Ouida’s smile touched people. “A great smile that could light up a room,” said his mother, Andrea.

It was not a smile he came by easily.

He was not big enough, his older brother, Jordan Ouida joked, to be a water boy. But he persisted and became a starting defensive back on the River Dell High School Football Team in New Jersey. He overcame a panic disorder that began in the fourth grade and made him terrified to go to school for several years. But he received a degree from the University of Michigan.

Todd Ouida, 25, became a foreign currency option trader for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of the north tower. He was hired on his own merits after a summer internship arranged by Jordan Ouida, a vice-president in the London office. He and his father, Herbert, executive vice-president of the World Trade Centers Association on the 78th floor, he survived the attack, commuted together from River Edge, N.J.

“Todd was always amazing us; whatever the obstacle, he was able to overcome it,” Jordan Ouida said. “There was a lot of family support, but it was also the inner strength that he had in himself.”