Look Who’s Turning 65
November 2 – Larry Fink
You may have seen Larry Fink during an appearance on CNBC, where he is regularly consulted about the stock market. But you may not know that Fink co-founded BlackRock, the largest money-management firm in the world. As of 2016, the company had $5 trillion under management, with 12,000 employees at work in 27 countries.
Fink had fairly humble beginnings in Van Nuys, California, where his father owned a shoe store and his mother was a professor of English. Their son earned a BA in political science from UCLA in 1974, and went on to get an MBA at the school’s Anderson Graduate School of Management two years later.
Even though he lacked a finance degree, Fink’s first real job was at First Boston, an investment bank. He soon took charge of the bond department, and was key in the creation and development of the now infamous mortgage-backed security market. Fink became a managing director at First Boston, and headed the Mortgage and Real Estate Products Group.
All that work paid off as he added $1 billion to the bank’s bottom line. Fink was a golden boy until 1986, when he incorrectly predicted the direction of interest rates and his department lost $100 million. That experience dictated his decision to incorporate risk management into his own investment company in 1988, when he became a director and CEO at the newly-founded BlackRock. The company went public in 1999.
In 2003, Fink assisted in negotiating the resignation of New York Stock Exchange CEO Richard Grasso, who was widely castigated for taking a $190 million pay package. The U.S. government contracted with BlackRock after the 2008 financial meltdown to help clean up the mess.
A lifelong democrat, Fink’s civic involvement includes stints as a trustee of the Boys and Girl’s Club of New York and a board seat on the Robin Hood Foundation. Fink is married, and the couple’s oldest son, Joshua, is CEO of hedge fund Enso Capital.
November 3 – Roseanne Barr
Barr is a household name after starring on the hit television sitcom Roseanne from 1988 to 1997. She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work on the series, where she played a “fierce, working-class domestic goddess” character that mimicked her real life. Barr said she wanted to portray a strong mother who wasn’t a victim of what she labeled “patriarchal consumerism”. A revival of the show is slated to air in 2018.
Born in Salt Lake City, UT, Barr is the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from Europe and Russia and the oldest of four children. She grew up in both the Jewish faith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the age of 18, she told her parents she was going to Colorado for two weeks and never returned home. Instead, she began doing stand-up comedy at clubs.
When her sitcom ended, Barr debuted her own talk show, The Roseanne Show, from 1998 to 2000. Five years later, she returned to stand-up with a world tour.
Barr has three children by her first husband, Bill Pentland, to whom she was married from 1974 to 1990. Her marriage to costar Tom Arnold lasted four years, from 1990 to 1994.
The star gained unwanted notoriety in 1990 with an off-key performance of The Star-Spangled Banner during a 1990 baseball game, followed by grabbing her crotch and spitting. Barr claims she had been told to incorporate humor into the song, but fans were outraged.
Early in 2012, Barr announced that she was running as a candidate for the Green Party, later losing to Jill Stein. Barr then won as candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party, and got 61,971 votes in the general election, putting her in sixth place.
A macadamia nut farm in Hawaii serves as Barr’s current home. An unscripted show that featured her life there, titled Roseanne’s Nuts, ran for three months in 2011.
November 5 – Bill Walton
The tall redhead was a common sight on national television during the 1970’s and 80’s, playing for the National Basketball Association’s Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego Clippers, and Boston Celtics. It was his last team that Bill Walton identifies with most, evidenced by a prominent photo of the court in Madison Square Garden hanging in his home office.
Walton won three consecutive College Player of the Year Awards as a UCLA Bruin under iconic coach John Wooden in the early 1970s. The Bruins won two Division I national titles during Walton’s tenure.
Winner of a league Most Valuable Player award and two NBA championships, Walton was a star player in the NBA, despite having his career hampered by multiple foot injuries. In 1993, Walton was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.
While Walton’s height was always listed as 6 feet 11 inches, it’s rumored that he actually tops 7 feet 2 inches, but hates being categorized as more than 7 feet tall. Walton’s talent was recognized early on. At 17, he played for the U.S. men’s national basketball team at the 1970 FIBA World Championship.
Walton became a sportscaster after his career as a player was over. He’s also a prominent fan of the Grateful Dead and made the trip to Egypt for the band’s famous 1978 performance at the Pyramids, even joining the band on drums.
November 7 – David Petraeus
Petraeus may be best known for his stint as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September of 2011 to his resignation in November of 2012. Petraeus served 37 years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of four-star General and Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan from July 2010 to the same month a year later. Petraeus also oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq from October 2008 to February 2010.
Petraeus garnered unwanted notoriety from an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, while serving as Director of the CIA, from which he resigned on November 9, 2012. It was revealed in 2015 that FBI and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended felony charges against Petraeus for allegedly passing classified information to Broadwell during their relationship. However, he was eventually able to plead guilty to one charge of misdemeanor mishandling of classified information.
The general got a top-notch start at the United States Military Academy, graduating in the top 5 percent of his class in 1974. He then won the General George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College class of 1983. Petraeus went on to earn both an M.P.A. (in 1985) and a 1987 Ph. D. in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Petraeus remains popular with many voters, although he has repeatedly said he has no plans to run for elected office.
November 27 – Daryl Stuermer
You may not recognize his face, but you’ve almost certainly heard Daryl Stuermer on guitar and bass. He’s the artist who does live shows as a member of Genesis, and lead guitar for Phil Collins on solo tours and albums.
Stuermer was born in Milwaukee, WI. He was “discovered” playing with his old band Sweetbottom, when he won a spot as back-up musician for jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty in 1975. They wound up performing together on four albums before Stuermer was recommended as a replacement for Steve Hackett during live performances of Genesis.
From 1977 to 1992, Stuermer toured with the band as lead guitarist and bass player, and he rejoined them in 2007 for their Turn It On Again Tour. The year 1979 found Stuermer in the U.S. and Canada with Gino Vannelli promoting the Brother to Brother album.
In 1982, Stuermer left Genesis to perform with the band’s frontman, Phil Collins, who began a solo career. When the guitarist got a mention in the music video for “Don’t Lose My Number,” he went from a "permanent-temporary-part-time member" of Genesis to a "permanent-touring-recording member" of Collins' new group. The change brought out new talents in Stuermer, who garnered credit for co-writing several of Collins’ songs.
If you want to hear material from Stuermer’s early years, seek out the 2007 album Go!. It features many of Sweetbottom’s old tracks. Currently, Stuermer is working on an album that recreates classic Genesis songs mixed with solo instrumentals.
FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the Senior Spirit newsletter.
Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors