by Terence Meehan
My paternal grandparents were Irish and came to New York City as very young children. My grandfather started work as a stable hand helping his father. He moved to selling cigars for the United Cigar Company in the theatre district. He sold more than anyone because he took cigars out after hours to sell to men in top hats leaving the theatre. It did not take long to see theatre tickets cost more than cigars and he got a job with McBride Theatre agency on Wall Street.
He so inspired his clients they encouraged him to become a broker on the “curb,” an outdoor exchange that became the American Stock Exchange. He went home to a New York City Irish shanty and talked it over with his wife. They had 3 children and one on the way. He told her he thought he could make more money but there was no salary. My grandmother said they needed to sleep on it. The next morning, she said to go for it. When I was a young boy I asked her how she made the decision. She said “If I said no he would always wonder what if, and if it did not work they would scrape by.” It was not long before he bought a seat at the NYSE and moved his family into the Sherry-Netherland. He went on to build the third largest brokerage company in the U.S. and buying Good Humor Ice Cream. He died at a very early age. I remember seeing the play The Grand Hotel on Broadway. The play took place in Germany during the early 1930’s. A baron was going broke and a friend tells him the only person to call is Michael Meehan.
About The Author
Mr. Terence S. Meehan serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Azimuth Trust. Mr. Meehan was the Principal of M.J. Meehan and Company, one of the largest specialist firms on the New York Stock Exchange prior to its acquisition by Fleet Bank in 2001. Mr. Meehan, whose career extends more than thirty years, is concurrently the Senior Principal of T.S. Meehan & Company. Because of his Irish lineage he is passionate about hunger in the USA and Internationally. Mr. Meehan is on the Board of the Alliance to End Hunger, which has over 100 organizations as members.