A Wall Street Banker Turned to Comedy for Happiness and a Career Change
I’ve known Paul Tudor Jones since 1987, when I interviewed him for The New York Times Magazine about his career as a Wall Street banker. After we met, I invited him to lunch in New York City. He and I became friends, but also kept tabs on who was working on Wall Street and what they were doing. He was among the select few who attended the 1992 Democratic National Convention. He has worked on Wall Street for decades, starting even before the crash of 1929.
This spring, I asked him to write about his story for us. He decided to do it in the form of a stand-up comedy routine, rather than in his traditional financial column. He told me that he wanted to write something that people could hear and see, in a way that’s enjoyable and familiar, and it would be easy to laugh because there wasn’t much to laugh about.
Mr. Jones writes a weekly column for The Wall Street Journal, which he edits, as well as some columns for The Washington Post and Bloomberg. He also reviews books and plays for The New York Times and other newspapers. He was born in Brooklyn and has worked on Wall Street since the late ’70s. He began writing a column for The New York Times Magazine in 1987, and we met in 1990 when he interviewed me for an article about his career. He wrote in a book about his life called “What I’m Good At: The Story of My Forty Years in the Financial Service Industry,” published in 1996.
He is perhaps best known as the author of a book about one of his most treasured investments, “The Big Idea,” which he wrote with his wife. It was his first book and it is a financial-advice column that’s been syndicated in more than 60 newspapers. It goes on sale every May.
A few years after he started writing his columns, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He started using colonoscopes and had frequent rectal exams to track the growth of the cancer. His doctors were amazed. They found a “misdiagnosed” cancer and sent him to a specialist for a thorough examination that ultimately confirmed it.