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|Douglas B Gardner
Date of Birth: October 5, 1961
Position: Executive Managing Director – Cantor Fitzgerald, Vice Chairman – Espeed
My beautiful Douglas. He was my gentle giant, my partner-in-crime, the source of my laughter, my biggest supporter, my hero and protector and the love of my life. After only six and a half years of marriage, we were still courting and romancing, still reveling in discovering new things about each other and still appreciating every moment spent together.
Doug loved his family above all. He adored his parents and wanted to honor them by doing well and doing it the right way. He maintained a close and special relationship with his sister Danielle. Our beautiful children, Michael (5) and Julia (3), were the payoff for all the hard work, the meaning behind Doug’s success, the outlet for his gentleness, kindness and patience. From the instant Doug walked in the door at night, my son and daughter were attached to his legs like barnacles. Games of hide and seek would start before he could take his wallet and change out of his pockets. Books were thrust into his hand for story time, with Julia under one large arm and Michael under the other. Doug was an earnest father – every weekend he’d routinely take the kids to a local diner for silver dollar pancakes and milk shakes. He introduced them to the great pleasure of lying prone on the couch to watch the latest Knick game or Tiger Woods golf tournament. For me, watching my six foot four husband carefully attempt to attach a bow to Julia’s hair or gently encourage Michael to ride a two-wheel bicycle were the epitome of what Doug was as a father.
Doug’s great success in business was a big part of his legacy, but his personal relationships were what truly defined my husband. Doug had longtime friends from every part and every phase of his life–from his boyhood in New York and summers on Fire Island, from Haverford College and Cantor, and from the playgrounds and gyms where he played basketball. He was at the center of all these groups, the connection that kept them together. His famous Super Bowl parties drew scores of people from all his diverse groups, people with nothing in common but their friendship with Doug, people who through him became friends with each other. Doug kept his friends because he was himself a true friend–loyal, kind, and generous–but also because he was fun, always prepared to compete, to play, to have a good time and share it with others. He was a listener, a keeper of secrets, a big brother figure, a big guy with a hearty laugh who radiated confidence and made people feel good about themselves.
At Cantor, Doug could never turn anyone away from his door; he always tried to provide an answer or assist in finding a solution. Doug’s career was important to him, but never more important than the people around him. His loyalty to Cantor, along with his work ethic and business talent, helped make him successful, but he was always humble and remained the same guy he had always been. Giving back to the community was a priority for Doug, and his work as a volunteer for charitable causes got the same intense focus he brought to his career.
Doug was a noble man of pure heart. His spirit lives on forever in Michael and Julia who reflect all that was good in him. I will always feel lucky that we had each other, and that we created so much good together in such a short time.