AKA Louis Richard Rukeyser
Birthplace: New York City
Location of death: Greenwich, CT
Cause of death: Cancer - Bone
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Talk Show Host
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Host of PBS's Wall $treet Week
Military service: US Army (1954-56)
Turn on your TV and flip through the channels, and if you're in America it's hard not to find a program dedicated to investors' strategy, market trends, or analyzing economic news -- Moneyline, CBS MarketWatch, Business Center, etc. There are entire networks dedicated to delivering this sort of news (and advertising) to hard-core capitalists. But Louis Rukeyser was the first. There was nothing like Wall $treet Week on television when it premiered on Maryland Public Television (MPT) and PBS in 1970.
As Wall $treet Week's audience slowly grew, Rukeyser shrewdly analyzed economic trends and determined that there was an emerging market for books by Louis Rukeyser. His How to Make Money in Wall Street was a success, followed by several other books on investment. In the early 1990s he branched out with separate newsletters on stocks and mutual funds, bringing Rukeyser an estimated $20 million annually. He also pulled down generous fees for speaking engagements.
In 2002, MPT analyzed these numbers: Rukeyser was 69 years old, and had been hosting Wall $treet Week for 32 years. The average age of the that audience was 62, but the average reader of Fortune magazine was a young 49. It seemed obvious to the show's producers, Rukeyser should be "promoted" to some sort of "senior correspondent" role, and someone younger should sit in the host's chair. Rukeyser, though, didn't like the idea, and opened the next edition of Wall $treet Week with ten minutes of ranting against MPT and PBS. He was quickly and publicly fired, and to his loyal audience it was as if he'd been martyred. He soon started Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street on CNBC, and it quickly became that network's top-rated program. It ran for six months until Rukeyser underwent surgery on his back which revealed a malignant cancer. He died in 2006.
Rukeyser's father, Merryle S. Rukeyser, was financial editor of the New York Tribune and later the New York Evening Journal. The elder Rukeyser wrote a syndicated column called "Everybody's Money", and taught journalism at Columbia University. The younger Rukeyser was a reporter and bureau chief for The Baltimore Sun from 1954-65, and a correspondent and commentator for ABC News from 1965-73. He also wrote a syndicated column on economics, but found more money to be made publishing his own newsletters.
Father: Merryle Stanley Rukeyser (economics columnist, b. 3-Jan-1897, d. 21-Dec-1988)
Mother: Berenice Helene Simon
Brother: William S. Rukeyser (Managing Editor, Fortune)
Brother: Merryle S. Rukeyser, Jr. (EVP at NBC)
Wife: Alexandra Gill (m. 3-Mar-1962, three daughters)
Daughter: Beverley Jane Rukeyser
Daughter: Susan Athena Rukeyser
Daughter: Stacy Alexandra Rukeyser
High School: New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, NY (1950)
University: Princeton University (1954)
The Baltimore Sun
Wall $treet Week
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Gordy (12-May-1995) · Himself
Big Business (10-Jun-1988) · Taxi Victim
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