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John Wright
Age: 33
Occupation: Managing Director
Worked for: Sandler O'Neill & Partners
Originally from:
Resided in: Rockville Centre, N.Y.

I didn't know John, but thought he should be on this list.
Submitted by: Jay Dooling ()

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'The Baby Looks Just Like Him'

By Indrani Sen

November 7, 2001
The only son of four siblings, John Wright Jr.'s protectiveness of his sisters and mother was a running joke in the family.

"We used to call him 'The Hammer,'" said his youngest sister, Victoria Vine, 30, recalling his suspicion of any young men who came calling for the three girls.

"He didn't talk to my husband for, like, two years."

But since Sept. 11, when Wright, 33, was lost while at his office on the 104th floor of Tower Two, his sisters and relatives have deeply felt the absence of his guidance and protection.

He was "not a warm and fuzzy guy, but the go-to guy in every situation," said Vine, of Lindenhurst. From buying a house to choosing a car to solving problems with friends, Wright was the one his sisters turned to for advice. And it was at times like this that they needed him most.

"A lot of quick wit in times of sorrow, he was known for," Vine said. "So we're trying to fill that void."

A gentleman of the old school, Wright was always one to hold the door for a lady, and always was first up to the bar to buy a round of drinks. "He was very respectful to women in general," said his wife, Martha Wright. "He was like that with me, too."

The Wrights live in Rockville Centre, where he grew up, and had three children. Wright watched the birth of his youngest child two weeks before the attack, and the couple named the baby boy after him.

For those two weeks with the new baby, his wife said, "He loved it. He couldn't wait to come home and see the baby." The family is finding some consolation in the young John Wright, Vine said. "I think the consolation is that he named the baby after him," she said. "And the baby looks just like him. It's spooky."

Wright himself was a sickly child, with severe asthma, allergies and one leg shorter than the other, a condition later corrected by surgery. But these challenges only made him stronger, his sisters said. "He worked hard for everything he got," said his sister, Melissa Barrett, 32, of Rockville Centre. "He ended up ultimately to have a great life...but I think he worked hard for his success."

And he worked constantly. Growing up and throughout college, he had jobs - he was a paper boy, a deli clerk and a cabana boy. When he graduated from the University of Vermont, he didn't give himself time out for a vacation or for a summer of relaxation. "John graduated on Saturday, and he went to work on Monday," Vine said. "He had that work ethic."

From his first job, a starting position at Prudential Securities, he moved up in the world of finance, and eventually held the position of managing director at Sandler O'Neill. He worked long days, leaving home at 5:30 a.m. and returning at 6:30 p.m., but he was pleased with his success. When his youngest sister ribbed him because he was the only sibling without an advanced degree, "His response would always be, 'Six-figure income, baby!'" said Vine, laughing at the memory.

Three years ago, he surprised his mother with a gift of a brand- new Jeep, which he felt was safer than the Saturn she was driving. This practical way of showing love was very much his style, Vine said. "He wouldn't come over and hug you," she said. "But if you were in a bind, you could just call him, and he'd do something like that. And that's how you knew."

Though he was always an upstanding person - "his moral compass was always north," Barrett said - no one could ever accuse Wright of being boring. "He liked to have a good time," Martha said. "He liked to go out and party with his friends."

Having children had mellowed him somewhat, however, and his good times were more often dinners out with a few friends or mornings at his mother's with the kids, eating bagels and reading the paper. "Fatherhood made him, I think, a
-- Jay Dooling (Friend {})
11 Jan 2002

a little more serious," his wife said. "Probably more concerned about the future."

As for his hopes for the future, she said, the main one was that he would eventually have a little more free time. "He was just in love with his kids. He absolutely adored them," she said. "He wished he had more free time to spend with them, because he really loved those kids."
Copyright B) 2002, Newsday, Inc.
-- Jay (Friend {})
11 Jan 2002

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