The Wall Street financial crisis
devoured brokerage firm Bear Stearns in
March, then the life of a veteran gay manager at the firm.
Plagued with personal problems, Barry
Fox jumped 29 stories to his death after the demise of Bear Stearns,
where he worked for nine years as a research analyst.
Barry Fox, 51, was a gay man who shared
his home with his longtime partner Fred Philippi.
Philippi, 66, recently shared his story
of loss with the Wall Street Journal. He
said Fox was vexed with personal problems when the news that he
wouldn't be hired by J.P. Morgan Chase found him, leaving him
devastated. “This Bear Stearns thing happened to be the last straw
that broke his spirit,” Philippi said.
J.P. Morgan, which
purchased Bear Stearns in the spring, did hire nearly 7,000 of the
firm's employees, but Fox was unable to secure one of those jobs.
the paranoid-inducing brain disorder schizophrenia, Fox had excelled
at Bear Stearns, where he was named managing director in 2002.
On the day that Fox
learned he would not be joining J.P Morgan, he called Philippi, “I've
been severed,” he said calmly.
That night, in
their Fort Lee, New Jersey apartment, Philippi says he found Fox in
the master bathroom, overdosed on prescription drugs. Philippi said
he wanted to call an ambulance, but Fox insisted he wanted to die in
his own home. With his body purged, it appeared the combination of
Valium and Restoril were not enough to take his life, and the pair
went off to sleep.
At about four in
the morning, Philippi says he woke up to find Fox missing from their
bed. He searched for him in their apartment, but instead found him
on the ground below their 29th-floor balcony, dead.
The Wall Street
Journal intimated the relationship the two men shared with the
coded phrase “longtime companion” and reported few personal
details about the life the two men shared. Online readers, however,
clearly shared Philippi's pain, many of whom left comments expressing
sympathy at his loss.