Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

A Teenage Rocker at Heart.* See them there, those five adult children at the Dave Matthews Band concert? The ones huddled together, mortified? And note that blissful, aging teenager next to them, about 55 actually, in khaki pants and Docksiders, blue eyes blazing as he jumps up and down, bellowing his request: “‘Proudest Monkey’! ‘Proudest Monkey!’ ”

By day, Jeff LeVeen of Plandome, N.Y., was a chieftain in the financial world, a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, an Ivy Leaguer and the owner of two well-appointed homes and a golf handicap of 3. By night, he was a rock groupie who attended nearly a dozen Dave Matthews concerts a year.

You allowed a father like that his nuttiness. He plunked down and listened to Phish because one son asked him to. He negotiated with his wife, Christine, about discipline, pleading for leniency. He swept up his bucketful of kids to take them fishing, clothes shopping, to NBA games.

He kept his privileged background and considerable achievements to himself, but boasted like crazy about the children. A happy man with a year-round tan, he would sing, “Now I am the proudest monkey you’ve ever seen!”

Jeff LeVeen is the father of
Elizabeth A. LeVeen ’98

Wall Street Was Childhood Dream. A man of inexhaustible energy, Jeffrey LeVeen
was a partner and senior vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald. He would be on the job at the World Trade Center at 7:30 a.m., sometimes earlier. On weekends, he would return home from a day of golf and ask, “Who wants to go fishing?”

Never tiring, LeVeen, 55, pursued his objectives of “making every day fun and trying to make other people enjoy their lives,” said his wife, Christine. Even equities trading was fun to
LeVeen. “He wanted to work on Wall Street from the time he was 13,” his wife said. But he also found time to amass trophies in golf tournaments and to be a full-time parent to his five children. He also excelled at duplicate bridge and might have been a champ at that, too, but gave it up 10 years ago when he was too busy at equities trading to give bridge the concentration he gave to everything he did, his wife said.

She knew he had a 7:30 meeting on the morning of Sept. 11. “He was very bright. He could grasp every situation and turn it into something positive,” she said. But this was a situation no one could grasp. He was on the 104th floor and among the hundreds of Cantor Fitzgerald people reported missing when the hijacked plane plowed into the tower.

LeVeen had been with the firm eight years. He had served as an Army specialist during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1970. Graduating in 1968 from Dartmouth College, he earned a degree in economics and was captain of the golf team.

The couple married in 1974 and settled in Port Washington. They bought a house in Plandome 25 years ago and also acquired a summer home in Westhampton. LeVeen loved the beach and the ocean, as did the couple’s children, Jeff Jr., now 26, Betsy, 25, Andrew, 23, Katie, 21, and Meg, 20.

When a memorial Mass was celebrated for LeVeen at St. Mary’s Church in Manhasset Sept. 22, his wife had trouble finding a photo of him alone to place in the church. “All our photos showed him with his arm around the kids or they had their arms around him. He was never alonc,” she said. “That’s the kind of man he was.”

-Rhoda Amon
From “America’s Ordeal: The Lost” section, Oct. 25,
©2001 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

*”A Teenage Rocker ar Heart” appeared in the section “A Nation Challenged: Portraits of Grief,” in the Oct. 31, Nov. 15, and Dec. 3 issues of The New York Times. Copyright© 2001 by the The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

Categorized in: Alumni