I had the good fortune to work with Jim Wolfensohn at Salomon Brothers – we left together in 1981, which turned out to be as lucky for him as it was for me. Few people can say they helped to save an American institution, like Chrysler, restore American treasures, like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, lead the World Bank through one of the most tumultuous geopolitical periods in history – lifting countless people out of poverty – and also help negotiate peace in the Middle East. But that’s exactly what Jim did. Not bad for a middle class kid from Australia who began his career selling air conditioners.
Jim was a great friend – witty and wise, always ready to lend a helping hand – and Diana and I will miss him dearly. But his incredible contributions to New York City, America, and the world will be felt for decades to come.