Ben Winck and Kelly McLaughlin
Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier-turned-Ponzi scheme kingpin, has died of natural causes, aged 82, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Madoff.
Born in New York City in 1938, Madoff founded a stock brokerage in 1960 that eventually became Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. The firm specialized in over-the-counter penny stocks, using pink sheet quotes to make markets for traders. Madoff's brokerage then moved on to computerized trades, employing an information technology to organize quotes. The digital market-making service went on to underpin the NASDAQ exchange.
The brokerage bypassed traditional exchange firms to allow traders to directly order from retail brokers, and at one point served as the largest market maker at the NASDAQ. Madoff served as a NASDAQ director for three single-year terms.
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