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Long IslandObituaries

Dan Dorfman, business journalist, dies

Dan Dorfman, a journalist whose stock reports were once so market-moving that U.S. exchanges imposed regulations to limit the resulting price swings, has died at the age of 80.

His death was announced in 's New York Times. He died Saturday at New York Hospital, according to the death notice, which didn't specify the cause. Other sources reported his age as 82.

Dorfman began swaying share prices regularly at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote the Heard on the Street column for six years.

Stints with New York and Esquire magazines, the New York Daily News, USA Today and Cable News Network followed.

His influence peaked in the 1990s, when he appeared daily on the CNBC cable network and earned at least $800,000 annually for his television and print reporting.

He paved the way for TV pundits such as Jim Cramer, the former hedge-fund manager who hosts CNBC's "Mad Money" program.

Money magazine, where Dorfman worked as a columnist, fired him in January 1996 as the government examined his relationship with a stock promoter. He suffered a stroke later that year and lost his position at CNBC.

Even though the network exonerated him and regulators never accused him of a securities-law violation, his career wasn't the same afterward. He wrote for the New York Sun, a newspaper that closed in 2008, and also blogged for Huffington Post as recently as last year.

Daniel Donald Dorfman grew up in Brooklyn. He spent two years in an orphanage after his parents divorced, and then lived with his mother.

In 1949, he graduated from the New York School of Printing, a vocational high school. He worked as a printer before joining the Army.

While stationed in Germany, he was a driver for the editor of a local newspaper distributed to U.S. soldiers.

"They were interviewing interesting people; I thought that was a fun thing to do," he said in a 2008 interview with a website about the history of business journalism. "So I asked the editor if I could do some reporting."

Dorfman took a journalism course at New York University after leaving the Army. He went to Fairchild Publications and worked as a copy boy, a boys' wear reporter for the Daily News Record, and a retail-management reporter for Women's Wear Daily.

From Fairchild, he moved to the New York Herald Tribune as a business reporter. The paper shut down and he worked for its successor, the World Journal Tribune, which closed in 1967. He also spent time at Merchandising Week magazine.

"On my tombstone, I would like it to read, 'Here lies Dan Dorfman, a reporter who cared,' " he said in the 2008 interview. "All that I've tried to do is to give to the masses what was known to a chosen few. That was my contribution."

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