Raymond C. Forbes, a white, Roman Catholic broker who helped establish the first black-owned member firm of the New York Stock Exchange and a long-running Bible study group on Wall Street, has died. He was 85.
He died of a heart attack on March 30 at Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, said his son, Christopher, a vice president at Raymond C. Forbes & Co.
Forbes opened the brokerage at 30 Broad St. in 1975 after working as a floor trader for firms including Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and Shearson, Hammill & Co. With his floor-broker credentials, he had helped Travers J. Bell Jr. and Willie L. Daniels open Daniels & Bell Inc., the first black-controlled NYSE member firm, in 1971. Forbes served as the firm's vice president and floor broker.
He also made history as a season-ticketholder of the New York Mets since their beginning, starting, according to his family, with the team's inaugural 1962 campaign at the old Polo Grounds.
"He was a crazy fan," his son said. Team records show Forbes as a season subscriber since 1964, the team's first year at Shea Stadium in Queens, putting him among the 15 or 20 longest-subscribing ticketholders, said Robert Hines, a Mets spokesman.
Christopher Forbes said his father's subscription traces back two years earlier but under a colleague's name.
Off the trading floor, Forbes was known in part for his efforts to foster religious faith on Wall Street.
A Presbyterian by birth, he converted to Catholicism when he married his wife, Patricia, in 1957. He went to church every day at St. Joseph's Chapel in Battery Park City, near where he lived, his son said.
Besides his wife and son Christopher, he is survived by sons Raymond and Patrick and daughters Marie-Regina Sotos and Patricia Sarn.