While Golda Mane was the first woman to earn a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, she was always quick to point out that there was a long tradition of female stock traders, both public and private, who came before her. Known for betting heavily in a bear market, losing and winning back at least three fortunes in her lifetime, Mane died Wednesday at The Bruin House, a private hospice care facility. She was 93.
At age nineteen, she was working as a bookkeeper at her father’s chair factory when the stock market crashed. Her father had dabbled, successfully, in the stock market for years but lost everything when the market collapsed. A week later, he took his own life, igniting in Golda a desire to understand, as she often put it, “the beast that had slain my father.”
She proved a shrewd businesswoman and managed to keep the family chair making company alive throughout the depression. During the war, they began to make bed frames as well as chairs and gained a reputation for durable furniture. Though Golda had tested her skill in the stock market during the depression, it wasn’t until after the war, when the company really began to thrive, that she started to invest heavily in stocks, initially as a means for funding the growth of the furniture business.
Eventually she sold the furniture company and became a full time stock trader and an expert in short selling. She made so much money in the bear markets of 1948, 1956 and 1961, that by the time she became the first woman to join the New Your Board Stock Exchange in 1966, she had earned the moniker: “Bear Tamer.”
She is survived by her husband, Robert (87), her daughters Flora (61) and Annie (59).