Table: The Vulture Hall of Fame

1990s

CARL ICAHN becomes key player in bankruptcy reorganizations, including Texaco, Southland, and Trump Taj Mahal. Gets burned badly in first attempt to take control of TWA in the 1980s.

LEON BLACK, ex-Drexel Burnham Lambert banker known as "Dr. No," builds big private buyout firm Apollo Advisors by taking stakes in troubled companies including luggage maker Samsonite.

1980s

SAM ZELL, a.k.a. the Grave Dancer, builds a huge real estate empire by buying bankrupt real estate investments trusts, industrial companies, shopping malls, office buildings.

MICHAEL PRICE, head of Heine Securities, which managed the Mutual Series Fund, becomes a major player in the reorganization of data-storage maker Storage Technology, Columbia Gas, Zenith Labs, and Sunbeam.

1940s to 1970s

SALIM "CY" L. LEWIS becomes a legendary Bear Stearns trader--and later chairman--by investing in bankrupt railroads and distressed utilities.

GUSTAVE LEVY, chairman of Goldman Sachs, shops bonds of troubled utilities and railroads, culminating in the pivotal 1970s reorganization of bankrupt Penn Central.

1930s

PATRICK McGINNIS, president of investment firm McGinnis & Co., buys bankrupt railroads, including Boston & Maine Railroad, where he would later become president.

MAX HEINE, founder of Heine Securities, buys up bankrupt railroads like Missouri Pacific Railroad and their real estate. He continues to acquire railroads, including Penn Central, into the 1970s.

1890s

J. PIERPONT MORGAN, head of the Morgan banking empire, reorganizes a slew of bankrupt railroads at the urging of British investors, gaining control of a transportation empire.

Data: Hilary Rosenberg; Edward J. Balleisen, Duke University; BusinessWeek

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