Feb. 12, 1970, was a historic day on Wall Street. For the first time in the 178-year history of the New York Stock Exchange, a black man joined the trading community on the exchange floor.
Joseph L. Searles III, the Newburger, Loeb & Co. partner who achieved this milestone, took a meandering route to the Street. He had been a professional football player for the New York Giants and later made a name for himself in politics as an aide to New York City Mayor John Lindsay. But Searles's experience in finance was extremely limited.