John Steele Gordon looks at Wall Street's 10 most notorious stock traders. An excerpt:
Jay Gould was quiet, unhealthy, small, and thin (he would die of tuberculosis at the age of 56), with eyes “that freeze and fascinate.” But he combined a fierce ambition to succeed with perhaps Wall Street’s best brain ever. Born in upstate New York, he had come to Wall Street in the early 1860s, having worked as a surveyor and in the leather tanning business. By 1869 he was the president of the Erie Railway. That’s when he decided to corner gold.