Joseph Sullivan was the founding president of the Chicago Board Options Exchange from 1972-1979. He played a key role in the creation of the CBOE, and stock options, as vice president for planning and market development at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Sullivan was charged with researching how the CBOT might go about creating a new options entity. The exchange was attempting to develop new markets because at that time (the early 1970s) trade in the agricultural markets was slow.  
He was responsible for the development of both a central market for options trading with standardized terms and a clearing corporation (now The Options Clearing Corporation) standing as the opposite party to every transaction.
In 2002, to honor the vision and leadership he provided in making listed options a reality, The Options Industry Council established the Joseph W. Sullivan Options Industry Achievement Award to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth and integrity of the U.S. options market.
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Sullivan graduated from Princeton and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
- Maturing CBOE Confident at 20. Chicago Tribune.
- Negotiating a Market, Performing Theory: The Historical Sociology of a Financial Derivatives Exchange. Paper by Donald MacKenzie and Yuval Millo presented at European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy conference, Siena, November 8-11, 2001.
- Three Decades of Options and the World is A-Changin' by Gail Osten. SFO Magazine April 2003.