John M. Angelo

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John M. Angelo

John M. Angelo co-founded the New York investment firm Angelo, Gordon & Co. and ran it for nearly thirty years. He died on January 1, 2016 at the age of 74. The firm manages about $26 billion and employs more than 400 people globally.

Angelo was well known on Wall Street. He was on the board of Sotheby’s auction house and was a friend of the former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner, as well as a member of a regular golf group that included President George W. Bush. He was married to Judy Hart Angelo, a songwriter who co-wrote the theme to “Cheers” among other television shows.[1]

The couple started a program at St. Lawrence University allowing students to spend a semester in New York studying and working at internships in finance and the arts.[2]


Angelo was a former arbitrage trader at Bear Stearns before founding Angelo, Gordon & Co. in 1988 with Michael Gordon. Gordon was in charge of investing, while Angelo was the chief executive and was in charge of investor relations. The firm focused on distressed-debt and real-estate investing, while also running a private-equity business.

Both Angelo and Gordon had worked at L.F. Rothschild Holdings Inc., a merchant-bank that was one of the top underwriters of initial public offerings in the 1980s but flamed out in the 1987 stock-market crash. Angelo worked there for 18 years, becoming a partner in 1975 and vice chairman and a member of the board in 1985.

A native of New York, Angelo began his career on the bond floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1966[3] after serving as an Army officer in South Korea.


He graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., in 1963.