PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Robert Linton, a resident of Purchase and Manhattan, died Tuesday, April 26. He was 90.
He was born on May 19,1925, in New York City, to Helen and Adolph Lichtenstein, a specialist on the New York Stock Exchange.
During his senior year at Phillips Exeter Academy, he enlisted in the Army, eventually serving in World War II as a navigator and bombardier. He achieved the rank of second lieutenant in the Army Air Force. In 1946, he joined Burnham & Co., a small investment bank as the eighth employee, starting as a runner delivering stock certificates around Wall Street.
Hard-working and ambitious, he attended night school to earn his stock broker's license and later, his commodities broker's license. He worked in virtually every department of the firm, forming the company's Corporate Finance and Commodities departments. By 1976, the firm had become Drexel Burnham Lambert.
During the 1980s, he served as the head of the storied investment banking and securities firm that pioneered the use of high yield bonds. He was eventually named to head the firm by founder I.W. Burnham II. Under his leadership, he grew to become the most profitable firm on Wall Street.
During his time on Wall Street, he was Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD, 1980), a director of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, 1983-1987), and served as Chairman of the Securities Industry Association (SIA, 1983). When he retired, Drexel Burnham Lambert had 10,000 employees in worldwide offices.
He raised his family in Rye and at the time of his death he had homes in Manhattan and Purchase.
He is survived by his wife Margot; four children, Roberta L. Bennett of Warren, VT; Thomas N. Linton of Santa Fe, NM; Jeffrey R. Linton and his wife Judith of Rye, NY; and Elizabeth M. Linton of Berkshire, England; his sister, Marion Benson of Beverly Hills, CA; and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 2, at 11:30 a.m. at Frank E. Campbell Chapel, 1076 Ave., New York City.