Ira Vendig Celebrates His 103rd New Year’s Eve

This native New Yorker still plays a mean hand of bridge.

NewsObserverLogoLooking back on some of the regional newspaper reporting of 2015, without a doubt a favorite FishbowlNY item remains the one carried in late June by Berkshire Hathaway’s News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

The piece by Jim Wise was all about Ira Vendig, a native New Yorker who at age 103 remains an avid and skilled bridge player. Here’s how Vendig’s professional life began:

Vendig got his start in stocks at age 17, going to work as a runner for a Wall Street firm, carrying papers around the financial district
“I figured I’d make a fortune,” he said. “Monday through Friday and a half a day on Saturday, 12 bucks for the week.”

It was 1929, and Vendig was there for the crash.

“I was the latest person hired by that company, so I was laid off,” he said. He got a similar job at another brokerage at $15 a week, but soon lost that, too, as trading died off into the Depression.

Vendig did a number of other things professionally before retiring in the 1980s. He and his wife were inspired to move to North Carolina by an ad in The New Yorker. Happy New Year!