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Cy Cordner

Scott Galloway@profgalloway

Published on February 19, 2021

As the news keeps thrusting the CEO of Robinhood in my face, I have two thoughts: One, is the Javier Bardem No Country for Old Men hairstyle back in vogue? And two, that investing in — and holding — stocks has changed my life profoundly. The risk my parents took in immigrating to America, the generosity of California taxpayers (funding my education at UCLA and Berkeley), and my investments in stocks are the reasons my sons have health insurance and a dad who can go to Burning Man (soon, I hope) … without really going to Burning Man (no yurt at my age).

I started buying stocks when I was 13 — this is that story. (Originally published in March of 2018.)

Cy Cordner

In junior high I was invisible.

In the second grade, I was the only son in a nuclear family where Dad was a vice president for International Telegraph and Telegram (ITT) and Mom was a secretary. We lived in a house overlooking the Pacific in Laguna Niguel. By eighth grade I was the son of a single mother, still a secretary, living in a condo in Westwood. In the third grade, Debbie Brubaker and I were sent to the fifth grade for math and English. By the eighth grade I was failing calculus, and my teacher suggested I be downgraded to Algebra ll.

In fourth grade I made the all-star team as a pitcher and shortstop. By the eighth grade, a growth spurt unaccompanied by weight gain blessed me with the height of a 13 year-old and the coordination and strength of a nine year-old. I was now at a bigger, integrated school. We had a kid who, in the eighth grade, could dunk. My two best friends’ parents pulled them from Emerson, deciding an integrated school wasn’t right for their kids, and sent them to private schools.

I was maturing from remarkable to remarkably unremarkable. Not excelling at anything, few friends, no real sense of self. Invisible.

My mom’s boyfriend, Randy, lived in Reno and owned a restaurant supplies company. He was rich, or seemed rich. More than that, he was generous and engaged in the well-being of his girlfriend’s son. Randy would spend every other weekend with us. I was always welcome on the trips they took, and he bought me my first nice skateboard, a Bahne. Randy paid the mortgage on our condo in Westwood, which my mom, as a secretary, could not have afforded. He made our lives tangibly better. Randy was also married with a school-age son. It’s a strange feeling to realize in your forties, that you were the kid of some guy’s “other” family, referenced in the media but never featured.  But that’s another post.

One Sunday evening, as he was packing to leave, I asked Randy about stocks. I had heard Jerry Dunphy, the local news anchor, reference the stock market on TV. As I watched Randy fold sweaters and place awesome toiletries in his leather Dopp kit (English Leather, Barbasol, and Skin Bracer … by Mennen), he gave me an overview of the markets. When the taxi honked, I carried his bag down. Randy stopped at the dining room table, took out his wallet, placed two crisp $100 bills on the table, and instructed me to, “Go buy some stock at one of those fancy brokers in the Village.” I asked how I would do that. “You’re bright enough to figure it out, and if you don’t by the time I’m back, I want my money back.” I had never seen a hundred-dollar bill before.

I placed them under a volume of my Encyclopedia Britannica and, the next day after school, marched down to the corner of Westwood and Wilshire and into the office of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. I sat in the reception area, and … I was invisible. They weren’t unfriendly or mean — I was just invisible. I began to feel self-conscious (despite being invisible), so I left and walked across the street into the offices of Dean Witter Reynolds. A woman with big gold jewelry asked if she could help me, and I told her I was there to buy stock. She paused. I became self-conscious again and blurted, “I have two hundred dollars,” and took the crisp bills out of an envelope I had put them in that morning. She jumped up, gave me a clear-window envelope, and told me to wait a minute. Sitting, I rearranged the bills in my new envelope so one could see Ben Franklin’s hair and ear through the cellophane. A young man with curly hair approached me, asked my name, and introduced himself.

“I’m Cy Cordner. Welcome to Dean Witter.”

Cy took me to his office and gave me a 30-minute lesson in the markets. The ratio of buyers to sellers determined price movements. Each share represented a small piece of ownership. You could buy stocks in companies whose products you like/admire. Amateurs act on emotion, pros on numbers. We decided to invest my bounty in 13 shares of Columbia Pictures, ticker CPS, at $15 3/8.

Each weekday for the next two years, at lunch, I’d go to the phone booth on the main field with two dimes and call Cy to discuss my portfolio. Sometimes after school, I’d walk to his office to get the update in person (see above: few friends). He’d type in the ticker and tell me what CPS had done that day and speculate why the stock had moved: “The markets were down today.” “It looks like Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a hit.” “Casey’s Shadow is a bomb.” Cy also took the time to call my mom. Not to pitch her for business (we had no money), but to let her know what we discussed in the calls and say nice things about me.

The story would be more fun if I’d ended up a billionaire hedge fund manager. I’m not. But I know more about the markets than most marketing professors, and it’s served me well. Really well, even. More importantly, at 13, I was visible. Visible and worthy of an impressive man’s time, every day. Randy and Cy instilled in me that remarkable men become irrationally passionate about the well-being of a child … that isn’t theirs. After heading to high school I lost touch with Cy and, several years later, sold the stock to pay for a road trip to Ensenada with my UCLA fraternity brothers.


In my forties I became blessed with greater self-awareness: aware of my strengths, weaknesses, blessings, and what makes me happy. Problem is, I also became more aware of my deficits — where I had taken more than given. Friends who invested more in the relationship than me. Partners/mates who were more committed and generous. Even California taxpayers, paying for my education at UCLA, and me reciprocating with striking under-achievement — a 2.27 GPA (no joke). Taking, always taking.

I’ve been trying to fix that, and years ago I decided to track down Cy to say thanks. I Googled him every which way, even called Dean Witter (now Morgan Stanley), but no luck. Chances were, I figured, that he was keeping a low profile, or maybe totally off the grid. I told the story to my class when discussing mentors and how many strangers’ acts of kindness have had an impact on my life and prosperity. For a decade, I challenged them to find Cy. I even offered a $5k bounty, figuring they’d come up empty-handed.

“We Found Cy Cordner”

In March 2018, the day after issuing the challenge to the 170 kids in my brand strategy course, I got not one, not two, but three emails with the same subject line: “We found Cy Cordner.” The three budding Magnum PIs had found Cy’s nephew on Facebook, reached out to him, and gotten Cy’s phone number. (It’s important to highlight one of the millions of good things that happen on the social platform, as I throw a lot of shade at Facebook.) So, I called Cy the next night and we spoke for an hour. Our lives charted eerily similar paths: UCLA; financial services (both of us Morgan Stanley, via Dean Witter for Cy); divorce, two kids, and then entrepreneurship. After his divorce, Cy wanted to be closer to his daughters and moved to Oregon, where he owns a retail store called “Monaco” that sells furniture. After that call, our first contact in 40 years, I received the following email from Cy:

Cy Cordner <>

Mar 27, 2018

Dear Professor Galloway {Scott},

It was an absolute pleasure speaking with you yesterday. Your life has traveled a remarkable path and in many cases parallel to my own life. When we completed our call I shared with my girlfriend much of the background of our conversation. She was equally amazed! Allow me to take a moment and distill my thoughts and feelings. Your perseverance and success reflect your upbringing and the love of your mom. Additionally, your character as a young boy who (as I) had an incredible thirst for knowledge is most apparent. I am proud that we met when you were so young and that I made a constructive impression on you. I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU!

I look forward to the prospect of meeting again. If you ever need anything, simply, contact me anytime.

Cy Cordner

Forty years later, I was 13 again with a generous man who makes me feel less invisible.

Approaching his 70th birthday, Cy was taking stock of his blessings, getting remarried, and considering selling his business and easing into retirement. In my fifties, I’m also taking stock of my blessings, and trying to repair my deficits.

Life is so rich,

P.S. Since reconnecting, Cy and I remain in regular contact. We’ve committed to get together in person once we are both vaccinated.

P.P.S. Our most downloaded (to-date) Prof G Pod featured my colleague Aswath Damodaran on the GameStop saga and the markets more broadly.  We’ve also featured Lina Khan, an antitrust expert and an associate professor of law at Columbia Law School, and economist Noreena Hertz to learn about the economics of loneliness. You can find our weekly show on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. 



  1. Susan Johnston says:

    A few years ago, my youngest son asked me to complete a small book that required me to write about a wide range of memories and experiences. I guess he wanted some archive of my life for some weird reason. One question really caught me in a weird place. Share an experience that you would like to go back to and re-experience. I was suddenly awash in melancholy. I began to remember all the times I had been insensitive, ignorant, self-absorbed, selfish. The many times I have let people down and generally behaved in ways that weren’t purposely mean but just blind to anyone else’s feelings or concerns. What made it worse is that I was not just oblivious but strutting around (in my own mind) telling myself what a lovely person I was. Yuck! I still get teary (like I did reading this) when I think of how I have disappointed.

    Lest I paint too dour a picture, I have worked as a educator, counselor, have a devoted husband and three really balanced, happy, successful sons who really like me but for some reason I can’t get my shit together on my failings and flaws. I get all the stuff by Mezirow about transformative learning and that but I am waiting for the wisdom to forgive myself. Waiting . . . waiting.

  2. Katherine Dillon says:

    testing commenting

  3. Jason Hooper says:

    Love this Scott – amazing how people can touch your life and steer your path. Also great to see you acknowledge and change your perspective on things and reach out to people.

  4. Michael Levin says:

    Great story.

  5. Marilyn Smith says:

    I love your story. When I was very young (5th, 6th grade) I read all the Alfred Hitchcock I could find, including his short story magazines. When I got older, I remembered plot details of one of my favorite short stories, but nothing else. I did Google searches and could not find the story title or its author. My son, who is now deceased, found the story and ordered the book for me: Jack Finney, About Time, “Of Missing Persons”, published in 1956. It is not the same as finding a person, but it is a very special memory.

  6. Mf says:

    Make this story even better. Pay it forward

  7. Georgia Pangle says:

    Becoming “irrationally passionate about the well-being of a child” that is not yours is also a gift of being a step-parent. I was a child of divorce and hence greatly reduced circumstances, and my mother fell in love with a man who TRULY loved her, as evidenced by marrying her and taking on her FOUR teenaged and pre-teen daughters. He was far from a perfect man, full of rage and often quite unhappy, but he utterly changed our lives with his street smarts (a very successful small business owner serving Wall St firms; he saw bs a mile away and around the corner, which was exactly what I needed) and great generosity. He paid for everything including a big home on the Hudson River and college. I am now a step-mother with two beautiful daughters. What Irving gave to me, I happily give back to them.

  8. Jonas Shapiro says:

    Just when I think @profgalloway cannot top his last post something like this comes along. Simply remarkable and heart warming. Thanks for sharing…

  9. Soo says:

    What a wonderful story. I, myself, always had a thirst for an adult, (and when i was an adult, a person who had been there, done that) who can give a flicker of some sort as a guiding light. Now, I’ve decided to be that person for people who are younger than me, sorting through uncertanties in life, struggling to define their own meaning of life. I still am long way from ‘figuring out life’ myself, but I try to walk along with them and be a companion rather than a preacher. If i can be a “Cy” in someone’s life, I would die knowing that I did my part in life.

  10. Nancy says:

    Beautiful stories. I am always inspired, after reading your emails. Grateful to have you on my radar.

  11. ZACHARY UMLAUF says:

    Wonderful letter!

  12. bartb says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing it! (Signing up for your newsletter in 2021 was one of my better decisions!)

  13. Will Richardson says:

    Loved this story. Made me think of the people who influenced me when I was a kid. Thanks.

  14. Simone Brunozzi says:

    Scott, this is a great line in your post: “Randy and Cy instilled in me that remarkable men become irrationally passionate about the well-being of a child … that isn’t theirs”. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Gary McCarthy says:

    Fantastic – great story. So many good values captured in it.

  16. Rob says:

    Wonderful to hear and such an emotional trip for u both and the thousands who read it and will hopefully be inspired to do similar things

  17. Geet Lulla says:

    Prof. G Lovely story, nicely told. Financial prudence is best learnt at an early age, giving one a lifetime to achieve financial freedom. Perhaps this should be a part of the educational curriculum. That way we can take the water to the horses…

  18. Grant H says:

    I enjoy reading these posts as much if not more for the human side of the story than for the business analysis and commentary. Now, if only Kara would stop talking over you on Pivot.

  19. Constance Klein says:

    My father was a Cy Cordner and I have always aspired to be a Cy. Prof G – You have done so, so much for so many. TAKE OFF YOUR PACK. You have done well where it counts and you are appreciated.

  20. Jay Monroe says:

    Full disclosure. Tears rolling down my cheeks after that great story. I’m a 64 year-old man with a similar story. I also had an absent father who lived in the same house when he wasn’t at the bar. An elderly doctor I met took me under his wing and helped me deal with a troubled situation and I have subsequently been successful in both finance and more importantly, relationships. Married happily for 40 years with two fine grown sons. I enjoy your Prof G podcast and Pivot. Thanks for sharing this. I know this one was hard and from the heart.

  21. Cathy McPhillips says:

    I had someone in my life like this I met when I was 17. We kept in touch for 10 years. Our last visit before he passed was with my 3-month old son. We wrote letters regularly, and when I was 27 I received a note back from his lawyer saying he had passed. I’m glad you and Cy reconnected! I hope your vaccines and subsequent visit happen soon!

  22. Amit Nugyal says:

    Thank you for sharing Professor.

  23. Rod Phillips says:

    Scott, This post really spoke to me. I too had athletic prowess that was put into harsh perspective when I started competing internationally. After I retired from my sport I floundered for a number of years. Finally started getting my footing as I turned 40. I’m now in my late 50’s and running my own business that is growing constantly. It has only been in recent years that investing in the stock market has even been on my radar. I have been putting aside a little cash every couple of weeks and plan to purchase as many AirBnB stocks as I can, however I am doing so with not a lot of knowledge about the stock market and investing. Can you provide a couple of good books that will give me a good understanding of the markets. My goal is not to realize riches for myself, but for my kids, thus I am committed to the long haul. Thanks for your insights. Pivot is to me now what Happy Days was to my parents, every Tuesday & Thursday, everything stops while I listen. Thank you.

  24. Mihir Mehta says:

    I love your work. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. I am learning so much from you, the most important learning for me is exposing your vulnerabilities and continuously seeking improvement opportunities in all aspects of life. And I am not a rookie, I am just a few years younger, been in big corporate, start ups and a few years ago started my own company that I am building. The lens you provide me is terrific and much needed. You are well on your way to becoming the greatest business thinker of the modern era

  25. Jason says:

    You’re hitting on all cylinders, Scott. As a fellow Uni grad, a beneficiary of the UC system (Berkeley) and lucky enough to be born in the right place and time (a few years behind you), I too have shared similar success as a doctor. Kids behind me will never have it so easy. Your diverse interests in both business and personal happiness have resonated with me profoundly. I’m glad to have discovered you, keep it up. You are making the world better.

  26. Kathy says:

    Such a beautiful story on gratitude, kindness, to be thankful and the importance of investment. I read this article alone and also read it again with my 13 year old son (i am advising him the importance of financial investments) and to remember all the people who have been kind in each of our life.!I also shared your story to two friends who also have a 13 year old son each. Thank you for writing and sharing this beautiful story! It was heart warming and a joy to read.

  27. Tyresha Zacca says:

    This was a good read!

  28. Melissa McCabe says:

    I truly loved this story. But the most remarkable part to me is the contents of the P.P.S.

  29. Valeria says:


  30. Andrew says:

    That was a wonderful story, thanks for sharing that

  31. Rita says:

    I cried. Thank you for this.

  32. Flor says:

    “I am proud that we met when you were so young and that I made a constructive impression on you. I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU!” Time well invested. Thanks Scott. My Dad was one of my Cy, i miss him everyday

  33. Deborah Biber says:

    Gratitude is in itself a blessing and a skill.

  34. Ginger says:

    Loved this story — thanks for sharing. My dad was one of those remarkable men; I have always felt so lucky to have been his daughter and receive his time, wisdom and wit. Thanks again, Scott.

  35. Cathy says:

    This made me cry. There are not enough Cy Cordners in the world .BUT did you pay the bounty?

  36. Richard Bugarske says:

    One of the great joys is to reflect on our lives. It is valuable and inspiring to see and listen to you living this process. Thank you for pushing us to stay curious, become more humble, and valuing “tis better to give than receive” — most of the time! 🙂

  37. Thomas Cutler says:

    Awesome experience. How we do things matters just as much as what we do. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Michael Robinson says:

    Very moving. Thanks.

  39. Mark says:

    I like Scott Galloway.

  40. Uba says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. May more of us be like Randy and Cy. Men committed to lending a helping hand to people along life’s highway, without being weighed down by thoughts of personal benefit.

  41. JuanDominguez says:

    One of your best articles. Love it!

  42. Rahm says:

    Remarkable story.

  43. Lisa says:

    I needed this today. Thank you.

  44. Matt says:

    Just outstanding: a personal story with some very relevant content as to not only how you got here, but also how you want to continue forward via the effect you have on others. This is a great tale of gratitude for the investments that others made in you, and the long long term (non financial) returns that those created in your path in life. Was curious, did you…have to pay 15k?? Thank you for sharing.

  45. Ivan says:

    I have 13 yrs old son and this is great reminder to give him $200 for the same purpose. Thank you.

  46. Deeps says:

    Great touching story! Realized with this post that we’re homies. Are you in touch with Randy? 🙂

  47. Howard says:

    Wow – that was an unexpectedly touching story! Had to read it aloud to my wife at breakfast. Thanks for the life lesson Scott.

  48. Chip Dodd says:

    Great read. Thanks for sharing Scott.

  49. Rob says:

    Great story. What an awesome person to meet at just the right time for you.

  50. Ben O'Connor says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. I’m 43 in a few weeks, and always find all your articles, books and podcasts profound and super-impactful on my thinking. The personal touch you bring could easily be skipped, but you don’t and it’s special, so thank you for sharing. There’s more, the effort you put in to help younger guys be better men, and not to the exclusion of others, is brave and positive and a currency we all get to spend. Thanks Prof G and thanks Cy Cordner!

  51. Daniel weissman says:

    So. Incredibly. Moving. On our virtual relationship, you have been on the giving side. Thank you. Wish your 13 years old could have known back then what a tremendously impact he would have

  52. Ellen Mary Sullivan says:

    Brought tears to my eyes, dear Prof. I have the greatest admiration for your ability to turn thoughtful introspection into a gift for us all. Keep it up ! Humanity needs it.

  53. Vincent Gibson says:

    Astonishingly touching.

  54. Jack Bayles says:

    did you divide 5K amongst the 3 PI’s? Your reminder to all that you only got to where ever you are by others help along the way is a good one. We all need to know and acknowledge either direct who help us or to pass it forward. Keep it up.

  55. Mark Snyder says:

    Good one!

  56. El Duderino says:

    The Dawg Abides.

  57. Sarah-Jane says:

    Great Post Scott. My own journey in life has taught me to seek and take joy in the smallest things. Your story is a joyful one.

  58. Tanmay Gautam says:

    Inspirational as always..

  59. Prashant Chauhan says:

    Such an inspirational post. Its amazing how much such little meetings change the course of our life. The world definitely need more stories like this in current times.

  60. Greg Feneis says:

    The Whirl’d needs more Cy Cordners and Prof G.s

  61. Ann L. Lundberg says:

    Scott — I believe the secret to youth is a growth mindset. I’ve watched you grow so much in the past few years, bringing all your experience and knowledge along for the ride. It’s a powerful combo that adds up to wisdom and as a woman of a similar age and stage I share the journey and am cheering you on!

  62. SANDRA MURPHY says:

    tears when I read about you and Cy….hope you get to meet up….

  63. becky says:

    What a wonderful story, I’m so glad I took the time to read it. Thank you for sharing. Mentors are so hard to find in the world today.

  64. PER JENSTER says:

    An absolute lovely love story of generosity and “paying-it-forward” … parallels my own travels so much. Making a difference in other people’s lives is the true path …

  65. David Arelle says:

    Thank you for sharing!! Heart felt story… Fan of your work and thoughtful perspectives on the future.

  66. Christine says:

    Down here in Texas, the newly frozen tundra and read your heartwarming essay. A thankful way to end the week, gracias!

  67. Loren Jaffe says:

    There’s so much one can unpack from this very human essay, most of which comes down to wisdom, which can only be acquired over a lifetime of experiences. I appreciate your sharing wisdom with the mostly young men who you’re impressing upon.

  68. David says:

    Thanks for sharing

  69. H Gen says:


  70. David Gray says:

    Great post! Hopefully there are Cy Cordeners in all of our lives in some shape or another. I’m lucky to have had some positive influences like Cy, have never forgetten them. Key is to pass it on to the next generation.

  71. Nick Gertonson says:

    My favorite story of yours. Thank you.

  72. Alexandre Villela says:

    Fucking brilliant, Prof G. Always insightful. Everyone deserves a Mrs. Cy in their lives… Cheers

  73. Marlane Meyer says:

    This story made me weep in recognition of all those men and women who’ve stepped forward to offer advice and push me forward. Yes, life is so rich.

  74. William Gibbons says:

    I’m a reader and a pod listener (and have been to some of your former L2 seminars). This blog MADE me right. This story – and your recognition of what you have been given in this life – is heartwarming and makes me feel actually optimistic.

  75. peggy says:

    Your personal stories always brought tears to my eyes (this one and the one about your stepmother). You are so loved!

  76. Lynda Harrison says:

    I love this story! Professor Galloway, you are a good human.

  77. Kehinde Ross says:

    With recent events in mind, it will come as no surprise that I find myself thinking things would have been very different if that had been a 13 year old black boy wandering into Dean Witter. That said, I do recall an article I read a long time ago indicated that failure to invest is one reason black families have less wealth to pass on that theie white counterparts.

  78. Tod says:

    Fucking brilliant.

  79. Dawn Zencka says:

    This 100% made my day! Thank you for sharing!!

  80. sharon liu says:

    I love this article. This is part of Prof G that kept me following him!

  81. Joel Gardner says:

    How much would that Columbia Pictures stock be worth today if you hadn’t sold it? It’s part of Sony now.

  82. Megan Coleman says:

    I’m not crying, you’re crying

  83. David Culbertson says:

    I’ve got a related story. In short: I changed high schools just before my senior year. One kid made an effort to become my friend. When we were freshman at Ohio State, he introduced another guy who’s graduate from our high school. That 2nd guy invited to join his fraternity. More than 30 years later, the young men that I met in that fraternity are still my best friends and we have each others’ backs through anything. All from one friendship that led me down an unexpected path.

  84. James says:

    I’m a new reader to this blog and so far love it. I’m just a couple years older than you but my first skateboard was also a Bahne. I can still vividly picture it – blue with white lettering, Chicago trucks and Cadillac Wheels. I loved that thing. Thanks for that small but important memory of my youth.

  85. Tom says:

    wow, just fantastic.

  86. Kathleen Kulenych says:

    I love this story. Made me cry. Thank you for sharing your journey and the power of connection.

  87. Tara Antongiorgi says:

    You are so cool. Enjoy reading your real take on real moments.

  88. jason molina says:

    Thank you for sharing. You are a true American inspiration. It shows that anyone has the ability to chose their own path no matter the circumstances. Your positivity is catchy! You Matter!

  89. Jacqueline says:

    After many decades of living, my take on Loneliness is specifically the feeling of being Valued. The connection that makes anyone feel Valued by another human is the antidote to Loneliness. The act of Investing in other Humans in turn makes one Valued. — and the best investment in oneself.

  90. Viv Aquino says:

    Such a great inspiring story, Scott! Power of reconnecting with the ones that paved the way and sparked change in ourselves… Loving your articles and classes. Keep. Them. Coming!

  91. Jon says:

    Beautiful story. Agree with many others where they mention this as one of your best posts.

  92. Menno Wagenaar says:

    Nothing more beautiful than a great story. Amazing that you reconnected and that you value each other so much. Hope you meet In person soon and create more memories ❤️

  93. Jennie Marie Naffie says:

    What a wonderful story–and so well-written. Thank you!

  94. Joel Reboh says:

    Your assessment of peloton gave me the confidence to invest and earn enough to star a charitable fund.

  95. Steve Lace says:

    Terrific post. One of your best. Thanks for sharing it.

  96. Angela says:

    I love this story! It’s remarkable how 1 person can make such a powerful impact on our life! CY❤️❤️

  97. Mark Fancourt says:

    Great story.

  98. Cory Johnson says:

    Scott, what a terrific column. Thanks for this. Columbia Pictures, btw, got taken out by Coca-Cola in 1982 (Yes kids, these things happened. And yes, stocks were quoted in eighths!) for 1.2 shares of Coke plus $32.62 — about $74-per-share. That’s a 381% return for you!

  99. Jim Grey says:

    I loved this story, thank you for sharing it! Cy’s kind of kindness makes the world go ’round.

  100. Thabo Magubane says:

    Man, what a story. My eyes are filled with tears right now. Life is a journey indeed.

  101. Kent Comfort says:

    Stories like this are vitally important to be told. They keep our fragile culture knitted together. Anyone over 50 who has read this is trying recall the Cy Cordner in their earlier life. Hopefully they had one. We should all be either looking for our Cy Cordner, or we should seek opportunities to be a Cy Cordner for someone else.

  102. Jeffrey K says:

    In the movie ‘Defending Your Life’ a prosecutor and defender in the after-life way-station determine if a person moves forward to a higher plane of existence, or is sent back to Earth to try again. The keys to moving onward are courage and generosity. Scott, I believe you will be moving up. Me? I’ll be sent back down (again!) – pretty sure that the next time I’ll ace it!

  103. Bruce Gregoire says:

    I am reminded of the famous quote: “oh, the humanity of it all”. I like you had my share of identity challenges in high school. I still remember our local veterinarian spoke with my dad to offering College funding, with no strings attached. With the grace of God I was able to attend a terrific university, and blossomed. 50 years later, I still get high walking across that campus. And for many years, the opportunity to teach at Johns Hopkins University has given me that same high. You are lucky to be around young people, as well as contribute your knowledge in the business community. You should give yourself some of that credit.

  104. Wendi Cooper says:

    Love this.

  105. kevin cassidy says:

    love this…wish our paths had crossed at UCLA …keep up the great work!

  106. Tom says:

    What a wonderful story— on every level.

  107. Elizabeth says:

    Scott, This story about Cy Cordner was so good, I read it twice. You have a true gift for story telling. Thank you so much for sharing.

  108. Greg says:

    Scott, this brought me to tears — so many remarkable resonances with my life. Thanks for sharing — the vulnerabilities, the responses, and pointing the way.

  109. Kadir says:

    Reading this brought me to tears this morning, but I pulled myself together. After all, 50+ year old men don’t cry (but they should). Your story really resonated with me: Growing up as an introvert, finding things we are passionate about, finding a mentor, fatherhood, and trying to repair our deficits no matter our age. Thank you for sharing it.

  110. Steve says:

    What a wonderful sharing of where you’ve been and where you are. How fortunate to reconnect with someone who obviously showed kindness and made you more visible.

  111. Jeff says:

    What about Randy?

  112. Oana Man-Kesselheim says:

    Thank you.

  113. Sabrina Pourmand says:

    Such beautiful story telling , Prof G…with such a universal message. Generosity of spirit, of knowledge, and of words can change a person’s life. If we all had this abundant and infinite mindset, the world would be a better place. Grateful for the Cy Corders — who give freely and generously –without expectation of anything in return. But I sure am glad his legacy is forever memorialized here.

  114. Charlie Evett says:

    What a wonderful amazing piece. I wish I had such a clear memory of the many adults who helped me along the way. Cy’s response to you after all those years is so heartwarming.

  115. Adi Agrawal says:

    Thank you for this – I try to be grateful – more so as I am older and appreciate blessings and kind acts of others – your story reminds me of so many more people I need to find and thank!

  116. Sarah Quinlan says:

    Just a great story! Needed the smile today. Thank you

  117. Teague Allen says:

    Did you make good on the $5000 bounty? For each of the 3 finders or as a group?

  118. Helen Loftin says:

    Beautiful. Made me all misty eyed. And re-determined to help others where I can and when asked. (the 2nd point re being asked is VERY important. 🙂 )

  119. GARIMA RAI says:

    Dear Professor Galloway, Your stories have so much meaning and life to them. I am moved by this story (as the other ones). I continue to share your stories with my 2 daughters. PS: I moved to US as an immigrant 23 yrs ago, the ups and downs have been the true meaningful journey! Take care, Garima

  120. Alan Tabasky says:

    Love reading the stories – and this one about Cy Cordner is especially touching. That really is great and testament to your upbringing that you remember, acknowledge, learn and share from the journeys you have had in your life. I am working from home, as many are nowadays. My 24 year old daughter (college grad looking for a meaningful career start), stopped by my desk and asked what I was doing. I told her perfect timing, reading something from Scott, and I want her to read it too. Sending it over to her now. Thanks for sharing! Alan

  121. Michael Seymour says:

    I always look forward to your writings. However this story was so moving I shared it with my two sons. Thank you.

  122. Thomas Caffery says:

    Professor Galloway, I worked at and just retired from Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley on 12/31/2020 after a 37 year career at the firm. Please let Cy know that his and your story shows the caliber and integrity of this fine firm that I was honored to work for my entire professional career! That said, I am sure that you both know that already! Thank you for sharing this. TC

  123. Dave says:

    Some how I feel like a better person reading your blog posts. You truly are a gift to this planet Scott. You affect people all over by YOUR generosity with stories like this. Your generous with your thoughts, useful tips and your humor. I truly believe you make this planet better by your existence.

  124. John Blackburn says:

    What a story. Everyone can be a mentor/helper/whatever. You never know what an impact you can have.

  125. Angie says:

    This is an amazing story. I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a few happy tears thinking about how small actions can make a big difference in someone’s life. Thank you for sharing. Glad you and Cy were able to reconnect after so many years.

  126. mark says:

    Wonderful and Rich, the story made my day. A small yet sincere act of kindness- makes a world of difference. Thanks for sharing

  127. SJ says:

    This is a beautiful story. It brought tears to my eyes. Never underestimate your impact on someone else’s life. We need more of this.

  128. Kelly says:

    There aren’t enough 😭 emojis. Remember this wonderful story from The Algebra of Happiness. For the last three years, when my daughters ask me what I want for Christmas, my answer is always “the new Scott Galloway book.” Hugs from Canada.

  129. Maura Gallagher says:

    Love your posts. Always food for thought. Sometimes a bit of a tear jerker too. With the privilege of growing older, we do have the opportunity to look at ourselves & recognize our deficits. Hopefully with an opportunity to even up the scales a bit over time. Learning as we go. You should feel good about the positive impact your blog has on many!

  130. guy gadouis says:

    What happened to Randy?

  131. Stan says:

    Thank you for this! You have inspired me to seek out one of my high school teachers who had a lasting impact on me

  132. Mike Shapiro says:

    Great writing, Prof.

  133. Stanley P says:

    Brutally forthright and sincere in the exposure of feelings decades old and yet so fresh and detailed all these years later. Thanks for this valuable reminder of never underestimating each and every experience, good or bad, that makes up the composition of we are and why…..

  134. Mark Herring says:

    I found this so moving. I am a similar age (56) and know that there are key people who change our lives for the better, but never know. I do know that when we are lying propped up on a pillow, being fed through tubes and thinking back on our life as it slowly ebbs from us, it will be people and our interactions with them that we remember and treasure, not the money in our hedge funds or pockets. Thanks for reminding me, Scott and Cy. Mark

  135. Kam says:

    What a wonderful story Prof. There are so many Cy’s who come into our life and offer a selfless help with their time and guidance, but there are very few Scott’s who make an effort to reconnect, remember and thank them. I appreciate you sharing your story. It’s time for me to reach out to my Cy 🙂 ……Life is rich and we are indeed blessed.

  136. Rich Goldfarb says:

    My inconsequential comment of the day…I’m not so sure that the Javier Bardem hairstyle was EVER in vogue. As for the substance, always a great read Professor. And my life is always RICH.

  137. julia regan says:

    Love it

  138. Deb says:

    Love this post

  139. Julie Wright says:

    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Love it!

  140. Maurice Cuffee MD says:

    Thank you for this story. My “Cy” was named Uthman Ray Jr. MD.

  141. Eric Bernal says:

    What a great story! Growing up with a single mom, I too was fortunate enough that she had a great boyfriend that taught me all the things dads teach their sons. From fixing things, cars, business, girls, movies, and an appreciation for jazz! He had a tremendous impact on my life! I was literally picturing the movie scenes as I read your story. There is a great 70s/80s themed movie here!

  142. James Jennings says:

    Bravo. Well said and so authentic. I just finished reading the Alchemist with three of my sections and it always gets me sentimental thinking about all the mentors who’ve given selflessly to get us to this point today. Bravo to all the mentors! There’s so much to be said for doing good as a means of education. Love this. Shameless Sidebar: has a lot of these authentic education mentor type of stories.

  143. Jonathan Rose says:

    I remember this story from one of your awesome books (not sure which one it was)… I was thinking at the time that 90% of folks would have hung up on a 13yr old kid incessantly calling to talk about their 17 share holdings…but I’m also guessing you were not like the other kids. He must have seen the passion, and your curiosity. I’m guessing he wouldn’t have shared his time with just any old kid. He was probably thrilled to work with you because you were constantly impressing him with your questions and knowledge. Great story, and thank you for sharing. I think it’s important to note – that you (most likely) EARNED his time by your diligent work ethic. You didn’t just take from Cy, you also gave with your passion for his expertise.

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