Bernard Madoff Launches Bernard L. Madoff Securities

After graduating from Hofstra College -- and one year after marrying his high school sweetheart Ruth Alpern -- Madoff starts his business with $5,000 saved from odd jobs, including lifeguarding and sprinkler installations.

He works out of Ruth's father's accounting firm in midtown Manhattan.

His plan is to make money as a market maker -- matching buyers and sellers who want to trade smaller stocks that aren't listed on the big exchanges.

Bernard L. Madoff is Chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, which he founded in 1960, and of Madoff Securities International Limited in London. He is a member of the London Stock Exchange, the Security Traders Association, and the Advisory Committee on Market Information of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Madoff is past Chairman of the Nasdaq Board of Directors.

Initially, he tapped local money pulled in from country clubs and charity dinners, where investors sought him out to casually plead with him to manage their savings so they could start reaping the steady, solid returns their envied friends were getting.