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Richard Elden, Innovative Hedge Fund Investor, Is Dead at 84

Category: Business,Finance

Besides his son, Mr. Elden is survived by his wife of 57 years, Gail; his daughter, Cindy Elden; and his sister, Joan Feitler.

Richard Elden was born on Aug. 2, 1933, in Chicago. His father, Abe, worked in the financial division of Esquire Inc., the media company best known for its men’s magazines. His mother, Vera, was a homemaker and the sister of David Smart, Esquire’s publisher.

Mr. Elden worked on the student newspaper at Northwestern University, where he studied political science and graduated in 1956. He traveled as part of a group of student journalists to the Soviet Union in 1953.

He wrote a number of articles about that journey, which helped lead to reporting positions at the International News Service, which merged with United Press in 1958, as well as with the now-defunct City News Bureau of Chicago and The Chicago Sun-Times, where he worked as a business reporter. He attended business school at the University of Chicago, receiving a master’s degree in business administration in 1966.

Mr. Elden was working as a financial analyst for a division of IBM that published educational materials when he was approached by a friend who appreciated his reporter’s instincts. The friend asked him to work as an investment analyst with A. G. Becker, where his job was to scour the markets for investment opportunities for the firm’s clients.

Throughout his career, Mr. Elden, a lifelong Chicago resident with a penchant for horn-rimmed glasses and bow ties, often referred to his reporting background as an ideal training ground.

“Essentially I’ve been a reporter for 55 years, the last 38 applying my reporting skills to checking out money managers,” he was quoted as saying in “Top Hedge Fund Investors: Stories, Strategies, and Advice” (2010), by Cathleen M. Rittereiser and Lawrence E. Kochard. “To me, it’s just an extension of reporting.”

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