* 10/14/09 7:00 PM at Borders Books – Commons Way. Bridgewater, NJ.
* 12/3/09 8:00 PM at the 92nd Street Y – Lexington Avenue, New York, NY.
James (Jim) J. Cramer is a television personality, former hedge fund manager, and author. He is currently CNBC’s Mad Money host, director of TheStreet.com and host of the radio show Real Money with Jim Cramer syndicated by Westwood One/CBS Radio.
Jim Cramer grew up in the town of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. One of his first jobs was selling ice cream at Veterans Stadium during Philadelphia Phillies games. Cramer went to Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County.
Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1977 where he was also president of the Harvard Crimson. At this point in his life, Cramer was a staunch leftist, naming his plan to revitalize the Crimson after Lenin’s “What Is To Be Done?”.
After college, following a two-month tenure as the key operator at Congressional Quarterly, he worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat in Tallahassee, Florida. Living almost next door to the Chi Omega sorority house and Florida State University, he was one of the first on the scene after serial killer Ted Bundy attacked four women, killing two of them in 1978. After Tallahassee, he worked at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner as a spot news reporter, covering “basically anyone who died violently in California.” While he was covering a shooting in San Diego for the Examiner, a burglar cleaned out both his bungalow in L.A., and his checking account. For the next nine months, he lived mostly out of his car, with a .22 pistol and hatchet for protection.
Following this experience, Cramer moved in with his sister in Greenwich Village. His sister was studying to be a lawyer and encouraged Cramer to become a prosecutor. Cramer helped to found American Lawyer magazine and then decided to go to law school.
More recently, Cramer has been a contributor to New York magazine since 2000. He is also an occasional contributor to Time magazine.
Cramer went back to school to get a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School (he met Eliot Spitzer on his first day of law school). After graduating in 1984, Cramer’s plans to become a prosecutor were dashed when he was rejected by the Southern District of New York (which at the time was being run by Rudy Giuliani) because his law school grades were not good enough. Instead, Cramer went to work in Goldman Sachs’ Sales & Trading department. Cramer proved to be an incredibly successful stock broker, making $700,000 in his first year on the job.
In 1987, Cramer founded his own hedge fund, Cramer & Co. (later Cramer, Berkowitz, & Co.), working out of the offices of hedge fund pioneer Michael Steinhardt’s Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co. The fund’s early investors included Eliot Spitzer (a Harvard classmate), Steven Brill (Cramer’s old boss at American Lawyer), and Martin Peretz] A year later, Jim married Karen Backfisch-Olufsen, who was a trader with Steinhardt’s firm. Cramer retired from the firm in 2001, which is now being run by his former partner Jeff Berkowitz.
n 1996 Cramer co-founded TheStreet.com with The New Republic editor Martin Peretz, one of his hedge fund’s original clients. Cramer later had a falling out with Peretz over business matters. Cramer is currently a market commentator and adviser to the TheStreet.com, as well as its largest shareholder. Cramer also manages a charitable trust stock portfolio which is tied to TheStreet.com through a subscription service called the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio.
Cramer now has his own television show on CNBC, Mad Money with Jim Cramer, which features his rapid-fire opinions on stocks suggested by callers. Mad Money is also well known for over-the-top antics such as Cramer throwing chairs, showing his latest book whenever a caller mentions it, humorous sound effects, and for the catch-phrase “Booyah”. Cramer frequently takes the show on the road to various U.S. colleges. Mad Money continues to be one of CNBC’s most highly rated shows.
After being a frequent guest commentator on CNBC in the late 1990s, Cramer co-hosted CNBC shows America Now and Kudlow & Cramer with Lawrence Kudlow in the early 2000s.
Cramer hosted a one-hour radio show, “Jim Cramer’s Real Money,” until December 2006. The show was similar to his Mad Money TV show. He also guest hosted in the slot caused by the cancellation of Imus in the Morning (MSNBC and WFAN/Westwood One) in May 2007.
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