When Bennett Fisher ’66 graduated from Yale — like his father and grandfather before him — he began working at the asset management firm Fiduciary Trust Co. International. He stayed with the company for the next 34 years of his life, ascending to senior vice president and an office on the 97th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Fisher’s high school friend and freshman year roommate Richard Jackson ’65 described him as politically very conservative, to an almost comic degree. An avid sailor, a tremendous storyteller, and a notoriously well-organized Marine reserve, Jackson said Fisher exhibited the “good” qualities of the “WASP ethos” and tradition at Yale.
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“He was the best of the old Yale,” Jackson said.
Fisher was last seen helping coworkers escape from the 44th floor of their destroyed building ten years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, just three weeks and a day after returning from a 53-mile sailing regatta in Cowes, England.
Since then, Fisher’s widow Susan said that for her and their two children, her husband remains a daily part of their lives.
“We laugh at his jokes, we think about what his ideas might have been … we think about him and all the places he loved,” she said.
Fisher was known at Yale for being thoughtful, and “giving the impression that he loved life,” Jackson said.
Before the attacks on Sept. 11, Susan said Fisher began thinking about how to change his life after retirement. Fisher was planning a year-long tour around the United States to “seek his own harmony.” In their last week together, Susan said three marital problems the couple had dealt with for years seemed to resolve themselves — the last solution, she added, came before Fisher left for work the Tuesday morning of the attacks.
But Susan said that despite the national significance of the attacks that caused her family’s loss, her situation is no different than that of any other widow.
“Over the past ten years, our family has been dealing with the loss the way many people deal with the loss of a loved one,” she said. “Our situation is not unusual.”
Last September, the Fisher family helped lead the completion of a lighthouse memorial in their hometown, Greenwich, Conn., to commemorate victims of the 9/11 attacks.