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Barry Sullivan, Former Chair of Bronxville School Board, Bank Chairman, and Civic Leader, Dies August 11 at 85 PDF Print Email


By the Family


Aug. 17, 2016:  Barry Francis Sullivan of Bronxville passed away on August 11 at the age of 85, after an 11-year struggle with Parkinson's disease. He leaves his five children, Barry Jr., Gerald, Mariellen, Scott, and John, and a total of 17 grandchildren. Audrey, his wife of 53 years, passed away in June of 2009.

Barry was born in New York City on December 21, 1930, to John and Marion Sullivan. He grew up in The Bronx and attended Regis High School in Manhattan, where he excelled in academics, earning a spot in the Virgil Academy of Regis. Barry was one of the core members of the two New York City Catholic basketball championship teams in his junior and senior years.

From September of 1949 to May of 1952, Barry attended Georgetown University on an academic scholarship and played basketball for the Hoyas during his three years there. He still holds the tenth-highest career scoring average for the Georgetown Hoyas, and his play there earned him an invitation from the New York Knicks. After his junior year, he enlisted in the Army and served in Korea. In 1954, he returned to New York, where he attended Columbia University, graduating in 1955. Barry was awarded the John Jay Award for distinguished alumni from Columbia University in 1996.

Barry moved to South Chicago Indiana in 1955, working at Inland Steel while attending the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business at night. He was awarded an MBA in 1957. He was also awarded an honorary LLD from the University of Chicago in 1994.

Barry joined Chase Manhattan Bank in 1957 and by 1972 he had been appointed senior vice president of the bank, the youngest person ever to hold the position. He eventually achieved the position of executive vice president and member of the management committee.

In 1980, Barry became the chairman and chief executive of the First Chicago Corporation. During his 11 years at First Chicago, he helped place First Chicago on a firm foundation by growing its credit card business into one of the world's largest portfolios.  

Barry's commitments to civic duties provided many responsibilities beyond banking as he became one of the key financial advisors for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He received much civic recognition while living in Chicago, and he always considered Chicago his adopted home. In 1988, he led an effort to organize a citizens' coalition to decentralize the Chicago public school system.

Barry retired from a 34-year career in banking and returned to New York in 1992, where he took the position of deputy mayor for finance and economic development to Mayor David Dinkins. He was instrumental in retaining key financial institutions in the city. He followed this in 1994 with the role of chief operating officer of the New York City Board of Education. Barry spent 10 years as vice chairman of Sithe Energy after his service to New York City.

Education was where his heart always drifted back to. While his children attended the Bronxville school system, Barry served a term as president of the Bronxville Board of Education. Barry served on the Board of Trustees of Regis High School for many years, working with Fr. James Carney, S.J. to organize and build the alumni fundraising program. In Chicago, he served as an active member of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees for 16 years, and as chairman of that board from 1988 to 1992. During this time he worked with university president Hannah Gray to build the university's new downtown center, which houses the graduate school of business evening, weekend, and executive programs, as well as the university's center for continuing studies. He also served as a member of the Georgetown University Board of Directors during this time. 

Barry was a member of the Knights of Malta and a recipient of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great. While in New York, he worked closely with the Archdiocese of New York, specifically helping as a financial advisor to the Saint Joseph's Seminary and College, the major seminary of the archdiocese.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Joseph's Church in Bronxville on Tuesday, August 16.

 

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