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Harold M. Finley

At age 19, Harold became one of the youngest registered New York Stock Exchange representative ever.

Harold led a rich and busy life. He was very active in the Rotary Club-he served as President of the Rotary One Club, the first Rotary Club. He commuted from his home in Lockport to his office in Chicago every day. In fact, he must have held a record for workplace attendance-he worked 41 consecutive years without missing a day!

In addition to his career in investments, Harold was also an ordained Congregational minister, graduating form Chicago Theological Seminary with a B.D. degree cum laude in 1944. Over many years he was the pastor of various churches. Not only did Harold work full-time, he made time to prepare and deliver sermons, as well as to see to the physical and spiritual needs of his parishioners.

Harold was awarded an L.L.D. degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 1975, a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lakeland College in 1990, a Doctor of Humanities degree from Lewis University in 1995, and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Muskingum College in 1997.

He was active in several vocations during his 83-year lifespan, including pastoral ministry, writing, investments, and benevolent service as a director for many philanthropic, church-related and academic institutions. His writings included Everybody's Guide to the Stock Market, and he authored a financial column in the Chicago Tribune for 20 years. Harold's life was the subject of a 1992 book, Harold, the Gifted Small-Town Boy and a musical play titled Hinky Dink.

Harold Finley was a beloved and admired pastor, churchman, community leader, financial adviser, friend, husband, father and grandfather. He was truly one of a kind.

Harold Finley (1916-1999), prodigy and philanthropist, was born in McConnelsville, Ohio, and lived in Lockport for the past 46 years. He was a truly amazing man who excelled at living a productive and generous life, and was fully a part of each age that his life encompassed.

Young Harold Finley taught himself to read, count, and tell time at age 2. Recognized as a genius while still a child, he received a score of 197 on an I.Q. test given to him at age 5. It was the second highest I.Q. score ever recorded at that time. The person with the highest I.Q. was Nathan Leopold, who was later convicted of murdering Bobby Franks. Harold found it ironic that he and Leopold would end up living only miles apart, Harold in Lockport, and Leopold at Stateville Penitentiary.

Throughout the years, Harold's amazing memory brought him much attention. As a small child, he would perform in local talent shows reciting license plate numbers, phone numbers, names of vice presidents and other seldom-known facts and figures. At age six, he wrote an article about a trip to Florida and sent it to the local paper. The editor printed his manuscript verbatim; stating that in his years of editing no one's writing had surpassed Harold's.

Harold excelled through high school and left home at 13 to attend Northwestern University on a scholarship. He graduated cum laude at 17, in the top four of his class with a degree in economics. TIME magazine ran a story and photo of Harold on March 27, 1933, two months before his graduation.

 

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