Wasserstein’s untimely death has many repercussions

By Laurie Bennett

October 16, 2009 at 10:35am

The aftershocks of Bruce Wasserstein’s death this week are just beginning to be felt.

Lazard Ltd. has named Steven J. Golub interim chief as it hunts for a new CEO. The firm must pay $186.5 million to Wasserstein’s estate as part of an employment contract signed less than a year ago.

The future of New York magazine, owned by New York Media Holdings, which Wasserstein chaired, is uncertain.

Wasserstein, a powerful investment banker known for his piercing intellect, was just 61. The cause of death has not yet been released, although Lazard officials said he had been hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat.

His unexpected death recalled that of his sister, playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who died of lymphoma at 55.

Wasserstein’s extended family claims an extraordinary range of talents and connections.

Wendy Wasserstein won both the Pulitzer and the Tony for her play, The Heidi Chronicles.

Divorced three times, Bruce Wasserstein was married to Angela Chao, sister of Elaine Chao, former labor secretary in the George W. Bush administration.

Elaine Chao is married to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

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