We invited TSC staff and contributors to share their memories of Jim Seymour. Here's what they've written.
Tom Clarke, chairman and CEO of TheStreet.com
The passing of a colleague hits home in many ways. We were blessed to have Jim's contributions as an outstanding writer, but to me his biggest contributions came during the conversations we shared via phone and email. I first met Jim and his family a few years ago during the taping of a television program we were producing. He had a quiet excitement about the event but became very animated when he was introducing me to the two most important people in his life: his wife and son. It was obvious they were the lifelines for everything he did.
As I got to know Jim, he was smart, articulate and opinionated, and our discussions would never end without him challenging me to think out of the box. I think there were even times when Jim and I actually agreed on something, yet the challenge of the debate seemed to energize him. I am convinced that he created these debates to see the resolve and passion each of us brought to the table. I know Jim brought that resolve and passion to everything he did, and it made him unique.
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to talk with Jim. His insights and our debates will certainly be missed, but the passion he exhibited will be with me forever. I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and to all who have been touched by his presence.
Herb Greenberg, RealMoney senior columnist
To me, Jim Seymour was the consummate gentleman -- even in disagreement. And disagree is something you never wanted to do with Jim, even when you thought you were right, because Jim never made it easy. I always felt uneasy treading on his turf because it was a turf he knew better than almost anybody else.
It wasn't until we were on our old Fox show together that I really got to appreciate Jim. Just watching him articulate his viewpoint was awe-inspiring, and I told everybody who would listen how bowled over I was by the "verbal" Seymour. Pragmatic, articulate, calm and, most important, always the gentleman. My sympathies to Nora and Graham. All of our lives are richer for having been in his presence.
Gary B. Smith, RealMoney contributing editor
In trying to put together my thoughts on Jim Seymour, one word came to mind: professional. That's right, Jim Seymour was the kind of writer I'd like all writers to be. He was opinionated, while being right sometimes. And he was opinionated while being wrong at other times.
No matter, though, because he always acted with class and dignity. We need more Jim Seymours in the business. His presence will be missed.
Ken Wolff, RealMoney contributor
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Jim Seymour, and my prayers are with his family. Obviously, he was a brilliant financial mind. But more than that, my memory of him will always be of a very friendly and kind man who invited me to share his cab on a cold day and carried an incredible amount of warmth and humor with him. He was the kind of person who had no airs about him, and you liked him instantly. He will be greatly missed.
Steven Hendlin, TheStreet.com columnist
Jim Seymour was one of the early birds who wrote about the original Macintosh computers when they appeared in the mid-'80s. His monthly columns for MacUser were my first exposure to the mind-blowing world of computing.
Jim knew an awful lot about the guts of computers before almost anyone else and had a reputation as one of the early wizards of hardware and software, not only for the Mac but the early PCs as well. He was skilled at communicating his technical knowledge to a broad audience in a way the nontech-head could understand and use.
Last year, in the RealMoney Columnist Conversation, we bantered about golf and "selling one's soul" to make a hole-in-one. His sense of humor came through often in his posts. But he could be a serious reporter of events, as well. Jim had the distinction of being the one to give the blow-by-blow news account of the events on Sept. 11 as they were unfolding for RealMoney readers.
I never met Jim in person, but I could tell he was a bright guy with a big heart who really knew his stuff.Rest in peace, Jim.
Dan Fitzpatrick, RealMoney contributor
When I began writing for this site a little more than a year ago, Jim was one of the first people to welcome me. I was struck by his warmth, as well as his intellect. In talking with Jim, I truly felt that I had "arrived" because his depth of knowledge was overwhelming. I couldn't believe I was talking with him, and I was just hoping that he would never find out that I was an impostor, and not really as bright as I tried to appear. Well, if he ever did find me out, he was just too classy a guy to let me know.
What I regret more than anything else is that I took him for granted. Over the past several months, I never had any interaction with Jim because I was just too busy. I didn't give it a thought because I had his nickname on myAOL Buddy List, and I knew that I could just ping him anytime I wanted. But now I can't.
Here is what I learned from my brief association with Jim Seymour. First, treat others with kindness and respect. They will appreciate it, even if they never express their gratitude. Second, never take your friends (or family) for granted, because they can be taken from you in the blink of an eye -- and you can never get them back.
Geoff Harriman, RealMoney Pro contributor
"We feel at first as if some opportunities of kindness and sympathy were lost, but learn afterward that any pure grief is ample recompense for all. That is, if we are faithful; -- for a spent grief is but sympathy with the soul that disposes events, and is as natural as the resin of Arabian trees. -- Only nature has a right to grieve perpetually, for she only is innocent. Soon the ice will melt, and the blackbirds sing along the river which he frequented, as pleasantly as ever. The same everlasting serenity will appear in this face of God, and we will not be sorrowful, if he is not."
-- Jules Renard
As a reader of Jim Seymour's, I find it amazing how close one can become to a person without ever having met him -- just by learning from him on a collective Web site. Many will sorely miss Jim, his teachings and his musings. My sympathies go out to Jim's family at this moment, and my prayers and thoughts go out to them always. May the Lord bless and keep you.
My deep sorrow and sympathy.
Howard Simons, RealMoney contributor
I was at a columnist meeting at TSC headquarters on April 14, 2000. I recall looking around the room and saying to myself, "This is a financial all-star team, and I'm on it," which tells you something about how I regard my colleagues. Jim Seymour was, fittingly, sitting at the head of the table.
That day was the largest single selloff in point terms up to that time. One of my columns, written later than day, was the first in a series I wrote on volatility surges, their relationship to gain retracement and their utility as a market indicator.
I got a one-word email from Jim on that column: "Wow."
To say that meant something to me is an understatement. We've lost a great writer and a fine person.
Michelle Zangara, deputy managing editor, RealMoney
As I read through the emails and tributes that poured in while putting this package together, I wondered if I could say anything about Jim that hasn't already been said.
So I thought I'd share what I remember most about Jim that you might not know from most of his columns. He was the most devoted family man I think I've ever met. Literally every day at work, we'd take a few moments to inquire about the other, and I felt like over the course of the past few years, I've gotten to know Nora and Graham through the stories he told me -- both heartbreaking and joyful. He loved them beyond everything else. Although he worked from a home office, he knew when he needed to take an afternoon off to see a movie with his wife or a morning break to drive his son to school through torrential rain. He'd always check in with me, but he made his priorities clear.
Perhaps the most vivid example is the cross-country summer drive he took with his son. He wrote about it here a while ago. The takeaway? I'll let his words speak for themselves: "At least I'm here with him on that growing-up journey, not riding a desk. My favorite aphorism: "No man, on his deathbed, ever said 'Gee, I wish I'd spent more time at the office.'"
That sense of priority is something we all can learn from his example. My prayers are with his family.