Robert J. O’Brien, Sr.

*inducted in 2007

Robert J. O’Brien, Sr. has been an active participant in the futures industry for more than five decades. Among many other achievements, he built a very successful futures brokerage firm, served as chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, took delivery of the first live cattle contract traded on the CME, broadcast the first live commodity report from the trading floor, and sponsored the first woman to work on the trading floor. A native of Chicago, O’Brien graduated from DePaul University. He joined John V. McCarthy & Co, the predecessor of R. J. O’Brien in 1952. O’Brien was a member of the CME board from 1964 through 1977 and served as chairman in 1967 and 1968. He was active in the leadership of the CME during a pivotal time in the history of the exchange. During his tenure on the board, contracts on live animals were successfully introduced, the first in a wave of innovations in contract design. O’Brien also was instrumental in changing the governance structure at the CME to make it more democratic and revitalizing the audits and investigations department, which helped attract a higher caliber of membership. Today O’Brien is still active as chairman emeritus of R. J. O’Brien.

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